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Astronomy Lecture Spotlights Discovering Our Place in the Cosmos
January 23, 2008
7 p.m.
Archive Story
As part of the ninth annual Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, Astronomer Joel Primack of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Philosopher and Attorney Nancy Ellen Abrams will present The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos, a non-technical multimedia lecture, Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Smithwick Theatre at Foothill College. Admission is free and the public is invited. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early to locate parking. Remarkable discoveries in the last decade are transforming cosmology--the study of the universe as a whole. Our cosmos appears to be made mostly of dark matter and dark energy, with the stars and galaxies we can see making up only a tiny fraction of it. We are beginning to understand the first few minutes after the Big Bang and the way in which the structure of the universe arose. This interdisciplinary program is something of a departure from our usual series of lectures, but should intrigue and challenge everyone interested in the meaning of science for our times. Joel Primack and Nancy Ellen Abrams' program is both a progress report and philosophical reflection on our modern view of ourselves and our place in the cosmos. Using the latest science, cosmic images and visualizations, plus music, themes from myth, and even cartoons, they will illustrate how the new ideas about the universe have widespread cultural implications. Primack is an award-winning physicist and cosmologist, who writes for both his colleagues and the public. Abrams is a former Fulbright Scholar and student of mythology. While working for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, she invented a method called "scientific mediation" that lets government agencies make intelligent decisions despite scientific uncertainty. Together they teach the Cosmology & Culture course at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and have written a popular book, published in 2006, with the same title as this lecture. The free lecture series is sponsored by the Foothill College Astronomy Program, NASA Ames Research Center, SETI Institute and Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Past lectures from the series are available online in MP3-format at Visitors must purchase a campus parking permit for $2 (eight quarters). Parking lots 1, 5 and 6 provide access to the theatre. For more information, access or call (650) 949-7888.
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Special Notice: Visitors must purchase a campus parking permit for $2

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