Searching for Life in the Universe

Eastern hemisphere of Earth from space. In this photo, cape horn Africa is plainly visible. At the bottom, the southern polar cap gleams white. (Image from NASA, Photo No. AC17-148-22730)

Eastern hemisphere of Earth from space. In this photo, cape horn
Africa is plainly visible. At the bottom, the southern polar cap
gleams white. (Image from NASA, Photo No. AC17-148-22730)

The following was originally published on the John W. Kluge Center’s RSS newsfeed. Inside Adams is republishing it since this event and topic might be of interest to our science readers.

On Tuesday, January 28, at 4 p.m., The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress will host a public conversation between its outgoing and incoming Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chairs in Astrobiology: David H. Grinspoon and Steven J. Dick. The dialogue is a unique opportunity for conversation between two of the world’s leading astrobiology researchers. Joel Achenbach, reporter for The Washington Post, will moderate. [Update 4/11/2014: The Searching for Life webcast and YouTube video  are available for viewing]

The conversation, titled “Searching for Life in the Universe: What Does it Mean for Humanity?” will focus on the societal and humanistic implications of astrobiology. Should we discover evidence of life in the universe, what will be the ramifications for humanity and society? Dr. Dick and Dr. Grinspoon will offer insights based on their research conducted at the Library of Congress and throughout their careers.

Dr. Steven Dick, Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology. Photo courtesy House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Dr. Steven Dick, Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology. Photo courtesy House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

grinspoon

Photograph of Dr. David H. Grinspoon. Photo credit Henry Throop. Used by Permission.

Dr. Steven Dick is a well-known astronomer, author, and historian of science. His research at the Library of Congress investigates the human consequences of searching and potentially discovering microbial or intelligent life beyond Earth. Dick most recently testified before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology about astrobiology and the search for bio-signatures in our solar system.

Dr. David Grinspoon held the inaugural astrobiology chair position at the Library of Congress from November 2012 to October 2013. His successful tenure included a day-long symposium on the longevity of human civilization and speaking appearances at the Library, NASA headquarters, NASA Goddard Research Center, the Philosophical Society of Washington, the Carnegie Institute, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Grinspoon’s research at the Library of Congress examined the history of the Earth from an astrobiological perspective, and the consequences for life on Earth in the “Anthropocene Era,” the name given by some scientists to the current era in the Earth’s history.

Moderator Joel Achenbach has been a staff writer for The Washington Post since 1990. He is the author of seven books including, “Captured By Aliens: The Search for Life and Truth in a Very Large Universe.” Assigned to The Post’s national desk, he writes on science and politics.

Flyer for "Searching for Life in the Universe" -Conversations with Dr. David H. Grinspoon and Dr. Steven J. Dick sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, January 28, 2014.

Flyer for “Searching for Life in the Universe” -Conversations with Dr. David H. Grinspoon and Dr. Steven J. Dick sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, January 28, 2014.

What: “Searching for Life in the Universe: What Does it Mean for Humanity?” with Dr. Steven J. Dick and Dr. David H. Grinspoon, moderated by Joel Achenbach of The Washington Post.

When: Tuesday, January 28, at 4:00 p.m.

Where: Room LJ-119, 1st Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress. 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Directions and maps

Free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed. Please request ADA accommodations five days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov.

Can’t join us in person? Watch webcasts of Kluge Center events on YouTube or download lectures on iTunes U.

More Astrobiology Resources from The John W. Kluge Center and Science Reference Section:

The John W. Kluge Center was established at the Library of Congress in 2000 to foster a mutually enriching relationship between the world of ideas and the world of action, between scholars and political leaders. The Center attracts outstanding scholarly figures to Washington, D.C., facilitates their access to the Library’s remarkable collections, and helps them engage in conversation with policymakers and the public. If you would like to stay up-to-date on activities and events at the The John Kluge Center you can sign up for its email notifications.

One Comment

  1. Joel Alvarado Aguilar, MD
    January 23, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Congratulations for the conference “search for life in the universo” is a topic that need to be in every school in the planet, our youths, our society forget the real problems like ecology, weapons of mass destruction, overpopulation, the society are blind for the mass media, movies, electronic games, and with lifes like holliwood, but non of them are real, specially in the US, we need to work together, like the SETI Project with all the PCs around the wordl. The most important thing to seach for life in the universo is thinking as a quntum physics stándar model, the observer can collapse the quantum wave, it is a reality, if doen´t matter if we cann´t understand it or not, our beliefs, religións and the mayority of our phylosophies are wrong, We can not think like XX century. I hope that the conference will be without taboos.

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