NEXT: Is This the Starship Century?
Our ancestors gazed at a night sky filled from horizon to horizon with brilliant stars. Were they dreaming of reaching for the cosmos even before they were fully human? Regrettably, interstellar voyages with today’s technology would take thousands or even tens of thousands of years. We’re not there yet, but some of the smartest people on our planet are working on ways we can conquer the final frontier. Propulsion by energy beam, warp drive and other technologies are being researched with encouragement from NASA and other organizations.
Physicist and Nebula Award-winning science fiction writer Gregory Benford and his fellow physicist and brother, James Benford, are at the forefront of this quest. They have just published "Starship Century --Toward the Grandest Horizon," featuring writing by leading scientists and masters of science fiction, all focused on moving humans to the final chapter in space travel - building a starship and taking interstellar flight. How will humanity change as it spreads throughout the galaxy? Join Gregory and James Benford at the Crawford Family Forum for conversation with NEXT science series host Mat Kaplan, and imagine your first step to the stars.
Mat Kaplan: host of KPCC’s science series, “NEXT: People | Science | Tomorrow;” host of Planetary Radio for The Planetary Society.
Gregory Benford, PhD: professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine. He is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University, and has served as an advisor to the Department of Energy, NASA and the White House Council on Space Policy. A prolific science fiction writer, he is author of over twenty novels, including Jupiter Project, Artifact, Against Infinity, Eater, and Timescape.
James Benford, PhD: President of Lafayette, California-based Microwave Sciences, Inc., which provides contracting and consulting services in High Power Microwaves. His expertise includes high power microwave systems from conceptual designs to hardware, microwave source physics, electromagnetic power beaming for space propulsion, and experimental intense particle beams.
6:30pm - Doors Open
7:00pm - Program
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“NEXT: People | Science | Tomorrow “-- the Crawford Family Forum series on the convergence of science, technology and society.