Contopoulos George

George Contopoulos
Academy Member

Biographical note

Astronomy   (1997)

Academician, Emeritus Professor of the University of Athens and of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He was born in Egion, Greece, on the 3rd October 1928. He received his B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Athens, Greece (1950) and his Ph.D. from the same University in 1953. He was elected Professor of Astronomy at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (1957). In 1975, he was elected Professor of Astronomy at the University of Athens (Emeritus since 1998). He has served as Director of the Astronomical Institute of the National Observatory of Athens (1975-1982), General Director of the National Observatory of Athens (1990-1993), Executive Director of the National Research Foundation (1978-79), vice- Chairman of the Greek National Astronomical Committee (1957-1983), National Representative of the NATO Scientific Committee (1976-1983). Member of the Research Grants Committee of NATO (1991-1994), of the Astronomy Committee of the European Science Foundation (1976-83), of the Organizing Committee of the Astronomy Division of the European Physical Society (1976-1982) and of the Organizing Committees of more than 30 international meetings. He has served as Visiting Professor at the Universities: Yale (1962), Harvard (1968), MIT (1969), Cornell (1982), Chicago (1969, 1981), Maryland (1971, 1974, 1978), Florida (1985-1991) Florida State (1998) and Milan (1998, 1992). He has been Scientific Associate of the Yerkes Observatory (1963), of the Institute for Advanced Study (1963), of NASA (1963-67, 1971), of Columbia University (1968) and of the European Southern Observatory (1976-88). His scientific interests are mainly centered on Dynamical Astronomy, Relativity and Cosmology, Chaos, and Celestial Mechanics. He has published over 300 scientific papers on these subjects. He has also published or edited 16 scientific books in English, 4 textbooks in Greek, and over 300 smaller articles. He supervised over 50 theses and he has over 6500 citations. He is a member of the International Astronomical Union (he served as General Secretary of the IAU from 1973 to 1976, as Assistant General Secretary from 1970 to 1973 and as Consultant from 1976 to 1979), of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), of the Astronomische Gesellschaft, of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), of the European Astronomical Society and a founding member and two-terms Chairman (1994-1998) of the Hellenic Astronomical Society (Hel.A.S.). He has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the European Journal Astronomy & Astrophysics (1979-1993), and as Associate Editor of the journal Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy (1989-2009).

Honors: Brouwer Prize of the American Astronomical Society (1982), Associate of the Royal Academy of Sciences, President of the Galaxy Commission of the IAU, and Emeritus Chairman of Hel.A.S. He has been elected member of the Academia Europaea (1989), corresponding member of the Societé Royale de Liège (1971) and honorary Doctor of Science of the University of Chicago (1991) and of the University of Athens (2009). The University of Florida published a "Festschrift in Honor of George Contopoulos" (N.York Academy of Sciences, Vol.867, 1998). He has been elected Member of the Academy of Athens (1997) and he served as President of the Academy (2012). He supervises the Research Center for Astronomy and Applied Mathematics. He is married to Vaya Mantaka and they have a son and three daughters.


Information and contact

Supervisor of the Research Center for Astronomy and Applied Mathematics
4, Soranou Efesiou str., 11527 Athens

Tel.: +30 210 6597 601

Fax:  +30 210 6597602