William Irvine is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1961. His research focuses on astrochemistry and astrobiology. Irvine was co-chairman of the NASA-sponsored Exobiology in Earth Orbit Workshops in 1984 and 1985. He was also a member of the Space Science Board Committee on Planetary Biology and Chemical Evolution.