Center for Science Writings Event: Caleb Scharf (Columbia University), "The Copernicus Complex: Our Cosmic Significance in a Universe of Planets and Probabilities"

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 ( 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm )

Location: Babbio 122, Stevens Institute of Technology

Wednesday, November 19, 3-4:30 p.m., Babbio 122
Caleb Scharf (Astrophysicist, Columbia University), "The Copernicus Complex: Our Cosmic Significance in a Universe of Planets and Probabilities"

ABSTRACT
Columbia University astrophysicist Caleb Scharf will talk about his new book, "The Copernicus Complex," which explores scientific investigations into whether our existence was probable or a once-in-infinity fluke. Scharf uses the latest scientific findings to reconsider where we stand in the balance between cosmic significance and mediocrity, order and chaos. He proposes a way forward in the ultimate quest: determining life’s abundance, not just across this universe but across all realities.

Biography
Caleb Scharf was born and educated in England. He received his B.Sc. in Physics from Durham University, and his Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Cambridge. Following postdoctoral work in X-ray astronomy and observational cosmology at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Maryland, he has been a research scientist at Columbia University, New York. He is currently Director of the multidisciplinary Columbia Astrobiology Center. His research interests include the study of exoplanets, exomoons, and the nature of environments suitable for life.