Events Calendar

Creative Matters lecture: David Grinspoon

David Grinspoon is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author. He is a Senior Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and Adjunct Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Science at the University of Colorado.

What are we doing here on this planet? Can a deep-time and deep-space viewpoint help us gain the perspective to create a sustainable civilization? Informed by comparative planetology and a survey of the major transitions in Earth history, David Grinspoon will describe a series of planetary catastrophes meant to illuminate the unusual nature of the “Anthropocene”– our current time of human-driven planetary changes–and reframe our environmental predicaments as part of a larger narrative of planetary evolution. This saga has now reached the pivotal moment when humans have become a major agent of global change, and geological and human history are becoming irreversibly conjoined. Is this a likely or even inevitable challenge facing other complex life in the universe? Possible implications for SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence) will be considered, as well as the choices our civilization faces in seeking to foster a wisely managed Earth. Grinspoon is a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and adjunct professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Science at the University of Colorado. NPR’s Science Friday named his new book Earth in Human Hands a Best Science Book of 2016.

Creative Matters lecture

Grinspoon's talk is part of the Creative Matters lecture series sponsored by the UI Office of Research and Economic Development in collaboration with the UI Arts Advancement Committee. A Q&A session will follow his talk. The event is free and open to the public.

The Creative Matters lecture series, launched in Fall 2015, seeks to demonstrate that creativity and innovation are not only at the core of all research and discovery, but also central to our human experience. Our lineup of speakers includes artists, thinkers, builders, and doers who challenge conventional thinking about creativity, science, and artistic expression, and borrow from a range of influences and disciplines in their work. 

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Leslie Weatherhead in advance at or 319-335-2131.

Tuesday, April 25 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Art Building West, Room 240
141 North Riverside Drive, Iowa City, Iowa

Event Type





Research & Economic Development

General Interest

After Class, Arts Iowa, Outreach Iowa


OVPRED professional development, Creative Matters






Contact Name

Leslie Weatherhead

Contact Email

Contact Phone Number



Recent Activity

Michael Hovland

Michael Hovland left a positive review 4/24/2017

I thought Dr. Grinspoon was articulate and thoughtful and presented a good overview of an obviously very complex subject.

Event Registration Required

This event requires registration.