COLLOQUIUM: Astrobiology and the Role of Humans on Earth and Beyond
Speaker: Dr. David Grinspoon, Astrobiologist, Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute
*This event is sponsored by the Planetary Ethics and Artificial Intelligence Lab (PETAL) of the Humanities Research Center.
Astrobiology is the study of the potential for life in the universe. It combines exploration of other planets with a study of the history of life on Earth in order to determine where else life may thrive and how we can go about finding it. This gives us a “deep time” view of the major changes our planet has experienced throughout its evolution. This perspective can also shed light on the major changes our planet is now experiencing as the result of human activities. I will discuss some of the ethical and scientific problems raised by the effort to explore other planets, and how this new knowledge can help us face the challenges of managing the impacts of human civilization on a planet increasingly altered by us.
Dr. David Grinspoon is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author, as well as a frequent advisor to NASA on space exploration strategy. He is a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and serves on the science teams of several active spacecraft missions. In 2013, he was appointed as the inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at the U.S. Library of Congress where he studied the human impact on Earth and organized a public symposium on the Longevity of Human Civilization. Grinspoon's writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Scientific American, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. He lectures widely, and appears frequently on television, radio and podcasts. His 2016 book Earth in Human Hands was named by NPR Science Friday as one of the ten best science books of the year.
This event is open to all. For any queries email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 3665 7149.
Listen to an interview students conducted with Dr. Grinspoon last semester here.