Portrait of David GrinspoonDavid Grinspoon Talk and Book Signing – Earth in Human Hands: A Cosmic View of Our Planet’s Past, Present and Future


Tuesday, February 28, 2017
7 p.m.
Gaines Chapel, Presser Hall
This event is free and open to the public. Please contact Chris De Pree at cdepree@agnesscott.edu with questions.

Directions to campus
Parking is free and available at the West Parking Deck on S. McDonough Street.


What are we doing here on this planet? Can a deep-time and deep-space viewpoint help us gain the perspective to create a sustainable civilization? In his talk “Earth in Human Hands: A Cosmic View of Our Planet’s Past, Present and Future,” David Grinspoon will illuminate the unusual nature of the “Anthropocene,” our current time of human-driven planetary changes, in order to reframe our environmental predicaments as part of a larger narrative of planetary evolution. This saga has now reached the pivotal moment when humans have become a major agent of global 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 SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence) will be considered, as well as the choices our civilization faces in seeking to foster a wisely managed Earth.  

After the talk and discussion, Grinspoon will sign copies of his new book “Earth in Human Hands,” which was chosen by TED.com for their “list of books to make you feel hopeful” and as an NPR Science Friday Best Science Book of 2016.

About David Grinspoon

David Grinspoon, author of “Earth in Human Hands,” is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author. He is a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and adjunct professor of astrophysical and planetary science at the University of Colorado. His research focuses on climate evolution on Earth-like planets and potential conditions for life elsewhere in the universe. He is involved with several interplanetary spacecraft missions for NASA, the European Space Agency and the Japanese Space Agency. In 2013 he was appointed as the inaugural chair of astrobiology at the U.S. Library of Congress where he studied the human impact on Earth systems and organized a public symposium on the Longevity of Human Civilization. His technical papers have been published in “Nature,” “Science,” and numerous other journals, and he has given invited keynote talks at conferences around the world. Grinspoon’s popular writing has appeared in “Slate,” “Scientific American,” “Natural History,” “Nautilus,” “Astronomy,” “Seed,” the “Boston Globe,” the “Los Angeles Times,” the “New York Times” and “Sky & Telescope Magazine” where he is a contributing editor and writes the quasi-monthly “Cosmic Relief” column. He is the author and editor of several books, including “Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life,” which won the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Nonfiction. Grinspoon has been recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal for Public Communication of Planetary Science by the American Astronomical Society and has been honored with the title “Alpha Geek” by “Wired Magazine.”