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Astrobiology and the Anthropocene Epoch

Presenter: David Grinspoon, NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology
When: December 16, 2013 10AM PST

Informed by comparative planetology and a survey of the major episodes in Earth history, this lecture will offer a taxonomy of planetary catastrophes meant to illuminate the unusual nature of the “Anthropocene”, the current era of human-driven planetary scale changes, and re-frame our current environmental and technological predicaments as part of a larger narrative of planetary evolution. This saga has now reached the pivotal moment when humans have become a dominant force of planetary change, and geological and human history are becoming irreversibly conjoined.

Is this a likely or even inevitable challenge facing other complex life in the universe? Possible implications for exoplanet characterization and SETI will be considered, as well as the choices our civilization faces in attempting to create a wisely managed Earth.

NAI Director's Seminar Series

  • The Director’s Seminar series features talks from scientists who are invited by the NAI Director to present their research results to the community. A primary goal of the seminars is to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration across NAI teams and within the astrobiology community at large.
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