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

Australian National University (ANU) 

Canberra, Thursday 19 July, 2018


Astrobiology and Big History are two relatively new intellectual disciplines, the former focussed on searching for life elsewhere in the universe and the latter on integrating human history into the wider history of the cosmos. Despite some differences in emphasis these two disciplines share much in common, not least their interdisciplinarity and the cosmic and evolutionary perspectives that they both engender. This meeting, held under the auspices of the Humanities Research Centre, will provide a forum for discussing the relationships between Astrobiology and Big History, with an emphasis on their wider intellectual and societal benefits.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Marnie Hughes-Warrington (ANU) "Does Big History imply the need to re-scale ethics?"
  • David Christian (Macquarie University) "The challenges of extreme inter-disciplinarity: Building a modern Origin Story".
  • Paul Davies (Arizona State University) "Is the universe a fake?"
  • Charley Lineweaver (ANU) "Useful lies and cosmic perspectives"
  • Mark Lupisella (Horizons Project) "Is the universe enough? Can it suffice as a basis for satisfactory worldviews?"
  • Elise Bohan (Macquarie) "Why big history matters"
  • Chris Hamer (UNSW) "The evolution of Earth federation from a cosmic perspective"
  • Naomi McClure-Griffiths (ANU) “The Cosmic Perspective of a Galactic Astronomer”
  • John Stewart (Free University of Brussels) “How the future trajectory of evolution reveals a meaningful role for humanity”
  • Ian Crawford (Birkbeck College/HRC) "Widening perspectives: the intellectual and social benefits of astrobiology, big history, and the exploration of space"


  • Full registration: $45.00
  • Concessional (student/unwaged): $25.00

Registration fee includes lunch and refreshments.

Date & time

Thu 19 Jul 2018, 8.30am


Theatrette, Sir Roland Wilson Building


+61 2 6125 4357


Updated:  8 August 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head, Centre/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications