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Geoffrey Marcy

geoffrey marcy, geoffrey marcy and susan kegel
Geoffrey William Marcy born September 29, 1954 is an American astronomer He is one of the pioneers and leaders in the discovery and characterization of exoplanets Marcy was Professor of Astronomy at the University of California, Berkeley and an Adjunct Professor of Physics and Astronomy at San Francisco State University before stepping down in October 2015 His colleagues in the Berkeley Astronomy Department forced him to resign after allegations of sexual harassment were substantiated by a Berkeley investigation[4][5][6]

Marcy and his research teams are recognized for discovering many extrasolar planets, including 70 out of the first 100 known exoplanets[7] and also the first planetary system around a Sun-like star, Upsilon Andromedae[8][9] Marcy was a co-Investigator on the NASA Kepler mission[10] that discovered over 4000 exoplanets Early collaborators include R Paul Butler, Debra Fischer and Steven S Vogt[1][11] Later collaborators include Jason Wright, Andrew Howard, Katie Peek, John Johnson, Erik Petigura, Lauren Weiss, Lea Hirsch and the Kepler Science Team[10]


  • 1 Early life and education
  • 2 Academic career
    • 21 Sexual harassment scandal
  • 3 Personal
  • 4 In the media
  • 5 Honors
  • 6 See also
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Early life and education

Marcy graduated from Granada Hills High School in Granada Hills, California, in 1972[2] He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude with a double major in physics and astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1976[12] He then completed a doctorate in astronomy in 1982 at the University of California, Santa Cruz,[13] with much of his work done at Lick Observatory

Academic career

Marcy has held teaching and research positions, first at the Carnegie Institution of Washington then the Mt Wilson and Las Campanas Observatories as a Carnegie Fellow from 1982 to 1984[2] He then worked as an Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy from 1984 to 1996 and then as a Distinguished University Professor from 1997 to 1999 at the San Francisco State University[14]

Marcy was a Professor of Astronomy and the Watson and Marilyn Alberts Chair for SETI[1][15] at the University of California, Berkeley from 1999 through 2015 In 2015, he resigned after being found in violation of UC Berkeley's sexual harassment policy From 2000 to 2012, he was the Director of UC Berkeley's Center for Integrative Planetary Science Marcy was also one of the project leaders of the Breakthrough Initiatives that will search for intelligent life in the universe, using large radio and optical telescopes[16][17]

Marcy and his team confirmed Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz's discovery of the first extrasolar planet orbiting a Sun-like star—51 Pegasi b[18] Two months later, Marcy and his team followed this confirmation with the announcement of the discovery of two additional planets around 47 Ursa Majoris[19] and 70 Virginis[20] Other achievements include discovering the first multiple planet system around a star similar to our own Upsilon Andromedae,[8][9] the first transiting planet around another star, simultaneously with David Charbonneau and Timothy Brown HD209458b, the first extrasolar planet orbiting beyond 5 AU 55 Cancri d,[21] and the first Neptune-sized planets Gliese 436b and 55 Cancri e[22] Marcy was a Co-Investigator of the NASA Kepler mission[10] that discovered over 4000 exoplanets, most being smaller than 4 times the size of Earth His team, led by Erik Petigura and Andrew Howard, showed that approximately 20% of Sun-like stars have a planet of 1–2 times the size of Earth and receive incident stellar light within a factor of 4 of the light the Earth receives from the Sun, making them warm planets, many of which accommodate liquid water[23]

More recently, in May 2017, Marcy was involved in studies related to laser light emissions from stars, as a way of detecting technology-related signals from an alien civilization The study included KIC 8462852, an oddly dimming star in which its unusual starlight fluctuations may be the result of interference by an artificial megastructure, such as a Dyson swarm, made by such a civilization No evidence was found for technology-related signals from KIC 8462852 in the studies[24][25][26]

Sexual harassment scandal

In 2015, an investigation by the University of California, Berkeley Title IX office found that Geoffrey Marcy had violated the University's sexual harassment policy[27] between 2001 and 2010[28][29][30] Four complaints were filed with the University's Title IX office, one of which Marcy denied as false[31] At least three additional allegations were made against Marcy as early as 1995 while he was at San Francisco State University, as corroborated by Penny Nixon, then SFSU's sexual harassment officer[32]

On October 7, 2015, Geoff Marcy posted an "Open Letter to the Astronomy Community" stating “While I do not agree with each complaint that was made, it is clear that my behavior was unwelcomed by some women I take full responsibility and hold myself completely accountable for my actions and the impact they had For that and to the women affected, I sincerely apologize”[33]

On October 12, 2015, the UC Berkeley Astronomy Department met and released a statement asserting that Marcy was "inadequately disciplined"[34] by the University, and "we believe that Geoff Marcy cannot perform the functions of a faculty member"[5][35] Berkeley had recently been found on a list produced by the United States Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, revealing that they were under review for potentially mishandling previous sexual violence cases[36] In a follow-up statement, the university claimed they had "imposed real consequences on Professor Geoff Marcy by establishing a zero tolerance policy regarding future behavior and by stripping him of the procedural protections that all other faculty members enjoy"[34]

On the same day, Marcy resigned as Principal Investigator of the Breakthrough Listen project[37] Two days later, on October 14, 2015, he indicated his intention to step down from his professorship at UC Berkeley[38][39]


Marcy lives with his wife, Susan Kegley,[40] in California[1]

In the media

Earlier, and as a pioneer in the study of extrasolar planets, Marcy has been featured prominently in the media, including Time magazine,[41][42] The New York Times,[1][43] Astronomy magazine[44] and as a participant in various PBS Nova episodes: "Hunt for Alien Worlds" 1997, "Finding Life Beyond Earth" 2012, "Alien Planets Revealed" 2014;[45] a BBC Horizon episode: "The Planet Hunters" 1996 and History Channel programs: The Universe 2007 Marcy was also featured on ABC News Nightline October 20, 1995,[46] The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour January 18, 1996, The David Letterman Show April 12, 2001, a Planetary Radio interview 2007[47] and a National Academy of Sciences interview 2014[48]


  • ABC News Hour: "Person of the Week"' January 26, 1996[49]
  • California Scientist of the Year 2000
  • Henry Draper Medal of the National Academy of Sciences with R Paul Butler 2001[50]
  • Elected Member of the National Academy of Sciences 2002[51]
  • Beatrice Tinsley prize from the American Astronomical Society 2002
  • NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement 2003
  • Discover Magazine: Space Scientist of the Year 2003
  • Shaw Prize with Michel Mayor 2005[52]
  • On October 28, 2006 he received an honorary doctorate in science from the University of Delaware[53]
  • Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization from Wonderfest 2009[54]
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2010[55]
  • PNAS Cozzarelli Prize Recipient, with Erik Petigura and Andrew Howard 2013[56]
  • On June 9, 2012 he received an honorary doctorate in science from The University of Chicago
  • Named the 2015 Miller Senior Fellow of the Miller Institute at the University of California Berkeley[57]

See also

  • List of stars with confirmed planets
  • Sexual harassment in the workplace in the United States
  • Sexual harassment in education in the United States


  1. ^ a b c d e Overbye, Dennis May 12, 2013 "Finder of New Worlds" New York Times Retrieved May 13, 2014 
  2. ^ a b c "Autobiography of Geoffrey Marcy" The Shaw Prize Shaw Prize Foundation Retrieved August 22, 2015 
  3. ^ Tim Stephens September 4, 2007 "Major gift supports crucial piece of Automated Planet Finder" University of California, Santa Cruz Retrieved October 6, 2010 
  4. ^ "Letter from UC Berkeley Astronomy faculty to Geoff Marcy" PDF October 12, 2015 
  5. ^ a b Overbye, Dennis October 13, 2015 "Geoffrey Marcy's Berkeley Astronomy Colleagues Call for His Dismissal" New York Times 
  6. ^ "Berkeley astronomers call for colleague's firing over sexual harassment: Multiple violations have few clear consequences for leading exoplanet researcher" October 14, 2015 
  7. ^ Marcy, GW 2014 "Technology Enabling the First 100 Exoplanets" AAS Meeting Abstracts 223: 9103 Bibcode:2014AAS2239103M 
  8. ^ a b "A Family of Giants: First System of Multiple Planets Found around a Sun-like Star" NASA Science News NASA Retrieved August 16, 2015 
  9. ^ a b "SFSU Public Affairs Press Release: First system of multiple planets found around a Sun-like star" San Francisco State University Public Affairs Office at San Francisco State University Retrieved August 16, 2015 
  10. ^ a b c "Kepler Team" Kepler: A Search For Habitable Planets Ames Research Center Retrieved August 18, 2015 
  11. ^ Lemonick, Michael December 16, 2009 "Super-Earth: Astronomers Find a Watery New Planet" Time Retrieved December 17, 2009 
  12. ^ "UCLA Spotlight" Spotlightuclacom UCLA Marketing and Communications Retrieved August 17, 2015 
  13. ^ "Alumni Achievement Award" University of California Santa Cruz Alumni Regents of the University of California Archived from the original on August 31, 2015 Retrieved August 17, 2015 
  14. ^ "Multiple planets discovered around Upsilon Andromeda" Harvard-Smithsonain Center for Astrophysics Retrieved August 24, 2015 
  15. ^ Dvorsky, George June 8, 2012 "Meet SETI's new boss: Geoff Marcy, the planet hunter" Retrieved June 14, 2012 
  16. ^ "Leaders" Breakthrough Initiatives Breakthrough Prize Foundation Archived from the original on August 27, 2015 Retrieved August 24, 2015 
  17. ^ "Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking Announce $100 Million Breakthrough Initiative to Dramatically Accelerate Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe" Breakthrough Initiatives Retrieved August 17, 2015 
  18. ^ Marcy, GW Butler, RP, Williams, E, etal 1997 "The Planet around 51 Pegasi" Astrophys J 481 926: 926–935 Bibcode:1997ApJ481926M doi:101086/304088 CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list link
  19. ^ Butler, Paul, Marcy, Geoffrey 1996 "A Planet Orbiting 47 Uma" Astrophysical Journal 464: L153 Bibcode:1996ApJ464L153B doi:101086/310102 Retrieved 28 October 2015 
  20. ^ Marcy, Geoffrey, Butler, Paul 1996 "A Planetary Companion to 70 Virginis" Astrophysical Journal Letters 464: L147 Bibcode:1996ApJ464L147M doi:101086/310096 Retrieved 28 October 2015 
  21. ^ Marcy, GW, Butler, RP, Fischer, D A etal 2002 "A Planet at 5 AU around 55 Cancri" Astrophysical Journal 581 1375: 1375–1388 arXiv:astro-ph/0207294  Bibcode:2002ApJ5811375M doi:101086/344298 CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list link
  22. ^ Britt, Robert Roy "Two Neptune-Mass Planets Found, Earth-Size Worlds Next" Spacecom Retrieved August 17, 2015 
  23. ^ Petigura, EA, Howard, AW, Marcy, GW 2013 "Prevalence of Earth-size planets Orbiting Sun-like stars" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110 19273: 19273–19278 arXiv:13116806  Bibcode:2013PNAS11019273P doi:101073/pnas1319909110 PMC 3845182  PMID 24191033 CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list link
  24. ^ Koren, Marina 17 April 2017 "Searching the Skies for Alien Laser Beams - A new study scanned 5,600 stars for tiny emissions of light, which may be the best way for an extraterrestrial civilization to signal its existence" The Atlantic Retrieved 3 June 2017 
  25. ^ Tellis, Nathaniel K; Marcy, Geoffrey W April 2017 "A Search for Laser Emission with Megawatt Thresholds from 5600 FGKM Stars" PDF The Astronomical Journal 153: 251 arXiv:170402535  Bibcode:2017AJ153251T doi:103847/1538-3881/aa6d12 
  26. ^ Tellis, Nathaniel K; Marcy, Geoffrey W 12 May 2017 "A Search for Laser Emission with Megawatt Thresholds from 5600 FGKM Stars" The Astronomical Journal 153 6: 251 arXiv:170402535  Bibcode:2017AJ153251T doi:103847/1538-3881/aa6d12 Retrieved 3 June 2017 
  27. ^ University of California June 17, 2015 "UC Berkeley Sexual Harassment Policy" Archived from the original on October 13, 2015 Retrieved October 27, 2015 
  28. ^ Overbye, Dennis October 10, 2015 "Geoffrey Marcy, Astronomer at Berkeley, Apologizes for Behavior" New York Times Retrieved October 11, 2015 
  29. ^ Andersen, Ross October 10, 2015 "The Consequences of Sexual Harassment in Astronomy" The Atlantic Retrieved October 10, 2015 
  30. ^ Mervis, Jeffrey October 9, 2015 "Berkeley astronomer found guilty of sexual harassment" Science Insider Retrieved October 10, 2015 
  31. ^ Kleinfeld, Zoe, Abbott, Katy October 14, 2015 "Campus astronomer Geoffrey Marcy to resign amid sexual harassment allegations" The Daily Californian Retrieved October 28, 2015 
  32. ^ Ghorayshi, Azeen October 23, 2015 "Famous Astronomer Accused Of Sexual Harassment At His Previous Job, Too" BuzzFeed Retrieved November 5, 2015 
  33. ^ Marcy, Geoff October 7, 2015 "An Open Letter to the Astronomy Community" PDF Retrieved October 12, 2015 
  34. ^ a b Leff, Lisa October 12, 2015 "UC Berkeley says astronomer was appropriately disciplined" AP News Retrieved October 12, 2015 
  35. ^ "Letter from UC Berkeley Astronomy faculty to Geoff Marcy" PDF October 12, 2015 
  36. ^ Kingkade, Tyler May 19, 2015 "A Number Of Colleges Are Under Scrutiny For Sexual Harassment, But You Wouldn't Know It" Huffington Post Retrieved 27 October 2015 
  37. ^ http://wwwbreakthroughinitiativesorg/News/2
  38. ^ Nanette Asimov October 14, 2015 "Embattled astronomer resigns from UC Berkeley post amid sex harassment scandal" San Francisco Chronicle 
  39. ^ Overbye, Dennis October 14, 2015 "Geoffrey Marcy to Resign From Berkeley Astronomy Department" New York Times Retrieved October 15, 2015 
  40. ^ "Susan Kegley, PhD" Pesticide Research Institute Retrieved August 17, 2015 
  41. ^ Lemonick, Michael D February 5, 1996 "Searching for Other Worlds" contenttimecom Time Magazine Retrieved August 18, 2015 
  42. ^ Dorminey, Bruce 2002 Distant Wanderers: The Search for Planets Beyond the Solar System New York: Copernicus Books p 51 ISBN 0-387-95074-5 
  43. ^ Noble Wilford, John February 9, 1997 "In a Golden Age of Discovery, Faraway Worlds Beckon" New York Times New York Times Retrieved 18 August 2015 
  44. ^ Marcy, Geoff; Butler, Paul March 2000 "Hunting Planets Beyond" Astronomy Retrieved November 12, 2015 
  45. ^ "NOVA - Alien Planets Revealed" pbsorg Retrieved August 17, 2015 
  46. ^ Dorminey, Bruce 2002 Distant Wanderers: The Search for Planets Beyond the Solar System New York: Copernicus Books p 52 ISBN 0-387-95074-5 
  47. ^ Marcy, Geoff November 26, 2007 "Planetary Radio 5th Anniversary Show: Astronomer Geoff Marcy on Discovery of Fifth Planet in Star System 28:52" Planetary Society Retrieved November 12, 2015 
  48. ^ "InterViews" National Academy of Sciences Retrieved August 17, 2015 
  49. ^ Goldsmith, Donald 1997 Worlds Unnumbered: The Search for ExtraSolar Planets Sausalito, CA: University Science Books p 1 ISBN 0-935702-97-0 
  50. ^ "Henry Draper Medal" National Academy of Sciences Archived from the original on January 26, 2013 Retrieved February 24, 2011 
  51. ^ "Member Directory" National Academy of Sciences Retrieved August 12, 2015 
  52. ^ "2005 Announcement and Citation" The Shaw Prize Retrieved August 10, 2015 
  53. ^ "Honorary Degree Recipients from 1997 to present" University of Delaware Retrieved August 10, 2015 
  54. ^ "Sagan Prize Recipients" wonderfestorg 2011 Retrieved September 10, 2011 
  55. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter A" PDF American Academy of Arts and Sciences Retrieved April 13, 2011 
  56. ^ "PNAS Announces Six 2013 Cozzareli Prize Recipients" National Academy of Sciences Archived from the original on May 14, 2014 Retrieved March 6, 2014 
  57. ^ "Miller Professors" Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science University of California, Berkeley Retrieved August 29, 2015 

External links

  • Marcy's personal homepage
  • Autobiography
  • Talk by Dr Geoff Marcy on Extrasolar Planets 2008 on YouTube
  • Interview with Geoff Marcy March 11, 2009
  • Interview with Geoff Marcy February 1, 2011

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