SALON: Earth’s Evolution – Lessons from the Cosmos
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12 March 2016 Queensland Museum

Venue

Queensland Museum

Location

Queensland Museum & Sciencentre, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Date

12 March 2016

Time

8:00pm

Cost

Adult: $20 Concession: $15
Pamela Conrad
Participant

Pamela Conrad

Participant

Pamela Conrad

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Cheryl Desha
Participant

Cheryl Desha

Participant

Cheryl Desha

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Charles Lineweaver
Participant

Charles Lineweaver

Participant

Charles Lineweaver

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Will Steffen
Participant

Will Steffen

Participant

Will Steffen

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Summary

Earth’s Evolution: Lessons from the Cosmos
In 1968, NASA released a photo that forever changed how we view planet Earth. Taken by the astronauts of Apollo 8 , “Earthrise” captured our world as viewed from the moon – a beautiful sphere brimming with life seemingly alone in the universe. This glimpse from space helped spark an environmental movement as millions around the globe grasped just how small and fragile Earth is.

Today, as we contemplate the Dawn of the Human Age, our exploration of space might hold new lessons – and solutions – for sustaining life on Earth. How does our environment compare to other planets in the solar system? What can the climates of Mars, Venus and the exoplanets tell us about changes we’re experiencing here at home? And how can we better manage our own planet to make sure it remains “Earth-like?”

In this salon, a multidisciplinary group of astrobiologists, astronomers, climatologists and oceanographers take an extraterrestrial look at our “pale blue dot” of a planet, plumbing our knowledge of other worlds to rethink the environmental challenges faced here at home.

What is a Salon event?
World Science Festival Brisbane SALON events invite you to dive deeper into the science of specific topics, these informal discussions challenge participants to consider their shared passions from a fresh perspective.

By starting a dialogue, the Salon is designed to spark new explorations of science by the participants and the audience. The Salon sessions are smaller in capacity so audience and participants can enter into conversation at a detailed and thorough level.

Meet the Speakers Pamela Conrad is an astrobiologist and planetary scientist working at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. She is deputy principal investigator for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite on NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover. She is also co-investigator to two different payload investigations on NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. Her current research focus is on understanding planetary habitability and on the development of approaches for its measurement in environments on Earth and on other planets, especially Mars. Cheryl Desha is a Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Development and Discipline Leader for Environmental Sciences within QUT’s Science and Engineering Faculty. Her research focuses on methods and technologies for developing transformational solutions for thriving, resilient and liveable cities. This includes exploring nature’s potential to vacuum particulate matter from the air, air-condition buildings, streets and neighbourhoods, fight mosquito-borne diseases, filter our storm water runoff and improve our ability to recover from illness. Charles Lineweaver is an astrophysicist and associate professor at the Australian National University’s Planetary Science Institute (PSI). His research areas include cosmology, exoplanetology, astrobiology, and cancer. His research has been published in an array of well-regarded scientific publications. Lineweaver was a member of the COBE satellite team that discovered the temperature fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background. Will Steffen is a councillor on the publicly-funded Climate Council of Australia that delivers independent expert information about climate change, and is an emeritus professor at the Australian National University (ANU), Canberra. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Canberra, working with the Canberra Urban and Regional Futures (CURF) program, and is a member of the ACT Climate Change Council. Previously, Steffen served as executive director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, based in Stockholm, Sweden, and is currently a senior fellow at the Stockholm Resilience Centre. His research interests span a broad range within the fields of climate and Earth System science, with an emphasis on incorporation of human processes in Earth System modelling and analysis; and on sustainability and climate change, particular in the context of urban areas.

Queensland Museum

Queensland Museum & Sciencentre, South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia