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Kavli-The Universe, Fall 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013 - Friday, October 25, 2013

Application deadline: August 30, 2013. Visit to apply to this workshop.

Astronomy, perhaps the oldest science, describes the strangest array of objects, the greatest distances, the most astonishing energies. All seem incomprehensible at the human scale.

But through modern astronomy and astrophysics we can see it all. We have extraordinary images from modern instruments to show the beauty and grandeur of the cosmos. Recently we have observed planets other than earth, and expect to soon find “habitable” ones. We have discovered that the largest part of the universe is invisible. We have tracked hundreds of asteroids sailing near earth, and some that may even strike earth in the future. We daily examine incredible objects like massive black holes that can swallow stars and the odd celestial delinquents  called “Ultracool Subdwarfs.”

In a two-day intensive workshop for journalists, top scientists from MIT, Harvard and other institutions will explain the latest of what is known at all scales—from a primordial soup bubbling with universes, to the vast structure of our own, to galaxies, to stars and solar systems, and finally to the planets and moons. We’ll hear about the first moments the universe existed and see instruments scientists are using to explore further.

This workshop is co-sponsored by Knight Science Journalism at MIT and the Kavli Foundation.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Robert Kirshner ( Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)
  • Max Tegmark (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Physics)
  • Claude Canizares (Associate Director for MIT of the Chandra X-ray Observatory Center)
  • Sara Seager (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Physics)
  • Paulo Lozano (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Director, Space Propulsion Lab)
  • Nergis Mavalvala (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Physics)
  • Anna Frebel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Physics/MIT Kavli Institute)
  • Jeffrey A. Hoffman (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics)

We select 10- 12 journalists to participate. If selected, we will reimburse you up to $750 of your travel expenses to Cambridge and provide lodging for two nights. We do not reimburse expenses for meals as we provide most during the boot camp.  (Travel reimbursement is by check in U.S. dollars only. Electronic transfers are not available. Reimbursement typically arrives 4 to 6 weeks after travel concludes.)

Sessions are held on the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA. Participants are required to attend all sessions.