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We’re likely not the first technological civilization to emerge from planetary evolution.
Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth
Monday, November 5, 7:30 pm
Featuring Adam Frank, University of Rochester
Our Earth is just one of ten billion trillion planets in the Universe. Using the latest science, in this talk we'll see that we’re likely not the first time a technological civilization has emerged from planetary evolution. More important, all those other worlds and other possibilities have a lesson to teach us. Beginning with a revolutionary new understanding of life and planets gained through the field called “astrobiology,” we see that how civilization formed on any planet is likely to have triggered its own version of climate change.
This “astrobiological” vantage point changes everything. Instead of seeing humanity as a greedy plague on the planet, in light of the stars, we become a kind of cosmic teenager. In this talk, we’ll use the stories of scientists, famous and unknown, to explore new science like the discovery of distant planets, the exploration of the worlds of our solar system, and the unpacking of Earth’s four billion-year history. Together they’ll show us a new story of humanity’s true coming of age in the Cosmos. It's a grand story of challenge, risk and hope, and fascinating science.
The lecture will be followed by a signing of Dr. Frank's book.
Adam Frank is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Rochester where his computational astrophysics group studies the origin and evolution of stars as well as the evolution of planets. Along with his research Adam describes himself as an “evangelist of science” and his commitment to showing others the beauty and power of science has led him to a second career as a popular writer and speaker. He is the author of the new book “Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth.” He is a co-founder of NPR’s 13.7: Cosmos and Culture blog, an on-air commentator for All Things Considered and an occasional contributor to the New York Times. He also served as the science consultant for Marvel Studio’s Dr. Strange.