Dr. David Grinspoon
- The Earth moves through space.
- "Now" has universal meaning.
- The "Old One" does not play dice with the universe.
Sooner or later, humans will walk on the Red Planet. NASA scientist Pascal Lee and The Martian author Andy Weir want it to be “sooner,” and they have deep insights—both technical and psychological—about how to make it happen. Join Lee and Weir in conversation with science writer Mary Roach (Packing for Mars) for a spirited conversation on the promise and peril of humanity’s first in-person exploration of an alien planet.
Dr. Pascal Lee is the author of Mission: Mars. He is also co-founder of the Mars Institute, planetary scientist at the SETI Institute, and principal investigator for NASA's Haughton-Mars Project. Andy Weir is the author of The Martian. He is working on a new "hard sci-fi" novel (where everything is accurate to real-world physics) set in a city on the Moon. It's about a woman who, as a low-level criminal, gets in way over her head (... and high above ours).
Produced in collaboration with the Commonwealth Club Silicon Valley.
Produced in collaboration with the Commonwealth Club Silicon Valley. Purchase discount tickets through THIS LINK with promo code WONDERFEST.
Freeing us from a measure of captivity will be Stanford mathematician Keith Devlin. He has untangled great ideas on National Public Radio, and he is the author of numerous popular books. Dr. Devlin will help us to understand Ramanujan’s revelations. Central to his insights — and central to the fundamental tension in the movie — is the murky provenance of mathematical truths: Where do math insights come from, and how important is the concept of proof?
Dr. Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer at the SETI Institute, will discuss the scientific rationale behind the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and some of the recent discoveries that are informing and spurring the search.
Speaker Jeff Sheehy is director for communications at the UCSF AIDS Research Institute, and a former member of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine's governing board. A longtime HIV/AIDS and LGBT human rights activist, Jeff served as HIV/AIDS advisor to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Jeff has received the Human Rights Campaign's Leadership Award, the Caped Crusader Award from equality California, and he has been named to OUT magazine's "Out 100" and POZ magazine's "POZ 100."
Dr. Holger Müller is Associate Professor of Physics at UC Berkeley. He and his research group develop experimental approaches to fundamental and applied physics questions. His expertise in instrument design was demonstrated at the ripe old age of 14 when he earned his first patent.
Admission is FREE, but please register below. Bring a flashlight; and, just in case, wear warm clothes in layers. If bad weather threatens, call 415-455-5370 after 4pm. Hang around afterward for a laser-guided tour of the night sky AND for celestial viewing through the big telescopes of the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers (SFAA). This event is co-produced by Wonderfest, the Mount Tam Astronomy Program, Mt. Tamalpais State Park, Friends of Mt. Tam, and the SFAA.
This event is jointly presented by Wonderfest, the Mt. Tam Astronomy Program, Mt. Tamalpais State Park, the Friends of Mt. Tam, and the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers.
Our speaker, SETI Institute astrobiolgist Nathalie Cabrol, is presented by: Wonderfest, the Mt. Tam Astronomy Program, Mt. Tamalpais State Park, The Friends of Mt. Tam, and the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers.
[Black Holes with Einstein image from Discover magazine.]
Join Dr. Gregory Tranah, CPMC Research Institute and UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, for this penetrating and FREE exploration of healthy aging. Just kindly register with Eventbrite.
TICKETS: Get general NightLife info, and purchase tickets here.
7:00pm – Eliot Quataert (Director, UC Berkeley Theoretical Astrophysics Center) on "How the Universe Evolved from Smooth to Lumpy" — The infant universe was remarkably uniform, with only tiny differences in its properties from one part to another. By contrast, the present universe exhibits enormous differences: some regions host planets, stars, and galaxies (and even humans!) while others do not. Prof. Quataert will describe how the universe evolved from its smooth beginnings to its current state, emphasizing how gravity reigns supreme and builds up the planets, stars, and galaxies required for biological evolution to proceed.
8:00pm – Dave Deamer (Professor of Biomolecular Engineering, UC Santa Cruz) on "Salty Sea or Darwin's Pond: Where Did Life Begin?" — Many undersea hydrothermal vents are loaded with bacteria, so scientists propose that life could have begun in similar sites four billion years ago. But science works best when there is competition between ideas. Prof. Deamer will describe field studies in the hydrothermal fields of Hawaii, Iceland, Kamchatka, and Mt. Lassen’s Bumpass Hell. He’ll discuss lab simulations that argue in favor of life’s origin in the fresh water environment suggested by Charles Darwin in 1871.
9:00pm – Henry Gilbert (Associate Professor of Anthropology, Cal State East Bay) on "Human Civilization from a Paleoanthropologist's Perspective" — Webster’s defines civilization as “the condition that exists when people have developed effective ways of organizing a society and care about art, science, etc.” Is civilization a useful term in academia? … in geopolitics? Does the term unite or divide humanity? Using numerous visual presentations of artifacts, excavations, and prehistoric societies, Prof. Gilbert will address the archaeological origins of intelligence, art, and other aspects of modern human behavior that may constitute civilization.