Public Lecture

Date: Tuesday, 25 June
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: University of Washington, Kane Hall, room 130
Organizer: Linda Billings

The search for extraterrestrial life: what's it all about?

As we search for evidence of life beyond Earth, what exactly is it that we're looking for? Astrobiology - the study of the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe - raises questions about who we are, what it means to be human, how human cultures might respond to the discovery of life elsewhere.

Three outstanding scholars and thinkers - an astrobiologist, an astrophysicist, and an English professor, will offer their views on these and other social and conceptual issues in astrobiology. All three have held the prestigious Blumberg Chair in Astrobiology at the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress.

The Kluge Center brings together the world's best thinkers to contribute to the conversation about the challenges facing democracies in the 21st century. The Blumberg Chair establishes a focus on the nation's capital for the exploration of issues surrounding the status and future of life in the universe.

Speakers at this program will be:

  • Astrobiologist David Grinspoon, inaugural Blumberg Chair, 2012-2013
  • Astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz, Blumberg Chair, 2017-2018
  • English professor, Bruce Clarke, literature and science professor, current Blumberg Chair, 2018-2019