Cosmophobia: Doomsday 2012 and Other Fiction Science

Saturday June 23rd, 2012
11:00 am
Ballroom A

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Seth ShostakSeth Shostak - Seth claims to have developed an interest in extraterrestrial life at the tender age of ten, when he first picked up a book about the solar system. This innocent beginning eventually led to a degree in radio astronomy, and now, as Senior Astronomer, Seth is an enthusiastic participant in the Institute’s SETI observing programs. He also heads up the International Academy of Astronautics’ SETI Permanent Committee. In addition, Seth is keen on outreach activities: interesting the public – and especially young people – in science in general, and astrobiology in particular. He’s co-authored a college textbook on astrobiology, and has written three trade books on SETI. In addition, he’s published more than 400 popular articles on science -- including regular contributions to both the Huffington Post and Discover Magazine blogs -- gives many dozens of talks annually, and is the host of the SETI Institute’s weekly science radio show, “Big Picture Science.”
 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.
 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.
David MorrisonDavid Morrison - Dr. David Morrison is the Director of the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. He is Past Director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) and a senior scientist in Astrobiology at NASA Ames Research Center. Prior to this position, he served at NASA Ames as Director of Space and as the Chief of the Space Science Division, leading one of the premier science organizations at NASA consisting of space scientists undertaking basic research in astronomy, planetary science, and exobiology. He received his Ph.D. in Astronomy from Harvard University in 1969 and has published more than 160 technical papers and a dozen books.


Edna DeVore - Science and astronomy educator Edna DeVore is the Deputy CEO and the Director of Education and Public Outreach (EPO) at the SETI Institute. She’s been a researcher, planetarium director, teacher, and curriculum writer, and currently is busy with projects related to education and SETI. Notable among these are the “Life in the Universe” curriculum materials for students in grades 3-9 and a new high school course, “Voyages Through Time”. Edna also co-directs the education and public outreach programs for two NASA missions: SOFIA and Kepler.