About: Jeffrey Bennett holds a B.A. in Biophysics from the University of California at San Diego and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Astrophysics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He specializes in mathematics and science education, spending most of his time as a writer, along with speaking to audiences ranging from elementary school children to college faculty, and offering teacher in-service workshops. He has taught extensively at all levels, including having founded and run a private science summer school for elementary and middle school children. At the college level, he has taught more than fifty classes in astronomy, physics, mathematics, and education. He is the author of best-selling college textbooks in four distinct subject areas: astronomy, mathematics, statistics, and astrobiology (life in the universe); together, these books have sold more than 1 million copies. He has written three books for general public: On the Cosmic Horizon (Addison Wesley, 2001); Beyond UFOs (Princeton University Press, 2008/2011), which was selected by Miami University as their Convocation book for all incoming students to read in 2008/9; and Math for Life (Roberts & Co, 2012), which won the Colorado Book Award for general nonfiction. He is also the creator and author of the children’s series “Science Adventures with Max the Dog,” which includes Max Goes to the Moon, Max Goes to Mars, and Max Goes to Jupiter, and of The Wizard Who Saved the World. Through his “Max Goes to Schools” donation program, he has donated more than 22,000 copies of his children’s books to elementary school libraries across the nation.
Among his other major endeavors, he served two years as a Visiting Senior Scientist at NASA Headquarters, where his achievements included creating the Initiative to Develop Education through Astronomy (originally IDEA, now called IDEAS), developing the Perspectives From Space theme (and creating its poster set) for International Space Year, and helping start the program known as Flight Opportunities for Science Teacher EnRichment (FOSTER), which flew teachers on the Kuiper Airborne Observatory and will soon be taking teachers on the SOFIA airborne observatory.
Perhaps his most visible achievements have been his work in developing educational scale models of the solar system. He proposed the idea for and helped develop both the Colorado Scale Model Solar System (on the University of Colorado campus) and the Voyage Scale Model Solar System on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
Among his current projects, he is the founder of Big Kid Science, a company dedicated to educating and inspiring children with the wonders of science. When not working, he enjoys participating in masters swimming and the daily adventures of life with his wife Lisa, children Grant and Brooke, and dog Cosmo.
Talk Synopsis: Beyond UFOs: The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Its Astonishing Implications for our Future
Is there really life beyond Earth? Astrophysicist Jeffrey Bennett will talk about why this question has become a hot topic of scientific research, and discuss how scientists are searching both for microbial life and extraterrestrial intelligence. Among other topics, the talk will include recent discoveries on Mars and the Kepler satellite’s detection of earth-like planets orbiting other stars. We’ll also see why the possibility of life beyond Earth has profound implications to the future of our species, even in the unlikely event that we are alone in the universe.
Date: Friday, February 14th
Time: 1:00 – 2:15 PM