Marc Kaufman: First Contact

First ContactVia Authors@Google:

Marc Kaufman visits Google’s San Francisco office to present his book “First Contact: Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth“. This event took place on May 27, 2011, as part of the Authors@Google series.

In his riveting, game-changing book First Contact: Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth Marc Kaufman, The Washington Post science and space reporter, tells the incredible true story of science’s search for the beginnings of life on Earth and the likelihood of it existing elsewhere in our universe. He has received amazing praise, a sampling is below, and the book is being embraced by the science community from NASA to the Smithsonian and the Natural History Museum.

For decades, researchers assumed that the genesis of life was too delicate a process to exist anywhere other than Earth. But recent discoveries from microbes living in unimaginably inhospitable environments to new extra-solar planets point towards a day when the existence of extraterrestrial life will be confirmed. Kaufman takes readers around the globe, into space, and miles below Earth’s surface to show how the search for life on other planets is changing the way humans think about their own history, what it means to be human, and what, exactly, life is. It is a complicated quest made simple: First Contact is the first book to bring together cutting-edge developments across the many branches of science, from microbiology to geochemistry, physics, and astronomy, that are racing to verify what was once deemed impossible. Kaufman demystifies the rigorous science and advanced technology that is edging ever closer to the most important scientific discovery of our time.

Also see a related SETI Talk and panel discussion which features Kaufman, as well as Jill Tarter, Seth Shostak and Frank Drake:

Finally, you can check out Kaufman’s website.

Izzeldin Abuelaish: I Shall Not Hate

I Shall Not Hate (book cover Wikipedia)Via ABC:

Palestinian doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish‘s three daughters were killed by an Israeli rocket yet he vowed not to succumb to bitterness and hate, even as he poured out his grief live on an Israeli television program. He tells his incredible story in his book, “I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity

At this Sydney Writers Festival session, he’s speaking with magazine journalist David Leser.

Izzeldin Abuelaish is a Palestinian doctor and infertility expert who was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. He trained in Egypt, London, Israel, Italy, Belgium and the US, and spent most of his working life working in Israel. Abuelaish worked as a researcher at the Gerner Institute at Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv. He now lives with his remaining family in Toronto.

David Leser has been a journalist for 32 years, working as a feature writer in North America, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. He has been nominated four times for the Walkley Award, winning it in 1999. He has won the Magazine Publishers Association award for feature writing three times. Since 2000 he has been writer-at-large for the ‘Australian Women’s Weekly’. He is the author of four books.


Length: 53 minutes 48 seconds

Mary Catherine Bateson: Live Longer, Think Longer

Mary Catherine BatesonVia ABC/Fora.tv/The Long Now Foundation:

Mary Catherine Bateson is a cultural anthropologist now 71, the daughter of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson.

Her famed 1989 book “Composing a Life” showed how women were learning to treat their necessarily fragmented careers as a coherent improvisational art form. Her new book is titled “Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom“.

Mary Catherine Bateson - Composing a Further LifeWe’re not just living longer, we’re thriving longer, Bateson says, but so far we seem to be thinking shorter. Aging societies the world over can benefit from increased longevity because human lives have added a new stage, what Bateson calls “Adulthood II: the age of active wisdom”. People of grandparent age, finding themselves with more energy and health than obsolete stereotypes had led them to expect, are seeing their lives whole and the world whole and taking on radically new activities in light of that perspective. These older adults have the potential to bring a longer perspective to decision-making that affects the future.

Mary Catherine Bateson is a writer and cultural anthropologist who divides her time between New Hampshire and Massachusetts. She has written and co-authored many books and articles, and lectures across the US and abroad and has taught at Harvard, Northeastern University, Amherst College, Spelman College and abroad in the Philippines and in Iran. In 2004, she retired from her position as Clarence J. Robinson Professor in Anthropology and English at George Mason University, and is now Professor Emerita. Her books in print include “Composing a Life”, “Our Own Metaphor” and “Peripheral Visions”, as well as a memoir, “With a Daughter’s Eye: A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson”.

Stewart Brand is an American writer, best known as editor of the Whole Earth Catalogue. He founded a number of organizations including The WELL, the Global Business Network, and the Long Now Foundation. He is the author of several books, most recently “Whole Earth Discipline: An Eco-Pragmatist Manifesto”.


Length: 88 minutes 31 seconds