Capital Science Evenings

Capital Science Evenings are free and open to the public and last approximately one hour. No tickets are required but registration is recommended. Seating is on a first-come, first served basis. All programs are held at the Carnegie Institution, 1530 P Street, NW.

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  • Wed, 03/04/2015 - 6:45pm
    Mr. Marc Kaufman,
    The Washington Post

    The Curiosity Mission is exploring Mars in a whole new way, with discoveries that are providing a more vivid picture of current and ancient Mars. The rover's search for habitable environments, for organic material, and for proof of once-flowing water has been remarkably successful. Next up is a climb of portions of three-mile high Mount Sharp, in order to read the eons-old mineral record. NASA's Pamela Conrad will focus on habitability—what conditions must be met to declare that an area had the capacity to support life. Marc Kaufman, author of "Mars Up Close: Inside the Curiosity Mission" will provide a mission overview. Carnegie's Andrew Steele will discuss the effort to identify organic material—the building blocks of life— in the desiccated and irradiated Gale Crater. The group will discuss new discoveries.


    Dr. Pamela Conrad, Planetary Environments Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

    Pamela Conrad is an astrobiologist and mineralogist. She has worked for the past several years on the development of approaches and measurements for assessment of habitability in planetary surface environments and the development of non-invasive optical methods for the in situ chemical and mineralogical surface assessment of potential rock sample targets. Her planetary science interests include the comparative early evolution of Earth and Mars and the measurement of habitability potential on rocky bodies in the solar system. 


    Dr Andrew SteeleDr. Andrew Steele, Carnegie Institution for Science, Geophysical Laboratory

    Andrew Steele uses traditional and biotechnological approaches for the detection of microbial life in astrobiology and solar system exploration. A microbiologist by training and Astrobiologist by choice, his principal interest is in developing protocols, instrumentation and procedures for life detection in samples from the early Earth and elsewhere in the Solar System

    This event will be live streamed at

    Please click here to register to attend this event (free)

  • Thu, 04/30/2015 - 6:45pm
    Dr. Alison Gopnik,
    University of California Berkeley, Department of Psychology

    Humans have a longer childhood than any other animal—our children are more vulnerable and dependent than other species’ infants. Why is this so? In the last thirty years there has been a revolution in our scientific understanding of infants and young children. Dr. Gopnik will show that even the youngest babies have learning abilities that are more powerful than those of the smartest scientists and most advanced computers.


    Please register to attend this event (free):