Sturm Memorial Lecture

In memory of Kenneth E. Sturm, a Wesleyan alumnus, this annual event is held in the spring and is open to the public. It features a presentation from an astronomer that is outstanding in their field and able to communicate the excitement of science to a lay audience. The event is free and open to anyone.

The 2015 Sturm Memorial Lecture

The Search for Earth 2.0 

Speaker: Dr. Sara Seager, Class of 1941 Professor of Planetary Science and Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

For thousands of years, people have wondered, “Are we alone?” Astronomers have now ascertained, statistically speaking, that every star in our Milky Way Galaxy should have at least one planet. Now for the first time in human history, current technology puts us on the verge of being able to search for planets like Earth that may have suitable conditions for life. Professor Seager will describe the science and technology behind the search for Earth 2.0. Professor Seager is a planetary scientist and astrophysicist. She has been a pioneer in the vast and unknown world of exoplanets, planets that orbit stars other than the sun. Her ground-breaking research ranges from the detection of exoplanet atmospheres to innovative theories about life on other worlds to development of novel space mission concepts. Professor Seager is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and was named in Time Magazine's 25 Most Influential in Space in 2012.

Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 8:00PM

Where: CFA Hall, Wesleyan University

Reception and telescope viewing at the Van Vleck Observatory to follow the lecture.

The Sturm Memorial Lecture is sponsored by the Astronomy Department, the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life and the Baldwin Lecture Fund, and the Connecticut Space Grant Consortium.

Past Speakers

YearGuest SpeakerTitle of presentation
2014 Dr. Meg Urry, Yale University "Black Holes, Galaxies, and the Evolution of the Universe"
2013 Dr. Adam Riess, Johns Hopkins University/Space Telescope Science Institute "Supernovae and the Discovery of the Accelerating Universe"
2012 Dr. Alan Title, Lockheed Martin/Stanford University "Making the Invisible Sun Visible"
2011 Dr. John Mather, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center "History of the Universe in a Nutshell: From the Big Bang to Life and the End of Time"
2010 Dr. Jill Tarter, SETI Institute "Are We Alone?"
2009 Dr. Taft Armandroff, W.M. Keck Observatory "Frontier Science with the World's Largest Telescope"
2008 Dr. Steven Squyres, Cornell University "Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity, and the Exploration of the Red Planet"
2007 Dr. Alex Filippenko, University of California, Berkeley "Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe"
2006 Dr. David Spergel, Princeton University "Taking the Baby Picture of the Universe"
2005 Dr. Charles Bailyn, Yale Univesity "How to See a Black Hole"
2004 Dr. Alyssa Goodman, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics "Making Stars"
2003 Dr. David J. Helfand, Columbia University "How Superman Saw the Stars"
2002 Dr. Neta Bahcall, Princeton University "The Dark Side of the Universe"
2001 Dr. Robert Williams, Distinguished Research Scholar of the Space Telescope Science Institute "Through The Looking Glass: The Universe Seen With Hubble Space Telescope"
2000 Dr. Geoff Marcy, University of California, Berkeley "Cosmic Oases: New Worlds and Life in the Universe"
1998 Dr. Martha Haynes, Cornell University "Dark Matter and the Future of the Universe"
1997 Dr. Margaret Geller, Harvard University "So Many Galaxies... So Little Time..."
1996 Dr. David Latham, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics "Searching for Planets"
1995 Dr. Robert Kirshner, Chairman of Astronomy Department at Harvard University "Taking Measure of the Universe: How Big? How Old? How Do We Know?"
1994 Dr. Owen Gingrich, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics "Hypothesis, Proof, and the Censors, or How Galileo Changed the Rules of Science."
1993 Dr. Stephen Strom, University of Massachusetts "The Formation of Stars and Solar Systems"
1992 Dr. Vera Rubin, Carnegie Institution of Washington "What Newton Didn't Know About the Universe"
1991 Dr. Jay Pasachoff, Williams College "The Sun and Solar Eclipses"