The Kepler craft and many other telescopes have been used to discover well over 3,500 planets outside the Solar System. The big question, for many, is how many of these worlds are habitable – not only for life in general, but humans in particular? Specifically, what does it take to make a planet habitable – and, can”habitability” be equated with a suitability for the evolution of complex life? In this talk David Stevenson describes how he has applied a combination of climate models for exo-planets (those from outside the Solar System) and ecological principles to decide just how habitable a habitable planet can be. In doing so he give a partial answer to Fermi’s famous question, “Where is everybody?”
David did his first degree at the University of Glasgow in Molecular Biology, before moving to Cambridge to do a PhD with Ian Furner in Genetics. Since then he worked in academia for a few years before becoming a teacher. He is now a teacher at Carlton le Willows Academy, where he is the Assistant Head of Sixth Form and Lead in Biology, Forensics and the EPQ. He’s written six books with Springer: Extreme Explosions (about Supernovae); Under a Crimson Sun (covering the same topic as this talk); The Complex Lives of StarClusters (about star clusters…); The Exo-Weather Report (about terrestrial and extra-terrestrial weather and climate); The Nature of Life and its Potential to Survive (about the development and extinction of life); Granite Skyscrapers (about how granite has shaped our world and influences biology) – and finally Red Dwarfs and their Worlds – released later this year.
Admission: £3 including refreshments. Please let us know you are coming on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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