David Grinspoon

discusses

Earth in Human Hands:
Shaping Our Planet's Future

This event includes a book signing

Date

Dec
9
Friday
December 9, 2016
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning author and astrobiologist DAVID GRINSPOON—author of Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life—for a discussion of his latest book, Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet's Future.

About Earth in Human Hands

For the first time in Earth's history, our planet is experiencing a confluence of rapidly accelerating changes prompted by one species: humans. Climate change is only the most visible of the modifications we've made—up until this point, inadvertently—to the planet. And our current behavior threatens not only our own future but that of countless other creatures. By comparing Earth's story to those of other planets, astrobiologist David Grinspoon shows what a strange and novel development it is for a species to evolve to build machines, and ultimately, global societies with world-shaping influence.

Without minimizing the challenges of the next century, Grinspoon suggests that our present moment is not only one of peril, but also great potential, especially when viewed from a 10,000-year perspective. Our species has surmounted the threat of extinction before, thanks to our innate ingenuity and ability to adapt, and there's every reason to believe we can do so again.

Our challenge now is to awaken to our role as a force of planetary change, and to grow into this task. We must become graceful planetary engineers, conscious shapers of our environment and caretakers of Earth's biosphere. This is a perspective that begs us to ask not just what future do we want to avoid, but what do we seek to build? What kind of world do we want? Are humans the worst thing or the best thing to ever happen to our planet? Today we stand at a pivotal juncture, and the answer will depend on the choices we make.

Praise

"In his wonderful writing style, Dr. Grinspoon spells it out: A single species is inducing more profound changes to our planet than any other organism in geologic history. It's us. If you have family and friends here on Earth, read this book. The Earth is in our hands." —Bill Nye "The Science Guy", New York Times bestselling author of Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World

"David Grinspoon has done it again: cracked open our universe with a scientific inquiry that is as inspiring and engaging as it is profound. Where others see inevitable catastrophe, Grinspoon sees historic opportunity. Grinspoon is a gifted storyteller and his narrative is the rare confluence of authoritative and thought-provoking science and rollicking fun. Earth in Human Hands is a must read for anyone interested in evolution, planetary science, the crisis of the environment, and human survival. Destined to be a classic." —Peter Heller, New York Times bestselling author of The Dog Stars and The Whale Warriors

"In a moving, personal journey, Grinspoon takes the reader from molten, planetary origins, past current crises like climate change, toward a destiny that our children may yet forge, standing on our shoulders." —David Brin, New York Times bestselling author of Earth and Existence

David Grinspoon
David Grinspoon

David Grinspoon

David Grinspoon is an astrobiologist and award-winning author, who has participated in several spacecraft missions to other planets. His research focuses on catastrophic changes on planets, including Earth. In 2013-2014 he was the inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at the Library of Congress. Currently, he is a Principal Scientist at the Planetary Science Institute. His popular writing has appeared in Slate, Scientific American, Natural History, The Sciences, Astronomy, Seed, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Nautilus, and Sky & Telescope, where he is a contributing editor and writes the regular “Cosmic Relief” column. His book, Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life won the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Nonfiction. Grinspoon is also the recipient of the Carl Sagan Medal for Public Communication of Planetary Science. His website is www.funkyscience.net.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.

FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Purchase the Book
Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
(617) 661-1424 x6
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

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