David Grinspoon is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author. His newest book Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto, co-authored with Alan Stern was a Boston Globe “summer reading pick”. He is a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, Adjunct Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Science at the University of Colorado and Adjunct Professor of Science, Technology and International Affairs at Georgetown University.
His research focuses on climate evolution on Earth-like planets potential conditions for life elsewhere in the universe, and the planetary scale impacts of human activities on Earth. 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.
He has given dozens of public lectures about climate change in the Solar System. 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, the Washington Post, 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.
His book Earth in Human Hands was named a Best Science Book of 2016 by NPR’s Science Friday. His previous book Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life 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. He lectures widely, and appears frequently as a science commentator on television, radio and podcasts, including as a frequent guest and host of StarTalk Radio. Also a musician, he currently leads the House Band of the Universe. He resides in Washington DC with his wife and dog.
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