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Category: Astrobiology

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Written at the Kluge Center: “The Impact of Discovering Life Beyond Earth”

Posted by: Jason Steinhauer

In a new series, we profile books, articles and other publications written by scholars-in-residence at The John W. Kluge Center and researched using the Library of Congress collections. Jason Steinhauer begins with the newly published “The Impact of Discovering Life Beyond Earth,” edited by 2013-14 Astrobiology Chair Steven Dick. Extraterrestrial life has not been discovered, …

Sweeping view from the floor of a great room, looking upwards past marble columns and arches to a grand golden-colored dome

Expanding the Astrobiology Conversation

Posted by: Jason Steinhauer

This year’s Blumberg Dialogues on Astrobiology expanded the conversations around astrobiology to include philosophers, historians, religion scholars, literature scholars, communications scholars and professors of English and theater, in addition to scientists. The videos of these public dialogues are now available on our website and YouTube; the dialogues were part of the Kluge Center’s Baruch S. …

Sweeping view from the floor of a great room, looking upwards past marble columns and arches to a grand golden-colored dome

Astrobiology and the Religious Imagination

Posted by: Jason Steinhauer

In December, NASA announced that its Mars Curiosity rover measured a tenfold spike in methane in the martian atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill. Then last week, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft provided scientists clear evidence that Saturn’s moon Enceladus exhibits signs of present-day hydrothermal …

Sweeping view from the floor of a great room, looking upwards past marble columns and arches to a grand golden-colored dome

How the Discovery of Life Will Transform Our Thinking

Posted by: Jason Steinhauer

Astrobiology Chair Steven Dick believes that the discovery of life in the universe is a question of when, not if. Such a discovery will take different forms: microbial life, possibly complex life, maybe even intelligent life. Researching the scenarios and investigating the potential outcomes and ramifications has been at the essence of Dick’s year-long residency …

Sweeping view from the floor of a great room, looking upwards past marble columns and arches to a grand golden-colored dome

History, Discovery and Analogy: Steven Dick Talks with C-SPAN’s American History TV About Discovering Life in the Universe

Posted by: Jason Steinhauer

In a new video interview with C-SPAN’s American History TV, Kluge Center astrobiology chair Steven Dick explains how history, discovery, and analogy may be useful frameworks for approaching the problem of what societal reactions may be to the discovery of life beyond Earth. Dick has spent the past year at the Library of Congress as …

Sweeping view from the floor of a great room, looking upwards past marble columns and arches to a grand golden-colored dome

Why Astrobiology Matters to the Humanities

Posted by: Jason Steinhauer

For the second year in a row, scholars in philosophy, the social sciences and humanities will come together with scientists at the Kluge Center this week to discuss the implications of astrobiology research on humanity and society. What does astrobiology matter to philosophers, anthropologists, historians and religion scholars? A great deal, it turns out. Astrobiology, …