Friends of KITP

Science at the KITP addresses questions at the very frontiers of fundamental knowledge, provoking new questions, passions and, sometimes, fierce debate. We invite you to spend evenings with some of the world’s most exciting physicists, sharing refreshments and conversation about emerging ideas on how the universe began, the role of dark matter, how the stars and planets are formed or the brain works, or even what is the true nature of space and time.

Friends of KITP creates educational and entertaining opportunities for members of the community to engage with renowned scientists. If you enjoy learning, community engagement and intellectual challenge, you will find a membership in Friends of KITP to be immensely rewarding.

To view a roster of current Friends of KITP, please click here

Message from the Chair of Friends

Derek WestenI consider myself privileged indeed to be able to serve as Chair of Friends of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Like you, I am interested in a wide array of topics, am fascinated by science and the interconnections between the sciences and the arts, and am stimulated by the opportunity to meet with scientists working at the very frontier of knowledge. The Friends has provided me unique and unforgettable experiences I never thought I could find.

Members of the Friends have been able to meet Stephen Hawking and attend his presentations about his work; meet and hear Brian Greene, author of "The Elegant Universe"; attend lectures for lay people by Lars Bildsten on cosmology, by John Grunsfeld, U.S. astronaut, on the Hubble Space Telescope repairs, by Bill Bialek on the human brain; and attend lectures and events pertaining to the intersection of art and science. Members of the higher circles have enjoyed a VIP private tour of the Jet Propulsion Lab led by Dan McCleese, Chief Scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program and other special events.

We have ensured that membership is affordable. Yet all of these extraordinary opportunities are provided free to members of the Friends of KITP.

I am sure that you will find membership in the Friends to be as enjoyable and stimulating as it has been for me. We welcome you and hope to see you soon at an event of the Friends of KITP.


Derek Westen

VIP members of Friends have enjoyed a private tour of the Jet Propulsion Lab and Palomar Observatory!

Members of the higher circles at a VIP private tour of the Jet Propulsion Lab

Members of the higher circles at a VIP private tour of the Jet Propulsion Lab