This program was recorded at the 12th Annual Wonderfest, the San Francisco Bay Area Festival of Science.
Wonderfest's broad goals are best described by its mission statement: Through public discourse about provocative scientific questions, Wonderfest aspires to stimulate curiosity, promote careful reasoning, challenge unexamined beliefs, and encourage life-long learning.
Wonderfest achieves these ends by presenting series of scientific events to the general public. At most of these events, pairs of articulate and accomplished researchers discuss and debate compelling questions at the edge of scientific understanding.
Ken Croswell is an astronomer and author in Berkeley, California. He first became interested in astronomy during first grade. In high school, he earned first place in the Priscilla and Bart Bok Awards. He graduated summa cum laude from Washington University, where he majored in physics and minored in English literature and mathematics. He earned his Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard University for studying the Milky Way. During his research, he discovered a halo star located 90,000 light-years above the plane of the Galaxy.
Dr. Croswell is the author of eight books on astronomy: The Alchemy of the Heavens, finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Planet Quest, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Magnificent Universe, a number one Amazon bestseller in Massachusetts; See the Stars, the easiest constellation guide ever published; The Universe at Midnight, a New Scientist Must-Read Best Book of the Year; Magnificent Mars, the largest full-color Mars book ever published; Ten Worlds, recipient of a Publishers Weekly starred review; and The Lives of Stars.
He has also written for Astronomy Now, New Scientist, The New York Times, Sky and Telescope, Star Date, and other publications. In addition, he has written for two radio programs: "Earth and Sky," and "Star Date." For many years he has been the astronomy consultant for Highlights for Children. He does not write for magazines that carry tobacco advertisements.