ECWG dinner talk will be on astrobiology

Marc Kaufman, who writes about NASA and space issues for The Washington Post, will talk on “Lake Vostok and the Burgeoning Science of Astrobiology” at the ECWG’s Saturday, May 19, Cosmos Club dinner.

Marc Kaufman

He will describe how the hunt for life beyond Earth is taking researchers to the most extreme environments on our planet – Lake Vostok in Antarctica, the deep gold mines of South Africa, the Atacama Desert – as well as into space and soon onto the surface of Mars.

Kaufman’s  Jan. 31, 2012 Washington Post story explains why astrobiologists are interested in Antarctica’s Lake Vostok.

He has been a reporter on the Post’s national staff for ten years.  Kaufman has also worked as a foreign correspondent at the Post, reporting from Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks, and as New Delhi bureau chief for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday, and New York magazines, as well as Smithsonian and Condé Nast Traveler.

In his book: “First Contact: Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth” (Simon & Schuster), Kaufman suggests that, as never before, we now have the knowledge and technology to answer that question, and will likely find life beyond Earth in the next generation.

For the book, he traveled the world to learn firsthand about the innovative and extensive research under way to understand and ultimately identify extraterrestrial life, and he reports from the Vatican about efforts to reconcile some of the discoveries with religious belief. Kaufman says his past work as a foreign correspondent prepared him for this study of the newly emerging and dynamic field of astrobiology.

The dinner costs $50 for each person. The evening begins with cocktail hour at 6 p.m.

Reservations must be received before noon, on Monday, March 14 by Bill Runyon, 1812 19th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20009, (202) 234-7490, or email:  bill.runyon@verizon.net

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