TITLE: Searching for Life in the Universe: What Does it Mean for Humanity?
SPEAKER: David H. Grinspoon, Steven J. Dick
EVENT DATE: 01/28/2014
RUNNING TIME: 66 minutes
The outgoing and incoming Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chairs in Astrobiology -- David H. Grinspoon and Steven J. Dick -- discuss the societal implications of the search for life in the universe.
Speaker Biography: David H. 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. An internationally known planetary scientist, funded by NASA to study the evolution of Earth-like planets elsewhere in the universe, Grinspoon serves as an adviser to NASA on space-exploration strategy. He is involved with many space missions and is a trained suborbital astronaut. He has been published widely in popular magazines, scholarly journals, and blogs.
Speaker Biography: Steven J. Dick is an 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 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. Prior to holding the astrobiology chair at the Kluge Center, he was the chair in aerospace history at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. He served as the chief historian for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from 2003 to 2009.