Black Holes in Space: Hearts of Darkness

Saturday June 23rd, 2012
3:00 pm
Ballroom C

Buy the Panel Discussion DVD


Robert J. Sawyer - one of only eight writers in history to win all three of the science-fiction field’s top awards for best novel of the year: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He frequently writes about SETI, including in the Hugo Award finalists Rollback and Factoring Humanity. The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his novel of the same name. He has published in Science (guest editorial), Nature (fiction), and Sky & Telescope, was a participant in the workshop “The Future of Intelligence in the Cosmos” sponsored jointly by the NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute, is a contributor to DARPA’s “100 Year Starship Project,” and was Guest of Honor at the first-contact conference CONTACT 4 Japan. Buy Robert J. Sawyer SETIcon II Interview DVD
Andre Bormanis - Andre Bormanis is an American television producer, screenwriter and author of the book Star Trek: Science Logs. Bormanis is most notable for his involvement in the long-running Star Trek franchise, and was the science consultant on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Enterprise. He also wrote several episodes of the Voyager and Enterprise series, as well as acting as science/technical advisor on the "Next Generation" films. He was also a writer and producer for the CBS science fiction drama Threshold; the CBS drama series Eleventh Hour; the ABC Studios production Legend of the Seeker; and the upcoming Disney Studios production Tron: Uprising. Buy Andre Bormanis' SETIcon II Interview on DVD
Alex FilippenkoAlex Filippenko - Alex is the Richard & Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences at UC Berkeley. An elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, he is one of the world's most highly cited astronomers and has received numerous prizes for his research. His primary areas of research are supernovae (exploding stars), active galaxies, black holes, gamma-ray bursts, and cosmology. He was a member of both teams that used observations of supernovae to discover the accelerating expansion of the universe, which was honored with the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics to the team leaders. Winner of the top teaching awards at UC Berkeley and voted the “Best Professor” on campus a record 9 times, he was selected as the National Professor of the Year in 2006. He has produced five astronomy video courses with "The Great Courses," wrote an award-winning college textbook, and appears in numerous TV documentaries, including about 40 episodes in "The Universe" series on The History Channel. Buy Alex Filippenko's  SETIcon II Interview DVD
 Leonard Mlodinow - Leonard Mlodinow received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of California at Berkeley and now teaches at Caltech. He has written for numerous scientific journals, as well as for the popular press, including Nature, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. He is also the author of several best-sellers including The Drunkard’s Walk: how randomness rules our lives (2008), and The Grand Design (2010), co-authored with Stephen Hawking. His latest book is Subliminal: how your unconscious mind rules your behavior. In addition, he has written for television series such as MacGyver, and Star Trek: the Next Generation.


 Andrew FraknoiAndrew Fraknoi - Andrew Fraknoi is the Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothill College and Senior Educator at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. He teaches courses on "astronomy and physics for poets" to about a thousand students each year. In 2007, he was selected as the Professor of the Year for the state of California by the Carnegie Endowment for Education. He appears frequently on local and national radio, explaining astronomical developments in everyday language.  His book for children, "Disney's Wonderful World of Space" was published in 2007, he is the lead author on a series of college astronomy textbooks, and he has edited two books of science and science fiction for Bantam.  Asteroid 4859 has been named Asteroid Fraknoi by the International Astronomical Union in recognition of his contributions to science popularization.  He currently serves as Vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of the SETI Institute.