Duncan Forgan

Last name

Duncan is an associate lecturer  at the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews. From Scone in Perthshire, Duncan attended Perth Academy, and went on to obtain a first-class MPhys (Hons) degree and a PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Edinburgh (which was awarded the Royal Astronomical Society's Penston Thesis Prize).

Duncan studies the formation of stars and planets using numerical simulations, alongside investigating the concept of “habitability” in exotic planetary systems, using extrasolar planet data to constrain our speculation on the number of intelligent civilisations in the Galaxy, and providing theoretical support to observers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). He is on the steering committee of the UK Centre for Astrobiology, and is a founding member of the UK SETI Research Network.

Duncan is highly active in public outreach projects including documentary films, educational software, public talks, festival events, panel discussions and debates. In 2012, he was nominated for the University of Edinburgh's Tam Dalyell Prize For Excellence in Engaging the Public With Science, and in 2013 he was nominated for the RSE's Innovator Prize for Public Engagement.


Working Groups: Research the Headlines;


Areas of Interest
Physics and Astronomy
University of St Andrews
Key words
astrophysics, astronomy, astrobiology, SETI, public engagement

Our Members

Olof Johansson is a Royal Society of Edinburgh/BP Trust Research Fellow in the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. His research group uses recent advances in ultrafast laser techniques, which have made it possible to explore magnetic interactions on unprecedented timescales, and apply these to study magnetisation dynamics in molecular materials.

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