• Academy Events

  • Are We Alone in the Universe?

    Monday, June 13, 2016 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    The New York Academy of Sciences

    Presented by The New York Academy of Sciences

      • Registration Closed

    An archived recording of this event is available via Livestream under "Archived Events" at:

    The Fermi Paradox—the apparent contradiction between the high probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of contact with such civilizations—continues to captivate our minds. Are we alone in the universe or were other civilizations destroyed as a result of ecological catastrophes or conflict? Join our panel of leading physicists and philosophers as they explore Enrico Fermi's question: "Where is everybody?" as well as other questions: How does scientific knowledge direct our future scientific and technological pursuits on Earth and in space? How does science inform human ethics? Does science make us better citizens of the universe?

    * Reception to follow.


    Adam Frank, PhD

    Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester; author of About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang

    Stephen M. Gardiner, PhD

    Professor of Philosophy, University of Washington; author of A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change

    Louisa Preston, PhD

    Astrobiologist, London; author of forthcoming Goldilocks and the Water Bears: The Search for Life in the Universe

    Jason Thomas Wright, PhD
    Associate Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pennsylvania State University; Principal Investigator at NASA's Nexus for Exoplanet Systems Science (NExSS)


    Ira Flatow

    Host of PRI's Science Friday®

    Registration — Individual Lecture Prices

    Member $5
    Member (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow) $5
    Nonmember $15
    Nonmember (Student / Postdoc / Resident / Fellow) $7

    Presented by

    The New York Academy of Sciences

    Grant Support

    This program is made possible by the generous support of:

    John Templeton Foundation

    The event is part of the Physics of Everything series.

    This six-part series will unite some of the most vibrant public intellectuals and communicators of today—from scientists to philosophers, and ethicists to educators—for explorations that reflect on the current state of modern physical sciences.

    To learn more about each lecture and to purchase tickets, click on the links below.

    Contact Us

    Jennifer Costley, PhD

    Director, Physical Sciences, Sustainability & Engineering