Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate

/ American Museum of Natural History /

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asimov-12_mediumIsaac Asimov was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University and also well known for his works of science fiction and popular science. Asimov was a prolific writer, and wrote or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. Asimov wrote hard science fiction and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the “Big Three” science fiction writers during his lifetime.

In his memory, the Hayden Planetarium is honored to host the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: a panel series generously endowed by relatives, friends and admirers of Isaac Asimov and his work. The Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate brings the finest minds in the world to the Museum each year to debate pressing questions on the frontier of scientific discovery. Proceeds from ticket sales of the Isaac Asimov Memorial Panels benefit the scientific and educational programs of the Hayden Planetarium.

Hosted by moderator and Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson as he leads a spirited discussion with a group of physicists, philosophers and journalists on various topics…

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2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation?

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Biologists today have the knowledge, the tools, and the ability to influence the evolution of life on Earth. Do we have an obligation to bring back species that human activities may have rendered extinct? Does the technology exist to do so? Join Tyson and the panel for a lively debate about the merits and shortcomings of this provocative idea.

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Discussion about the merits and shortcomings of a provocative and revolutionary idea—that perhaps the universe as we know it is a computer simulation. While the debate may have started as a science fiction speculation, it has become a serious line of investigation among physicists, astrophysicists, and philosophers.

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A panel of experts for a lively discussion about the past, present, and future of water on Earth on Tuesday, April 28, at 7 pm. Earth is the only place in our solar system with liquid water on its surface. Even though water makes up only 0.03 percent of the Earth’s total mass, it covers 70 percent of the planet’s surface.

Where did this water come from? Why is it mostly in liquid form? Is water essential to all life in the universe?

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Space exploration is entering a new era. Dozens of aerospace companies have emerged in recent years, all with the goal of commercializing space as never before. Could this next generation of entrepreneurs, and not NASA, be the ones who transform space into our backyard?  In this video, hear from a few experts in the business of selling space.

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From the best laboratory vacuums on Earth to the vacuum of space to what lies beyond, the idea of nothing continues to intrigue professionals and the public alike. Join discussion with a group of physicists, philosophers and journalists about the existence of nothing.

The event, which was streamed live to the web, took place at the American Museum of Natural History on March 20, 2013. Panelists include J. Richard Gott, Jim Holt, Lawrence Krauss, Charles Seife and Eva Silverstein.

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The 2012 debate pitted some of the experimentalists who claimed to have discovered faster-than-light neutrinos against their strongest critics, as well as other teams who are racing to test Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity with unprecedented precision.

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Can the entire universe be explained with a single, unifying theory? This is perhaps the most fundamental question in all of science and it may also be the most controversial. Albert Einstein was among the first to envision a unified theory that could account for the behavior of all matter and energy in the cosmos, but a definitive solution has eluded physicists to this day.

In this Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate, recorded on March 7, 2011, Neil deGrasse Tyson moderated a panel of the world’s leading voices on this great scientific question.

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With what we now know about the stars in our galaxy and the planets that orbit them, we can begin to address this question with informed debate.Panelists are selected for their diverse expertise in geology, biology, chemistry, and physics and for the ways they have applied these fields to address the past, present, and future of planet Earth.

This event is a special Asimov Panel Debate in celebration of the Rose Center’s 10th Anniversary.

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