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Life in the Cosmos: What Does It Take? – Dimitar Sasselov

Dimitar Sasselov

Dimitar Sasselov, Harvard professor of astronomy, described producing the molecular building blocks of life as notes of music initially described by Sagan at the Carl Sagan Institute launch on May 9. “What I hope to convince you [is] that … maybe soon we’ll hear the symphony,” Sasselov said.

Dimitar Sasselov studies stars and planets at Harvard University, where he is a professor of astronomy. His research explores modes of interaction between light and matter. He and his team discovered several planets orbiting other stars with novel techniques he hopes to use to find planets like Earth. His book “The Life of Super-Earths” (Basic Books, 2012) describes the renewed search for life on other planets. In 1988 Professor Sasselov acquired his PhD in Physics from Sofia University, followed by his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Toronto in 1990. In 1999 Sasselov became an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow. He has numerous awards and has lectured at DLD, TED, and Davos. Professor Sasselov is the founding director of the Harvard Origins of Life Initiative, a cross-disciplinary research effort bridging the physical and life sciences. He was a Senior Science Advisor for the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in Harvard, and a member of the Global Agenda Council on space security at the World Economic Forum.

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