Robert Hazen - Chance, Necessity, and the Origins of Life

Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 6:45pm to 8:00pm

Earth's 4.5 billion year history is a complex tale of deterministic physical and chemical processes, as well as "frozen accidents". Most models of life's origins also invoke chance and necessity. Recent research adds two important insights to this discussion. First, chance versus necessity is an inherently false dichotomy--a range of probabilities exists for many natural events. Second, given the astonishing combinatorial chemical richness of early Earth, events that are extremely rare may, nevertheless, be deterministic on time scales of a billion years.

Robert Hazen, Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science

Hunting Planets: Celebrating 20 years of Exoplanets

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - 6:45pm to 8:00pm

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first discovery of exoplanets - planets around other sun-like stars - the Carnegie Institution for Science and the NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program are hosting a special program, highlighting prominent scientists connected to the discovery and our understanding of exoplanets. Please join us for an interactive exhibit, followed by presentations about the past, present, and future of exoplanet research. Doors will open at 6:00PM, the presentations will begin at 6:45PM.

Dr. Natalie Batalha, Ames Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Dr. Alan Boss, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science

Dr. Paul Butler, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science

Co-hosted by the Carnegie Institution for Science and the NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program.

Special screening of "Life’s Rocky Start"

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

The Carnegie Institution for Science and the producers of the PBS science series NOVA present
a special screening of "Life's Rocky Start" premiering January 13 on PBS.

Featuring a panel discussion and audience Q & A with:

Paula S. Apsell
Senior Executive Producer, NOVA

Julia Cort
Deputy Executive Producer, NOVA

Doug Hamilton
Writer, Producer, Director

Robert M. Hazen
Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science

Life's Rocky Start

What is the secret link between rocks and minerals, and every living thing on earth?
Four and a half billion years ago, the young Earth was a hellish place—a seething chaos of meteorite impacts, volcanoes belching noxious gases, and lightning flashing through a thin, torrid atmosphere. Then, in a process that has puzzled scientists for decades, life emerged. How did it happen? NOVA joins mineralogist Robert Hazen on the rocky trail to resolve this enduring mystery. As Hazen journeys around the globe – from an ancient Moroccan market to the Australian Outback – he advances a startling and counterintuitive idea—that the rocks beneath our feet were not only essential to jump-starting life, but then, as microbes flourished and took over the biosphere, life helped give birth to hundreds of minerals we know and depend on today. This intriguing perspective of the co-evolution of Earth and life is reshaping the grand-narrative of our planet’s story. In this stunning adventure through billions of years of history, the story of life on Earth is revealed as fundamentally interwoven with the epic, unfolding story of Earth itself.

- The Carnegie Institution will open its doors 5:30PM.
- An overflow room, with a screen, will be available when our auditorium reaches maximum capacity. Seating in the auditorium is on a first-come, first-served basis.
- The Carnegie Institution for Science has partnered with Colonial Parking to offer parking reservations for its public lectures and conferences:

Paula S. Apsell, Senior Executive Producer, NOVA/Director, Science Unit, WGBH 
As Director of the WGBH Science Unit and Senior Executive Producer of the PBS science series NOVA (now in its 42nd season), Paula S. Apsell has overseen the production of hundreds of acclaimed science documentaries, including such distinguished miniseries as The Fabric of the Cosmos with Brian Greene, Origins with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Making Stuff with David Pogue. In January 2005, Apsell introduced the critically acclaimed magazine spinoff NOVA scienceNOW. Today, NOVA is  the most watched science series on American television, a top website on and has won every major broadcasting award, including the Emmy, the Peabody and the duPont-Columbia Gold Baton. Apsell has been recognized with numerous individual awards and has served on several boards including that of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. In 2012 she was journalist in residence at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Julia Cort, Deputy Executive Producer, NOVA 
Julia Cort has more than 25 years of broadcast experience as a producer, writer and director. She joined the WGBH Science Unit in 1991, contributing to films such as “The Fabric of the Cosmos,” “Smartest Machine on Earth” and “Making North America.” She was a key player in developing NOVA’s award-winning sister series, NOVA scienceNOW, recently serving as executive producer. In the pursuit of a story, Cort has been blindfolded and led to secret diamond-making factories, waded in leech-infested swamps and attempted to recreate the technological feats of ancient Egyptian engineers. She is a recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award, the National Academies Keck Communication Award, the American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award, the National Association of Science Writers Science in Society Award and a News & Documentary Emmy.


Doug Hamilton, Writer, Producer, Director
Doug Hamilton has 25 years experience reporting, producing, directing and writing documentaries on a wide range of subjects including investigative reports, international affairs, arts and science.  
He has worked primarily for PBS and CBS News 60 Minutes, but also directed the award winning feature and Showtime release, Broadway Idiot.  Awards include three Emmys, a George Foster Peabody Award, AAAS Science Journalism Award, Writer’s Guild Award and an Investigative Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hamilton taught at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley and is the photographer for the Atlantic Theater Company in New York City.


Robert M. Hazen, Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science
Robert M. Hazen, Senior Staff Scientist at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory and Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University, received the B.S. and S.M. in geology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Ph.D. at Harvard University in earth science. He is author of 400 scientific articles and 25 books, including Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life’s Origin and The Story of Earth. He was recently named the 2016 Roebling Medalist. A former President of the Mineralogical Society of America, Hazen’s recent research focuses on the role of minerals in the origin of life, the co-evolution of the geo- and biospheres, and the development of complex systems. He is also Executive Director of the Deep Carbon Observatory, a 10-year project to study the chemical and biological roles of carbon in Earth’s interior. Hazen is active in presenting science to nonscientists through writing, radio, TV, public lectures, and video courses. In 2012 Hazen retired after a 40-year career as a professional symphonic trumpeter.



National corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Google and Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and public television viewers. NOVA is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.

Dr. Jennifer Doudna - CRISPR Biology and the New Era of Genome Engineering

Monday, May 9, 2016 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

The genome editing system called CRISPR earned Science magazine’s “2015 Breakthrough of the Year.” The advent of facile genome engineering using the bacterial RNA-guided CRISPR-Cas9 system in animals and plants is transforming biology. In this talk, CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna presents a brief history of CRISPR biology from its initial discovery through the elucidation of the CRISPR-Cas9 enzyme mechanism, providing the foundation for remarkable developments using this technology to modify, regulate, or visualize genomic loci in a wide variety of cells and organisms. These results highlight a new era in which genomic manipulation is no longer a bottleneck to experiments, paving the way to both fundamental discoveries in biology, with applications in all branches of biotechnology, and strategies for human therapeutics. Recent results regarding the molecular mechanism of Cas9 and its use for targeted cell-based therapies will be discussed.

Dr. Jennifer A. Doudna, Departments of Molecular & Cell Biology and Chemistry
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Innovative Genomics Initiative
University of California, Berkeley

Co-hosted by the Carnegie Institution for Science with the Council of Scientific Society Presidents and The Kavli Foundation.

Dr. Chris Newhall & Dr. Renato Solidum - 25 Years Ago at Pinatubo: The Forecast, Climax, and Aftermath of a Giant Eruption

Monday, June 13, 2016 - 6:45pm to 7:45pm

Twenty-five years ago, a small team of Philippine and US scientists worked feverishly to forecast what newly-awakened Mount Pinatubo might do, and to alert everyone from indigenous peoples to high tech military about what to expect and the possible need to evacuate.   Skepticism was high and had to be overcome with a combination of video, hard facts and numbers, and personal trust.   Uncertainties were also high, which required erring on the side of safety and being willing to be wrong. Dr. Newhall will highlight the pre-eruption preparation and introduce the eruption, and Dr. Solidum will trace events from the eruption through long-lasting lahars.

Dr. Chris Newhall, USGS (ret.)
Dr. Newhall, a career volcanologist with USGS and now retiring gradually, studies historical and modern volcanic unrest, and eruptive behavior as recorded in ash layers, minerals, and dusty books and their digital copies.   He began his career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines and as a PhD student in the Guatemalan highlands, then worked in northern Arizona and at Mount St. Helens, and has been privileged to work on many other volcanoes around the world.  He led the USGS team involvement at Mount Pinatubo.  

His undergraduate and graduate training was at UC Davis, Univ of Canterbury, and Dartmouth.   To repay the favor, he has taught at Univ. of Washington, Nanyang Technological University (Earth Observatory of Singapore), and currently teaches at the Univ. of the Philippines.   He is a past chairman, World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO), and participates in a variety of international volcanology activities, including ongoing development of WOVOdat, a database of global volcanic unrest.

Dr. Newhall resides near Mayon Volcano, Philippines, where he and his wife run a small NGO/B&B devoted to environmental education, village livelihood, and college scholarships for village kids (

Dr. Renato Solidum
Dr. Solidum is the head of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) -- the agency tasked to mitigate the effects of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis.

Dr. Solidum started his career in PHIVOLCS in 1984 as a Science Research Specialist I (SRS I). He served as Officer-In-Charge of the Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division from March 1992- February 1994. In 1999, he was appointed as Chief SRS of the Geology & Geophysics Research and Development Division. A recognized expert in Geochemistry, Marine Geology, Volcano and Earthquake Geology, Geologic Hazards Assessment and Awareness, and Earth Science Education, he holds a Master’s Degree in Geological Science from the University of Illinois and completed his PhD in Earth Science at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California in San Diego.

Program Partners: Carnegie Institution for Science, The Embassy of the Philippines in Washington D.C., The United States Geological Survey, and The Smithsonian Institution



FameLab USA 2016 - Season 3 National Final

Friday, May 13, 2016 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Three experts judge ten young scientists as they spin tall-but-true tales of climate change, a cure for cancer, the search for life elsewhere, and much more - in 3 powerpoint-free minutes each! 

And while the judges deliberate, we'll be treated to stories about alien life…on and beyond Earth by Andrew Steele of the Carnegie Institution for Science.

Come cheer on these brave souls – vote for your favorite – and journey with them to the cutting edge of exploring Earth and beyond!

Reception to follow the main event. Find more information about the finalists and program here.

More about the halftime show featuring
Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science
Weird Life on Earth, What it Means for Alien Hunting
As we learn more about life on earth, we continually are shocked and amazed at the strategies used by life to cope with extreme (or not so extra) environments and survive. What are the implications of this weird life for the search for life elsewhere?

International FameLab YouTube

Expedition Earth - Frans Lanting - Dialogues with Nature

Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

(doors open at 5:30)


Dialogues with Nature - A Presentation by Photographer Frans Lanting

Hailed as one of the great photographers of our time, Frans Lanting has documented the natural world for more than four decades. From the Amazon to Antarctica, he uses his camera as a powerful tool for promoting a public understanding of the incredible scope of life on Earth. His stunning images convey a passion for nature and a sense of wonder about our living planet.

In this talk, Lanting will present his work as an ongoing dialogue with the natural world. He will explain how his images -- "conversations" with nature -- have been influenced by science and technology. Of course, art, literature, and his own experiences with wildlife and wild places on all seven continents have also played and important role in shaping his protfolio. 

Panel Discussion and Audience Q&A

Following the talk, enjoy a panel discussion moderated by Washington Post Science, Health, and Environmental Editor Laura Helmuth. Join in the discussion during Q&A. 

Post-program Reception

Following the program, mingle with Frans Lanting and Laura Helmuth during a private reception. Enjoy one free beverage with your ticket. Cash bar available. 

Evening Itinerary

- Presentation by explorer, photographer Frans Lanting 
- Discussion led by moderator, reporter Laura Helmuth
- Audience Q&A
- Closed reception with audience and panelists

Tickets are priced at $10 per person and will include access to a post-program reception with Frans Lanting, Laura Helmuth, and other panelist (TBA). Enjoy one free beverage with your ticket. Cash bar available.



About Expedition Earth

Launching Expedition Earth: a series of events designed to immerse the DC community to the thrill and adventure of scientific discovery through the lens of intrepid explorers.

Discovery begins at Carnegie Science.

Nature photographers, field scientists, conservationists, and global adventurers all call Earth’s wildest places home. Expedition Earth breaks down the walls of conventional presentations to offer you fuller, richer, more-interactive exposure to the lifestyle of an adventurous globetrotters and their passion for discovery.

Your invitation to travel the roads of discovery awaits.


The Systems View of Life: A Science for Sustainable Living

Monday, December 4, 2017 - 6:30pm to 7:45pm

The great challenge of our time is to build and nurture sustainable communities, designed in such a manner that their ways of life, physical structures, and technologies do not interfere with nature's inherent ability to sustain life. To do so, requires a new ecological understanding of life, as well as a new kind of "systemic" thinking. In this lecture, Dr. Capra will show that such a new understanding of life in terms of complexity, networks, and patterns of organization, has recently emerged at the forefront of science. He will emphasize, in particular, the urgent need of of systemic thinking for dealing with our global ecological crisis and protecting the continuation andflourishing of life on Earth.

Dr. Fritjof Capra - Physicist and systems theorist; founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California; author of The Tao of PhysicsThe Web of Life, and The Hidden Connections.

The Council of Scientific Society Presidents presents the Fred Kavli Science at the Frontiers Lecturer at Carnegie Science. 

Farm Hall and the German Atomic Project of World War II: A Dramatic History

Monday, November 20, 2017 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm

It's July 1945. Germany is in defeat and the Manhattan Project’s atomic bombs are on their way to Japan. Under the direction of physicist Samuel Goudsmit, the Allies are holding some of the top German nuclear scientists—among them Werner Heisenberg, Otto Hahn, and Walter Gerlach—captive in Farm Hall, an English country manor near Cambridge, England. As secret microphones record their conversations, the scientists are unaware of why they are being held or for how long. Thinking themselves far ahead of the Allies, how will they react to the news of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? How will these famous scientists explain to themselves and to the world their failure to achieve even a chain reaction? How will they come to terms with the horror of the Third Reich, their work for such a regime, and their behavior during that period? This one-act play is based upon the transcripts of their conversations as well as the author's historical work on the subject. An audience discussion with the playwright, David Cassidy, will follow the staged reading.

This event is brought to you by the American Institute of Physics (AIP), as part of the Lyne Starling Trimble Science Heritage Public Lecture Series.

Dr. David Cassidy, Professor Emeritus, Hofstra University, author of Farm Hall and the German Atomic Project of World War II (Springer, 2017), will be available for book signing from 6:00 to 6:45 pm and after the performance. A signed copy of the book will be provided as a thank you for a donation of $30 or more to the Physics Heritage and Promise Campaign of the American Institute of Physics.

WiLDSPEAK: Photography, Conservation, Communications

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 8:30am to Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 5:15pm

A two-day symposium of discussions, learning, and inspiration bringing together some of the world’s leading conservation photographers, filmmakers, scientists, newsmakers, and conservation organizations. Together, we will explore how visual media can best contribute to impactful science communications and positive conservation outcomes around the globe.

This event is presented by the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Carnegie Origins: Exoplanets

Carnegie Science, Carnegie Institution, Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Origins
Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 5:30pm to 9:00pm

Streaming Video

How and when did life originate on Earth? How many other Earth-like planets exist in our Solar System and universe?

From the beginnings of recorded history, humans have had a fascination with their origins and with questions such as these. As part of our ongoing Science & Society project, Carnegie Science is pleased to present a series of four discussion forums on origins-related questions, including: How did we get here, where are we going, are we alone and what does that mean for humanity?

The invitation-only events and subsequent video series will highlight the importance and process of discovery science—emphasizing both how scientists think about fundamental questions and that science is an ongoing data-based debate. 

The first of four forums will focus on planet formation and habitability. In an intimate setting, invited participants will engage with leading scientists as they elucidate their pioneering  efforts to discover Earth-like extrasolar bodies that could harbor life. Planetary science experts are exploring the basic physical, chemical, and dynamical aspects that led to the formation of our own Solar System—an event that remains mysterious. Their ultimate goal is to determine if similar processes could be at work in newly discovered exoplanetary systems, which could then help predict Earth-like extrasolar bodies that could potentially harbor life.​

On-site experts will include: 
Dr. Fred Ciesla, University of Chicago
Dr. Guillem Anglada-Escudé, Queen Mary College, University of London
Dr. Erik Hauri, Carnegie Science
Dr. James Kasting, Pennsylvania State University
Dr. Kaitlin Kratter, University of Arizona
Dr. Hal Levison, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder
Dr. Francis Nimmo, University of California, Santa Cruz
Dr. Alycia Weinberger, Carnegie Science

The program will be moderated by novelist, essayist, astrophysicist, and educator Dr. Alan Lightman. He is Professor of the Practice of the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 




This program is made possible with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.



Reference to Person: 

Origins: Earth’s Journey Toward Life

Carnegie Science, Carnegie Institution, Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Origins
Monday, April 9, 2018 - 5:30pm to 9:00pm

Streaming Video

How and when did life originate on Earth? How many other Earth-like planets exist in our Solar
System and universe?

From the beginnings of recorded history, humans have had a fascination with their origins and
with questions such as these. As part of our ongoing Science & Society project,
Carnegie Science is pleased to present a series of four discussion forums on origins-
related questions, including: How did we get here, where are we going, are we alone and what
does that mean for humanity?

The invitation-only events and subsequent video series will highlight the importance and process
of discovery science—emphasizing both how scientists think about fundamental questions and
that science is an ongoing data-based debate. 

The second of four forums will focus on how our planet’s geological activity set the stage for the
rise of life. Get up close and personal in our town hall setting with the experts whose discoveries
are linking our planet’s most-fundamental processes to the origin of life. There are aspects of our
planet’s geology that have not been observed on other worlds and it turns out that they could be
crucial for creating the conditions that allowed life to thrive here. For example, the deep Earth
activity that drives plate tectonics could have introduced the cycles of chemistry that laid the
groundwork for life’s origin.

On-site experts will include: 
Dr. Joseph Berry, Carnegie Institution for Science
Dr. George Cody, Carnegie Institution for Science, Session Chair
Dr. Devaki Bhaya, Carnegie Institution for Science
Dr. Douglas Erwin, Smithsonian Institution
Dr. Marilyn Fogel,  University of California, Riverside
Dr. Arthur Grossman, Carnegie Institution for Science Dr. Sue Rhee, Carnegie Institution for Science, Session Chair
Dr. Patrick Shih, Indiana University Bloomington
Dr. Andrew Steele, Carnegie Institution for Science
Dr. Jing-Ke Weng, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Yixian Zheng, Carnegie Institution for Science, Session Chair

The program will be moderated by Washington Post science writer Sarah Kaplan.

This program is made possible with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Carnegie Origins: Life Beyond Earth

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 5:30pm to 9:00pm

Streaming video

How and when did life originate on Earth? How many other Earth-like planets exist in our Solar System and universe? From the beginnings of recorded history, humans have had a fascination with their origins and with questions such as these. As part of our ongoing Science & Society project, Carnegie Science is pleased to present a series of four discussion forums on origins-related questions, including: How did we get here, where are we going, are we alone and what does that mean for humanity? The invitation-only events and subsequent video series will highlight the importance and process of discovery science—emphasizing both how scientists think about fundamental questions and that science is an ongoing data-based debate. Our third discussion asks: "Are We Alone?" a question that has been shared by every sentient human, dating back to the early hominids who saw a distant campfire at night and wondered who was over there in the darkness. Today, we still look at the stars with the same sense of wonder, even if we know much more about them than our ancestors did. Thanks to scientific exploration, we are on the verge of answering that most-profound question of human consciousness. This session will inform and illuminate the scientific methods for robust detection of simple and complex life elsewhere in the universe. On Site Experts Include: Dr. Giada Arney, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Dr. Alan Boss, Carnegie Institution for Science Dr. Paul Butler, Carnegie Institution for Science Dr. Frank Drake, SETI Institute Dr. Shawn Domagal-Goldman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Dr. Olivier Guyon, University of Arizona Dr. Seth Shostak, SETI Institute Dr. Andrew Steele, Carnegie Institution for Science Dr. Jill Tarter, SETI Institute Dr. Mary Voytek, NASA Dr. Kenneth Williford, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA The program will be moderated by Washington Post science writer Sarah Kaplan. THIS IS AN INVITATION-ONLY PROGRAM. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO ATTEND. This program is made possible with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Backing Breakthroughs: The Story of the HPV Vaccine and the Future of Scientific Discovery

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 - 6:30pm to 7:45pm

HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer and kills more than 250,000 women around the world each year. The HPV vaccine, available thanks to the efforts of Drs. John Schiller and Douglas Lowy, can now prevent the devastating disease. What does it take to create this type of breakthrough in science? And how can we ensure that the scientists who are working on today’s biggest challenges have the resources they need to change the world?

For this joint program between Carnegie Science and the National Science and Technology Medals Foundation, Dr. Schiller, a 2012 National Medal recipient, will speak about the development of the HPV vaccine. Following his presentation Dr. Schiller will join a panel of experts moderated by AAAS Visiting Scholar Kei Koizumi for a discussion about the processes that drive scientific breakthroughs.

Dr. John Schiller - Distinguished Investigator, National Institutes of Health; National Medal of Technology and Innovation Recipient

Dr. Devaki Bhaya - Staff scientist, Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science

Dr. John Spiro - Deputy Science Director, Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative

Kei Koizumi - Visiting Scholar in science policy, AAAS


This is a joint program between Carnegie and the National Science and Technology Medals Foundation. To subscribe to the NSTMF newsletter, click here.


Crowdsourcing Week: Powering Breakthroughs Together

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 7:00pm to Sunday, October 28, 2018 - 12:30pm

Decentralization through crowdsourcing continues to positively influence economies and industries across the globe and this year’s global conference stands to be the biggest and boldest Crowdsourcing Week event yet.

5 Days, 2 tracks, 60+ Sessions, Endless Inspiration

The CSW Global 2018 program will be filled with engaging programs, that will allow you to not only to explore latest trends & topics in Innovation, Business, Individuals and Governments, but, most importantly how these will affect your business, leverage the crowd and how to build crowd strategies for the future and accelerate your business growth.

Fireside Chat: Walter Isaacson & Eric Schmidt

Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Join us for an hour-long conversation between two intellectual luminaries on topics ranging from the state of science today, how discovery drives entrepreneurship, the many uses for artificial intelligence in scientific research, the importance of science philanthropy, and more!  Registration is required and space is limited. 

Walter Isaacson is professor of history at Tulane University and a Carnegie trustee. From 2003 to 2017, he was President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies organization, where he is now a Distinguished Fellow. He is also an advisory partner at Perella Weinberg and has served as chairman of CNN and as Editor ofTIME magazine. He is a best-selling author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs, and Einstein: His Life and Universe, among other biographies. 
Eric Schmidt 
is a Technical Advisor to Alphabet, where he was previously Executive Chairman. Prior to that, he was CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011 and Chairman from 2011 to 2015, helping to grow the company from a Silicon Valley startup to a global leader in technology.  Schmidt is also a Visiting Innovation Fellow at MIT. Through the Schmidt Family Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and the Schmidt Ocean Institute, he is a major voice in the world of scientific philanthropy. He is the co-author of The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and our Lives and How Google Works. 


Habitability: The Search for Life on Rocky Exoplanets

Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 6:30pm to 7:45pm

What enabled life to form on Earth—and what kept it at bay on Mars and Venus? Does habitability demand factors like plate tectonics and magnetic fields? Will astronomers be able to detect hints of these processes on other worlds? UC Davis Earth planetary scientist and recently named MacArthur Fellow, Dr. Sarah Stewart, will give a short overview of the topic, and then join a panel of planet formation experts for a moderated discussion of the preconditions that make life possible—and the chances of finding it elsewhere.

Dr. Sarah Stewart: University of California Davis
Dr. Peter Driscoll: Carnegie Institution for Science
Dr. Laura Schaefer: Arizona State University

The conversation will be moderated by Eric Hand, deputy news editor at Science magazine.

Reference to Person: 

The Dark Side of the Universe

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 6:30pm to 7:45pm

Of what is the universe made?  Recent observations suggest surprising results. Not only is most of the matter in the universe dark and unconventional but, more surprisingly, the major component of the universe may be what's called "dark energy"—a form of energy that opposes the pull of gravity and causes the universe's expansion  to accelerate. By combining recent observations of clusters and large-scale structures, distant supernovae, and the cosmic microwave background radiation, we find evidence for a universe comprised of  5 percent  normal atomic matter, 20 percent non-atomic dark matter, and 75 percent  "dark energy." The observations suggest a universe that is lightweight. With only 25 percent of its critical mass-density needed to halt the universal expansion, the universe will likely expand forever. Dr. Bahcall will discuss the observations of the dark side of the universe and their implications.

Dr. Neta A. Bahcall: Eugene Higgins Professor of Astrophysics, Princeton University

This talk celebrates the legacy of Vera Rubin and is associated with a symposium in her honor.

The program is co-hosted by the Carnegie Institution for Science with Stockholm University, via the Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmoparticle Physics, with additional support from the National Science Foundation and the Heising-Simons Foundation. 


Carnegie Origins: Humanity and the Universe: When Life Meets Life

Monday, May 13, 2019 - 2:45pm to 4:15pm

Streaming Video

Over the course of four programs, “Carnegie Origins” has been exploring the links between science and society on a topic of profound importance:
How did we get here?
Where are we going?
Are we alone?
What does it mean for humanity?
Here, we focus on the last question—what would it mean for humanity if we were to discover life outside Earth?