A House of Many Mansions: What Astrobiology Tells Us About the Anthropocene

Dartmouth Events

A House of Many Mansions: What Astrobiology Tells Us About the Anthropocene

Astrophysicist Adam Frank explores how questions related to developing a sustainable human civilization can be cast in terms of astrobiology.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
4:00pm-5:00pm
Wilder Hall, Room 104
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Lectures & Seminars

Astrophysicist Adam Frank explores how questions related to developing a sustainable human civilization can be cast in terms of astrobiology, in particular, how ongoing astrobiological studies of the coupled relationship between life, planets, and their co-evolution can inform new perspectives and direct new studies in sustainability science. Using the Drake Equation as a vehicle to explore the gamut of astrobiology, Frank will focus on its most import factor for sustainability: the mean lifetime L of an ensemble of species with energy-intensive technology. He casts the problem into the language of dynamical system theory and will discuss how astrobiological results usefully inform the creation of dynamical equations, their constraints and initial conditions. In addition, he will present a classification scheme for planets based on the degree of biospheric activity in the coupled planetary systems. Finally, he will discuss the role of Gaian-type feedbacks in the presence of a global scale energy-harvesting species.

Light refreshments will be served in Wilder 103 at 3:30pm prior to the presentation.

For more information, contact:
Amy Flockton

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.