Francis P Slakey


Adjunct Assistant Professor - Science in the Public Interest


Georgetown College
General profile


+1 202-687-7870


Reiss Science


Francis Slakey is the Upjohn Lecturer on Physics and Public Policy and the co-Director of the Program on Science in the Public Interest. He is also author of the best-selling adventure memoir “To The Last Breath”.

Dr. Slakey received his PhD in Physics in 1992 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His technical publications have received more than 500 citations. He has also written widely on science policy issues, publishing more than fifty articles for the popular press including The New York Times, Washington Post, and Scientific American. He has served in advisory positions for a diverse set of organizations including the Council on Foreign Relations, the National Geographic, and the Creative Coalition - the political advocacy organization of the entertainment industry. He is a Fellow of the APS, a Fellow of the AAAS, a MacArthur Scholar, and a Lemelson Research Associate of the Smithsonian Institution.

Dr. Slakey became the 28th American to summit Mt. Everest in an unguided expedition that was the subject of the movie "Beyond the Summit" narrated by Sharon Stone. He is the first person in history to summit the highest mountain on every continent and surf every ocean. In recognition, as part of the 2002 Olympic Games, he carried the Olympic torch from the steps of the US Capitol.


  • PhD (1992) University of Illinois, Urbana, Physics