When science meets history at ANU

Two new disciplines, seemingly from opposite sides of the academic sphere, will meet tomorrow at The Australian National University (ANU) for the “Expanding World Views” conference.

Astrobiology – which focusses on life elsewhere in the Universe – and Big History – which looks at the history of the cosmos – have more in common than initial impressions would suggest. The similarities, and differences, across both fields will be explored at the one day event being held on Thursday 19 July at ANU.

The conference brings together experts in Big History, Astrobiology, International Relations and Space Exploration from universities and research institutes in Australia, the United States, and the UK.

ANU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and historian Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington said Astrobiology and Big History deliver novel insights on account of the scale and boundary-crossing nature of their research.

 “They invite us to think about change at universal and global scales, and to revisit some of our basic assumptions about how the world is and how it might be understood. I was honoured to be invited to present, I and look forward to leading a discussion on how big history encourages us to think about ethics in different ways,” Professor Hughes-Warrington said.

The event has been organised by Professor Ian Crawford from Birkbeck College, University of London, UK, who is currently a Visiting Research Fellow with the ANU Humanities Research Centre.

 “The meeting will provide a unique forum for discussing the relationships between Astrobiology and Big History, with an emphasis on their wider intellectual and societal benefits,” Professor Crawford said.

The event will be held from 8:30am on Thursday 19 July. Full details are available on the ANU website.



Professor Ian Crawford
Visiting Research Fellow
Humanities Research Centre
E: i.crawford@bbk.ac.uk


Professor Paul Davis
Director, Beyond Centre for Fundamental Concepts in Science
Arizona State University
M: +1 480 302 1066
E: Paul.Davies@asu.edu


WHAT: “Expanding Worldviews: Astrobiology, Big History, and the Social and Intellectual Benefits of the Cosmic Perspective"

WHERE: Theatrette, Sir Roland Wilson Building, ANU

WHEN: 8.30am, Thursday 19 July

For media assistance, contact the ANU Media Team on +61 2 6125 7979 or at .


About The Australian National University

ANU is a world-leading university in Australia’s capital city, Canberra. Our location points to our unique history, ties to the Australian Government and special standing as a resource for the Australian people.

Our focus on research as an asset, and an approach to education, ensures our graduates are in demand the world-over for their abilities to understand, and apply vision and creativity to addressing complex contemporary challenges.

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