Adler Planetarium Astronomer Dr. Lucianne Walkowicz Named Chair in Astrobiology at the Library of Congress
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. She will begin on October 1, 2017, and be in residence for 12 months.
Walkowicz is an astronomer at the Adler Planetarium, in Chicago, where she studies stellar magnetic activity and its influence on planetary habitability, using data from NASA’s Kepler Mission. Walkowicz holds a B.S. in Physics and Astronomy from Johns Hopkins University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Washington. She is also a TED Senior Fellow and a practicing artist, working in a variety of media, from oil paint to sound.
At the Library of Congress, 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 that weaves in lessons from the diverse histories of exploration on our own planet. “The Library of Congress collections include unique legislative material, which can provide primary resources on the international and domestic policies governing human exploration of space,” says Walkowicz, who will also convene public meetings, bringing together the brightest, most diverse minds working at the intersections of space and society today, to explore paths toward becoming an interplanetary species that enhances access to space, rather than mirroring our Earthbound inequalities.