Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology

Library of Congress/NASA

Job Type: Government/Non-Profit

Application Deadline: December 1, 2014


I write to invite you to consider applying to the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology, or to pass this invitation on to a qualifies colleague.

A recently establish partnership between NASA’s Astrobiology Program and the Library of Congress, the Bulmberg Chair, an annually selected position, supports a senior scholar in the sciences or the humanities to take up residence in the Library’s John w. Kluge Center and conduct research on the humanistic and societal impacts of astrobiology.

Dr. David Grinspoon, the inaugural chair, studied the Anthropocene Era through the lens of astrobiology, asking questions about the future of life on Earth. Dr. Steven Dick, the second chair holder, is investigating how the possible discovery of microbial or complex life in the universe might impact society.

The Astrobiology Chair creates an opportunity to research the range an complexity of societal issues relate to how life begins and evolves,  and to examine religious, ethical, legal, cultural, and other concerns arising from scientific research on the origin, evolution and nature of life. Possibilities for research subjects are many.The following are meant to inspire, not limit, your creativity: legal issues related to governance of planets and space; the ethical implicates of cross-contamination; scientific and philosophical definitions of life; conceptions of the origins of life in theistic and non-theistic religions; comparison of the discussion of these issues in multiple nations and cultures.

Located in the Library’s magnificent Jefferson Building, the Kluge Center offers a rich intellectual atmosphere for informal discussion and exchange of perspectives.

Individuals are welcome to apply directly. For further information please consult the Center’s webpage: http://www.loc.gov/loc/kluge/fellowships/NASA-astrobiology.html. You may also direct questions to Dan Turello: dour@loc.gov. Full applications are due by December 1, 2014.

We invite you to disseminate information about the Chair widely, to your colleagues, academic departments, and personal networks. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Posted: August 06, 2014