Astrobiologist David Grinspoon CASIRAS/LSTC webinar June 3, 2021

David Grinspoon presented “The Emergence of Planetary Intelligence: Astrobiology and the Anthropocene Earth” Thursday, June 3, at 5 p.m., Central Daylight Time. This free Zoom webinar was hosted by the Center for Advanced Study in Religion and Science (CASIRAS) and LSTC.

Grinspoon is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author. His research focuses on climate evolution on Earth-like planets, potential conditions for life elsewhere in the universe and the planetary scale impacts of human activities on Earth.

“David is one of the most multi-talented people I’ve ever met – a distinguished scientist, talented musician, and accomplished writer – as well as a warm, caring human being,” said Grace Wolf-Chase, senior scientist and senior education and communication specialist at the Planetary Science Institute. “He has said that what distinguishes human beings from other species on Earth is that we are the one species that can both change the world and recognize that we are changing it. He notes that ‘we have global influence without global control. So far we’re acting like adolescent planet vandals.’ I look forward to hearing more in his CASIRAS webinar.”

For the 2020-2021 academic year Grinspoon is distinguished visiting scholar in the College of the Environment at Wesleyan University. He is a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, adjunct professor of astrophysical and planetary science at the University of Colorado, and adjunct professor of science, technology and international affairs at Georgetown University.

He has given dozens of public lectures about climate change in the solar system and has collaborated with numerous scholars from the humanities on the ethical, spiritual and political dimensions of space exploration. His most recent book is Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto. His book Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet’s Future, was an NPR Science Friday Best Book of 2016. His book Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life won the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Nonfiction.

Grinspoon’s articles have been published in numerous scientific journals and mainstream media, including Sky & Telescope Magazine where he is a contributing editor. The American Astronomical Society awarded him the Carl Sagan Medal for Public Communication of Planetary Science.

Asteroid 22410 Grinspoon, a main-belt asteroid, is named after him. Read more about him.


CASIRAS is a supporting organization for the Zygon Center for Religion and Science in partnership with LSTC. It also supports Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science in partnership with the Institute on Religion in an Age of Science and the International Society for Science and Religion. Learn more at