Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Connections: Science's next frontier - inside alien worlds

Astrophysicist Adam Frank says that science has united us during this very difficult year. Writing for, Frank argues, "It is no overstatement to say that science saved our lives and our hope for the future. And it did so by overcoming all the denialists who attack its validity, dismiss its honesty and power, and repeatedly call for its funding to be cut."

He discusses those ideas, and he joins colleagues to explain how scientists are using "football field-sized lasers to recreate conditions deep inside alien worlds." This is how scientists could decide, in the future, which planets to zero in on... in the search for other civilizations. Our guests:

  • Adam Frank, Helen F. and Fred H. Gowen Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester
  • Gilbert 'Rip' Collins, professor of mechanical engineering and physics and astronomy at the University of Rochester, associate director for the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, and director for the Center for Matter at Atomic Pressures
  • Sarah Stewart, professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at UC Davis
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.