The north face of the Rotunda

What If We Are Alone in the Universe?





It is easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to the mention of extra-terrestrial life. Did you read this title with incredulity? Or assume that scientists or the government are hiding something? Both finding and not finding evidence of other life in the universe have profound implications. Kelsey Johnson will discuss the likelihood of other life in the universe, how we look for it, and what it might mean if we find it (or don’t find it).


Kelsey Johnson

Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Echols Scholars Program at the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Kelsey Johnson is a professor of astronomy and director of the Echols Scholars Program at the University of Virginia. She is the president of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, on the board of the American Astronomical Society, and has given a widely viewed TED talk on the importance of dark skies. She also created Dark Skies Bright Kids, an award-winning volunteer program designed to enhance science education in Virginia Elementary Schools and help students explore the universe and develop curiosity. Her writing has appeared in Scientific American, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Ms. magazine, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Learning at home alert! Kelsey Johnson’s new book is an introduction to star-gazing for young readers. LEARN MORE