Dr. Max Bernstein

December 19, 2006

Co-Investigator, NASA Ames

Max Bernstein received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from McGill University in Montreal (where he learned in the labs of Dr. David Harpp) and returned to New York to continue his studies in chemistry. In graduate school at Cornell University Max performed kinetics on reactions in the presence of TMEDA, and got his Ph.D. working with Dr. David Collum, from whom he received much knowledge and amusement.

Max is currently a research scientist at NASA Ames where he studies the (organic) photochemistry of interstellar/cometary ices with Drs. Louis J. Allamandola and Scott A. Sandford. Dr. Bernstein has won the Zeldovich Medal (awarded jointly by the Russian Academy of Sciences and COSPAR, an international space organization) two of NASA Ames Space Science Division Awards, an Ames honor award, an American Chemical Society Newsmaker award, and has twice been member of a team that won NASA's group achievement award.

Dr. Bernstein co-organized (with Jennifer Blank) an ACS Special Symposium on Extraterrestrial chemistry, and similar sessions at COSPAR meetings that have appeared as special issues of the journal Advances in Space Research. Max has contributed to books such as CRC Dictionary of Geophysics, Astrophysics and Astronomy, published a number of technical papers in peer reviewed scientific journals including in the prestigious Science and Nature. For a non-technical version of what he does and why we care you can read online versions of his articles for Scientific American and Strange Horizons.

You can read popular science articles written by others about some of Dr. Bernstein's work at Wired News, You can listen to one of his interviews on line with the BBC, and enjoy talks he gave at the RPI NSCORT, and McGill Univeristy (you need windows media player, click on Lecture 99). Dr. Bernstein has appeared occasionally on the radio and TV (i.e., tactical to practical) and often addresses scientific assemblies, educational institutions, and corporate gatherings.

Dr. Bernstein is the Principal Investigator on grants from the Planetary Geology and Geophysics and Exobiology programs, is a Co-Investigator on an origins of solar systems grant, and is a Co-Investigator on two NASA Astrobiology Institute grants through the Ames and SETI Institute teams.

Max spends his free time after work, cooking, trying new restaurants and wine. Max makes wine too. 

Contact Information:

Dr. Max Bernstein
M/S 245-6,
Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000
(650) 604-0194
Fax: (650) 604-6779



Lectures and Presentations