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Lucianne Walkowicz Named Blumberg Chair in Astrobiology

Press Release From: Adler Planetarium
Posted: Monday, July 10, 2017

What: Adler Astronomer Lucianne Walkowicz will hold the fifth Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology in the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress (http://www.loc.gov/loc/kluge).

When: Dr. Walkowicz will begin her year-long residence on October 1, 2017.

Research: Dr. Walkowicz will work on a project titled, “Fear of a Green Planet: Inclusive Systems of Thought for Human Exploration of Mars.” The project is designed to create an inclusive framework for human exploration of Mars, a vision that encompasses both cutting-edge research on Mars as a place of essential astrobiological significance, and one that weaves in lessons from the diverse histories of exploration of our own planet.

Significance: Funded by NASA, and managed by the Kluge Center in consultation with the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the program encourages chair holders to conduct research at the intersection of the science of astrobiology and its humanistic and societal implications ((http://www.loc.gov/loc/kluge/fellowships/NASA-astrobiology.html).

“I’m thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to broaden humanity’s vision for Mars,” said Dr. Walkowicz. “The Library of Congress’ collections are an incredible resource for insight into the past and future of exploration, on Earth and beyond.”

About Dr. Walkowicz: Lucianne Walkowicz is an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago (http://www.adlerplanetarium.org) where she studies stellar magnetic activity and its influence on planetary habitability using data from NASA’s Kepler Mission. Walkowicz holds a BS in physics and astronomy from John Hopkins University, and an MS and PhD in astronomy from the University of Washington. She is also a TED Senior Fellow and a practicing artist.

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