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Arts & Life

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