Harvard's Avi Loeb to speak at Yellow Barn

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

On July 20, 1969, the first Yellow Barn musicians gathered to watch the first moon landing together. This summer, Yellow Barn will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing on Saturday, July 20, 2019 with a pre-concert discussion lead by Professor Avi Loeb, followed by a performance in The Big Barn of music inspired by the moon.

Loeb's pre-concert discussion will touch on the significance of the moon landing, cosmic modesty, and the search for interstellar life. The event will take place at the Putney Public Library at 6:45pm on July 20, and will end with a Q&A session moderated by Artistic Director Seth Knopp.

Loeb comes to Yellow Barn from Harvard University, where he is chair of the Department of Astronomy and founding director of Harvard's Black Hole Institute. He is also the director of the Institute for Theory and Computation at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Loeb has authored nearly 700 research articles and four books which pioneered several new frontiers in astrophysics and cosmology.

In 2017 Scientific American published his essay entitled "The Case for Cosmic Modesty." In his essay, Loeb argues for the existence of primitive and intelligent forms of life in the universe. He writes:

Many people, however, still believe we might be at the center of the biological universe; namely, that life is rare or unique to Earth. In contrast, my working hypothesis [...] is that we are not special in general, not only in terms of our physical coordinates but also as a form of life. Adopting this perspective implies we are not alone. There should be life out there in both primitive and intelligent forms.

Loeb also spoke about these ideas at a TEDx event at Harvard College: 
Learn more about Loeb by watching this brief documentary from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: