Hours & Directions

Mon, Tue: Closed

Wed - Sun : 10am - 5pm

  • 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

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


2015 Season

March 11,
Christopher McKay - Life on Mars: Past and Future

The search of past life on Mars is one of the key goal of NASA's astrobiology program. The indications from the missions to date are that we will have to drill meters below ground to find any preserved evidence of past life. Mars may have life in the future though. Humans may decide to set up permanent bases on Mars, as it may also be possible to restore the climate of Mars resulting in biology widespread on its surface. In his talk, McKay will explore the challenges and opportunities that impact our journey to Mars.

Bio »

Christopher McKay is a leading astrobiologist and planetary scientist with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley. McKay’s has spent more than 30 years advancing human understanding of the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life on Earth. He is actively involved in planning for future Mars missions that include human exploration. Christopher has been involved with polar and desert research, traveling to the Antarctic Dry Valleys, the Atacama Desert, the Arctic, and the Namib Desert to conduct research in these Mars-like environments.In his talk, McKay will explore the challenges and opportunities that impact our journey to Mars.

April 15,
Dr. Robert Knight - Insights into Human Behavior from Neurological Patients

Neurological patients provide a unique window into human cognition. In his talk, Dr. Knight will review classic cases of language, memory, attention and executive control problems to understand where and how the brain implements diverse human behaviors.

Bio »

Dr. Knight received a BS in Physics from the Illinois Institute of Technology, an MD from Northwestern University Medical School, did Neurology training at UC San Diego and Post-Doctoral training at the Salk Institute. He was at UC Davis from 1980-1998 and moved to UC Berkeley in 1998 where he served as Director of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute until 2011. Dr. Knight has received the Jacob Javits Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for distinguished contributions to neurological research, the IBM Cognitive Computing Award, the German Humboldt Prize in Neurobiology and the Distinguished Career Contribution Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. He studies neurological patients with frontal lobe damage and records electrical signals directly from the brain in neurosurgical patients to understand the role of prefrontal cortex in behavior. His laboratory is also engaged in developing a speech prosthesis for use in patients with disabling neurological disorders.

May 6,
Scott Hutchins- Novel Science: The Making of A Working Theory of Love

Science and art are often framed as opposites, if not enemies, but in this talk Bay Area author Scott Hutchins will discuss how Artificial Intelligence inspired, complicated, and deepened his breakout debut novel, A Working Theory of Love. Hutchins will read from his work, discuss chatbots, and delve into his comical experience as a judge for the world's only annual Turing Test.

Bio »

Scott Hutchins is a former Truman Capote fellow in the Wallace Stegner Program at Stanford University, where he currently teaches. His work has appeared in StoryQuarterly, Five Chapters, The Owls, The Rumpus, The New York Times, San Francisco Magazine, Catamaran, and Esquire, and was recently set to music. He is the recipient of two major Hopwood awards and the Andrea Beauchamp prize in short fiction. In 2006 and 2010, he was an artist-in-residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. His novel A Working Theory of Love was a San Francisco Chronicle and Salon Best Book of 2012 and has been translated into nine languages.

Past Speakers

  • 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