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A Touch of Awe: Crafting Meaning from the Wonder of the Cosmos

Available via


A Touch of Awe: Crafting Meaning from the Wonder of the Cosmos

Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

The New York Academy of Sciences, 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St Fl 40, New York, USA

Video of the full event is available on the Nour Foundation's YouTube channel.

The discoveries of modern science tell an epic story of the universe through its fourteen-billion-year history. Though modern humans are relative newcomers to this story, having only appeared some 200,000 years ago, what meaning can we glean from the history of the cosmos? From the birth of galaxies to the self-organizing dynamics of our planet to the ongoing expansion of the universe, the more we discover about the evolution of the cosmos, the more acutely we realize the enormity of what remains to be known. Remarkably, over the past 100 years we have learned more about life in our universe than the entire history of humanity put together. Just this year astrophysicists at the University of Nottingham confirmed that there at least two trillion galaxies in the cosmos, ten times more than had previously been thought. And with over 90% of these galaxies yet to be studied, astrobiologists are hunting with renewed vigor for the existence of intelligent life on other planets. What guidance or wisdom can the study of cosmology and astrophysics offer us in our search for meaning and purpose? Theoretical physicists Paul Davies and Ard Louis, and astrophysicist Lucianne Walkowicz  tackle the “big questions” of existence — sharing their perceptions based on years of gazing upward and beyond our own intimate planet.


This lecture will be available via Livestream, and archived in perpetuity on the Academy's Livestream Channel. For full details, and to view the Livestream, please follow the link below:

This event is part of the The Will to Meaning: Seeking the “Why” of Our Existence series.

Moderated by journalist Steve Paulson, Executive Producer of Wisconsin Public Radio’s To the Best of Our Knowledge, this three-part series at the New York Academy of Sciences brings together leading scientists and scholars to explore meaning through the lens of scientific inquiry.

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


Steve Paulson, Wisconsin Public Radio
Steve Paulson, Wisconsin Public Radio


Paul Davies, PhD, Arizona State University
Paul Davies, PhD, Arizona State University
Ard Louis, PhD, Oxford University
Ard Louis, PhD, Oxford University
Lucianne Walkowicz, PhD, Adler Planetarium
Lucianne Walkowicz, PhD, Adler Planetarium

Presented by

The New York Academy of SciencesNour FoundationTo the Best of Our Knowledge

Exclusive Media Sponsor

Promotional Partner

Museum of the City of New York

To view full attendee list, you must first register for the event, then log in to the Academy website. This list is provided for the personal, noncommercial and informational use only of event attendees, in a manner that is consistent with the New York Academy of Sciences’ mission, goals and activities.
  • Achilles International

  • Adler Planetarium

  • American Express

  • Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, Arizona State University

  • BGB New York

  • Brooklyn Public Library

  • Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

  • Columbia University

  • Dept of Behavioral Science

  • GNR Design & Development

  • Hunter College, CUNY

  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

  • Iona College

  • Lutheran Medical Center

  • Lyceum Society

  • Mount Sinai Hospital

  • Natural Areas Conservancy

  • New York Institute of Technology


  • Nour Foundation, Inc.

  • NRDC


  • NYU

  • NYU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

  • NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy

  • One Earth Conservation

  • Retired

  • Scientific American

  • Senecal Women

  • The CUNY Graduate Center

  • The Editorial Institute at Boston University

  • The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

  • The New School

  • The New York Academy of Sciences

  • Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue at Iona

  • To The Best of Our Knowledge at Wisconsin Public Radio

  • University of Oxford

  • Weill Cornell Medicine

  • WNYC