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Cosmos and Connection

Guest Speaker: Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz, Astrophysicist, Astronomer, Adler Planetarium

Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz will discuss some of the many ways in which humanity connects to its place in the universe, focusing on the discovery of planets beyond our own system, in particular those found by NASA's Kepler Mission.  With planets beyond our own system now numbering in the thousands, we learn more every day about Earth's place among the stars.  These discoveries raise questions that are both scientific and fundamentally human in nature.  Dr. Walkowicz will also talk about how humanity connects by viewing the night sky, and by new ways of participating in scientific discovery.

Dr. Walkowicz, as an Astronomer at the Adler Planetarium, studies stellar magnetic activity and how stars influence a planet's suitability as a host for alien life.  She is also an artist and works in a variety of media, from oil paint to sound.  Dr. Walkowicz holds a B.S. in Physics from Johns Hopkins University, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington.  She was the Kepler Fellow at UC Berkeley, and the Henry Norris Russell Fellow at Princeton University, before joining the Astronomy Department at Adler Planetarium in 2014. She is a 2012 TED Senior Fellow, a 2011 National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow, and has been internationally recognized for her advocacy for conservation of dark night skies.