Unique speaking engagements in East Asia

Public and academic lectures on astronomical topics; academic skills training at any level; inspirational and award speeches

Astronomy for any audience

Highly acclaimed lectures for school groups, general audiences and university students. Learn about the beauty and mysteries of the Universe from one of the field's leading and award-winning scientists! Non-profit and commercial engagements available.

Academic and editorial skills

Academic writing, presentation skills, proposal writing and an awareness of research ethics are key to a successful academic career. Journal editors will also need to understand the intricacies of running their journals and how to enforce publication ethics.

Awards and Credentials

With more than 20 years of professional experience in the Netherlands, the USA, the United Kingdom, China, and many other leading science nations, you will experience the careful approach and thoughtful yet enthusiastic insights of an award-winning senior scientist.

About me

Professor Richard de Grijs is an acclaimed academic and prolific public speaker, masterful at gently easing his audience into the often complex ideas associated with astronomy and astrophysics. Born and raised in the Netherlands, Richard now hails from Beijing (China), where he joined the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University in September 2009. His successful career has allowed him to work, live, and enjoy life at the Universities of Virginia (USA) and Cambridge (UK), before being appointed to a permanent post at the University of Sheffield (UK) in 2003. Public engagement has always been an important aspect of his professional life. The Australian Academy of Science honored him with the 2012 Selby Fellowship, a prize awarded to distinguished overseas scientists to visit Australia for public lecture tours and to visit scientific centers. Selby fellows are expected to increase public awareness of science and scientific issues and, accordingly, will be outstanding speakers to the general public. Richard has since become the founding director of the East Asian Office of Astronomy for Development, an institution under the auspices of the International Astronomical Union, a role in which he juggles scientific development as well as public outreach and schools liaison efforts. He was awarded a 2017 Erskine award by the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) in part for his engagement with undergraduate students. He is a well-known face in the Beijing expat community, where he organizes monthly Science Caf├ęs in English for a discerning international audience.

2015 2016 2016


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Recent news


3 April 2017: Richard was interviewed by Lion TV for a PBS/NOVA documentary, Building Secrets of the Forbidden City, on Ming-era astronomy, belief systems, and instrumentation at Beijing's Ancient Observatory

19 February 2017: Food for thought and nourishment in Beijing, de Grijs R., Institute of Physics/IOP Life blog

January 2017 witnessed public screenings of our documentary at the Netherlands embassy in Beijing, at the Qian Xuesen library and museum in Shanghai, and at Shanghai Astronomical Observatory. Here is some background and a link to the trailer: click.

30 November 2016: It's finally there! We will release our professionally produced documentary, Science of Heaven, at a launch event at the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (Peking University); see this news item on the website of the Netherlands embassy in China

11 November 2016: Richard participated in a discussion forum on academic writing sponsored by AuthorAID/INASP

2 November 2016: Richard will be discussing communicating science with the public, run one-on-one coaching, and participate in a panel discussion at an event at the European Delegation to China, organised by EURAXESS; this will be followed by a stint as judge at the annual Science Slam -- this promises to be fun!

21 October 2016: Richard is due to lecture to the International Class at Beijing No. 35 High School

12-16 September 2016: Richard lectured at the 5th Byurakan International Summer School for Young Astronomers, Byurakan (Yerevan), Armenia

August 2016: We have reached agreement with the Enago Academy to collaborate on providing academic outreach to Chinese universities and research institutes!

13 August 2016: Richard spoke at a "Nova Scientists" event organised by the Beijing Municipal Commission for Science and Technology, addressing excellent young scientists

1 August 2016: Richard lectured at an observational summer school at the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences: Successful sixth optical astronomy and physics school held at the Optical Astronomy Observatory (in Chinese)

Taking your Science to 'the Public': Meaningful Engagement with a General Audience, de Grijs R., Na J., 2016, The Winnower, 3:e147079.95728; doi:10.15200/winn.147079.95728

Richard de Grijs has been selected for a 2017 Erskine Award (University of Canterbury, New Zealand), associated with a visit from 24 April to 9 June 2017