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  • Sponsored by Best of the East Bay
  • Sponsored by Future Fridays

Future Fridays

Upcoming Speakers | Past Speakers

Chabot Space & Science Center presents a series of community conversations with science and futurist thought leaders

  • Tickets: $23 Members / $26 Guests
    $30 at the Door: No discounts & subject to availability

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Ticket proceeds help underwrite the educational programming at Chabot.
Speaker Series tickets make great gifts for friends and teachers!

This series is proudly sponsored by Rudney Associates


2017 Season

March 17, 2017 - 6pm
Scott Manley – Can You Learn Rocket Science from Video Games?

5 years ago a video game appeared called 'Kerbal Space Program'. Scott made a few videos teaching people how to play the game and somehow this turned into a second career where he put science and video games side by side on YouTube. As it turns out, playing video games is an immensely powerful way to teach players of all ages, and through playing with virtual rockets, millions of people of all ages have learned physics, orbital mechanics and rocket science.

Bio »

Best known for his space themed YouTube channel where he brings science into video games and teaches kids of all ages the math behind rocket science. Originally from Scotland Scott Manley spent a decade in academia studying astrophysics and computational physics at the University of Glasgow and Armagh Observatory before being lured to the SF Bay Area by the prospect of a 'paying job' in the land of tech startups.

When Kerbal Space Program appeared, his videos explaining the game and the science behind it became big hits on YouTube. Scott’s videos generated over 100million video views and 500,000 subscribers in part because of his knowledge, but most likely because of his Scottish accent, tag lines and bad jokes.

Scott is also a long term supporter of planetary defense having studied the asteroid hazard in his postgraduate work. He has worked with Asteroid Day and the B612 Foundation to promote the cause.

Scott's YouTube channel is youtube.com/user/szyzyg

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7, 2017 - 6pm
Dr. David Grinspoon – Earth in Human Hands: A Cosmic View of our Planet’s Past, Present and Future

What are we doing here on this planet? Can a deep-time and deep-space viewpoint help us gain the perspective to create a sustainable civilization? Informed by comparative planetology and a survey of the major transitions in Earth history, David Grinspoon will describe a taxonomy of planetary catastrophes meant to illuminate the unusual nature of the "Anthropocene,” our current time of human-driven planetary changes, and reframe our environmental predicaments as part of a larger narrative of planetary evolution. This saga has now reached the pivotal moment when humans have become a major agent of global change, and geological and human history are becoming irreversibly conjoined. Is this a likely or even inevitable challenge facing other complex life in the universe? Possible implications for SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence) will be considered, as well as the choices our civilization faces in seeking to foster a wisely managed Earth.

Bio »

Dr. David Grinspoon is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author, as well as a frequent advisor to NASA on space exploration strategy. In 2013 he was appointed as the inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at the U.S. Library of Congress where he studied the human impact on Earth and organized a public symposium on the Longevity of Human Civilization. Grinspoon's writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Scientific American, Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. He lectures widely, and appears frequently on television, radio and podcasts, including as a frequent guest on StarTalk Radio and host of the new spinoff StarTalk All Stars.

Check out Dr. Grinspoon’s book, Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet’s Future.

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Past Speakers


  • MJ Marggraff
    Far and Away: Going Beyond Earth Without Going Crazy
  • Christopher McKay
    Life on Mars: Past and Future
  • Dr. Robert Knight
    Insights into Human Behavior from Neurological Patients
  • Scott Hutchins
    Novel Science: The Making of A Working Theory of Love


  • Peter H. Gleick
    The Future of Water for California and the World
  • Ed Finn
    How to Build a Dream Machine
  • Steven Shepard
    From the Internet of Things to the Internet of Human Capability
  • Bill Nye
    Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation


  • Will Wright
    Game Designer & Creator of Sim City
  • Tom Atchison
    Founder & Chairman, Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation
  • Carl Haber
    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Physicist
    and MacArthur Genius Award Winner
  • Edward Moses
    Director of Fusion Science and Applications Research, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • Alexander Rose
    Executive Director of Long Now Foundation and Clock Project Manager
  • Ray Jayawardhana
    Author and Professor of Observational Astrophysics


  • Jim Capobianco, Derek Thompson & Kevin O'Brien
    Pixar Animation Studios
  • Dr. Felisa Wolfe-Simon
  • Dr. Alex Filippenko
  • John Romero & Brenda Brathwaite Romero
    Game Designers
  • Robert Weiss
    President of Xprize & Entertainment Movie Producer


  • Brian David Johnson
    Author and FutureCaster at Intel
  • Ben Burtt
    Sound Director, Designer & Engineer for LucasFilms/Pixar
  • Bill Nye the Climate Guy
    Scientist, Engineer, Comedian, Author, and Inventor
  • Ray Jayawardhana
    Author and Professor of Observational Astrophysics


  • Dr. Michio Kaku
    Bestselling Author and Popularizer of Science
  • Mary Roach
    Columnist and Popular Science Writer and Author
  • Bill McKibben
    American Environmentalist and Writer
  • Al Worden
    Apollo 15 Astronaut