Elizabeth Blackburn is president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine. Elissa Epel is founding director of UCSF's Center on Obesity Assessment, Study, and Treatment. Their discussion will be moderated by syndicated talk-show host Angie Coiro.
- The Earth moves through space.
- "Now" has universal meaning.
- The "Old One" does not play dice with the universe.
Dr. Ken Wharton
Dr. David Grinspoon
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.
Dr. Xiaosheng Huang
Dr. Norbert Werner
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.
Dr. Holger Müller
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."
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.
Gregory Tranah, PhD
[Black Holes with Einstein image from Discover magazine.]
Dr. Janna Levin
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.
Dr. Seth Shostak
Kindly register with Eventbrite, below.
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.
Dr. Nathalie Cabrol
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.
- WHAT: Wonderfest's "ORIGINS NightLife" at the Cal Academy
- WHO: Eliot Quataert (UC Berkeley); Dave Deamer (UC Santa Cruz); Henry Gilbert (Cal State East Bay)
- WHEN: 6:00 PM, Thursday, May 12
- WHERE: California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
- HOW: Purchase tickets via the Cal Academy.
- WHY: Because we're curious creatures.
Dr. Chris McKay
- WHO: Sean M. Carroll, Professor of Physics, California Institute of Technology
- WHAT: The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself
- WHEN: 7:00 PM, Monday, May 16, 2016
- WHERE: Cubberley Community Theater, 4000 Middlefield Road (at Montrose Avenue)
- HOW: Purchase Wonderfest DISCOUNT tickets through the Commonwealth Club Silicon Valley HERE.
- WHY: Because we're curious creatures.
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.
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?