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Tag: Adam Frank

Making the case for life on other planets

Making the case for life on other planets

June 15, 2016

How can we calculate the likelihood of technological civilizations having existed on other planets? That’s a question Adam Frank, professor of astronomy, considers in an essay, “Yes, There Have Been Aliens,” published in the New York Times.

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What makes America (and civilization) great

What makes America (and civilization) great

June 7, 2016

Astronomy professor Adam Frank traces the “line from [Ellis] Chesbrough’s audacious plan to make Chicago a clean, functioning city 150 years ago and the invisible infrastructures hiding behind your cell phone” today. / NPR.org

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Are we alone? Setting some limits to our uniqueness

Are we alone? Setting some limits to our uniqueness

April 27, 2016

Are humans unique and alone in the vast universe? This question– summed up in the famous Drake equation–has for a half-century been one of the most intractable and uncertain in science. But a new paper shows that the recent discoveries of exoplanets combined with a broader approach to the question makes it possible to assign a new empirically valid probability to whether any other advanced technological civilizations have ever existed.

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Can big data resolve the human condition?

Can big data resolve the human condition?

April 26, 2016

The Kavli HUMAN Project holds great promise for putting big data to the test. But as astronomy professor Adam Frank argue, “with great promise comes great responsibility.” / NPR

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Are snowflakes truly unique, like you?

Are snowflakes truly unique, like you?

January 19, 2016

I stood outside for a while under a streetlight watching the giant Lake-Effect snow blobs fall — and I got to thinking about the physics of snowflakes.

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How real is reality?

How real is reality?

January 5, 2016

Reality, in other words, seems pretty stubborn, pretty fixed — and pretty much independent of whatever is going on in your head. But is it? Is it really all those things?

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After Paris: reason, faith and love

After Paris: reason, faith and love

November 17, 2015

I’m good at abstracting things. It’s part of my job description as a theoretical astrophysicist. This weekend, however, I spent much of my time restraining that impulse. I didn’t want to hide in the comfort of a million-year perspective or the view from 30,000 light-years.

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Is it moral to explore, and colonize, Mars?

Is it moral to explore, and colonize, Mars?

November 3, 2015

There are many thought-provoking moments in the new movie The Martian. But unspoken, behind the film, is a truly profound question about humanity’s next steps into the solar system.

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Why the future of transportation depends on changing infrastructure

Why the future of transportation depends on changing infrastructure

October 15, 2015

University of Rochester astrophysicist and NPR commentator and blogger, Adam Frank, thinks about cities from a planetary point of view. He’s interested in the effect that our urban environments have on the natural one.

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NASA finding water on Mars is hugely good news for life everywhere — but it’s only the first step, expert says

NASA finding water on Mars is hugely good news for life everywhere — but it’s only the first step, expert says

September 28, 2015

Water is an amazing substance. It allows so many kinds of chemicals to dissolve and begin reacting that you have to work pretty hard to imagine how life could exist without water around.

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