Steven J. Dick
Steven J. Dick served as the NASA Chief Historian and Director of the NASA History Office from 2003 to 2009. Prior to that he was an astronomer and historian of science at the U.S. Naval Observatory for more than two decades. He was the 2014 Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology at the Library of Congress’s John W. Kluge Center. In 2013, he testified before the United States Congress on the subject of astrobiology. From 2011 to 2012 he held the Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History at the National Air and Space Museum. He is the author or editor of 25 books, including most recently Astrobiology, Discovery, and Societal Impact (Cambridge, 2018), Classifying the Cosmos: How We Can Make Sense of the Celestial Landscape (Springer, 2019), and Space, Time, and Aliens: Collected Works on Cosmos and Culture (Springer, 2020). In 2006, Dick received the LeRoy E. Doggett Prize from the American Astronomical Society for a career that has significantly influenced the field of the history of astronomy. He is the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, and the NASA Group Achievement Award for his work on astrobiology. He has served as President of the History of Astronomy Commission of the International Astronomical Union and as Chair of the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the American Astronomical Society. Minor planet 6544 Stevendick was named in his honor. More information at http://www.stevenjdick.com/index.html
Ted Peters (Ph.D., University of Chicago) directs traffic at the intersection of science, religion, and ethics. Peters is an emeritus professor at the Graduate Theological Union, where he co-edits the journal, Theology and Science, on behalf of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences, in Berkeley, California, USA. Along with Martinez Hewlett, Joshua Moritz, and Robert John Russell, he co-edited, Astrotheology: Science and Theology Meet Extraterrestrial Life (Cascade 2018). Along with Octavio Chon Torres, Joseph Seckbach, and Russell Gordon, he co-edited, Astrobiology: Science, Ethics, and Public Policy (Scrivener 2021). He is author of The Cosmic Self (Harper 1993) as well as UFOs: God's Chariots? Spirituality, Ancient Aliens, and Religious Yearnings in the Age of Extraterrestrials (Career Press New Page Books, 2014). Follow his work at TedsTimelyTake.com.
CONSTANCE M. BERTKA
Constance (Connie) M. Bertka, received her Ph.D. in Geology from Arizona State University and an M.T.S., Master of Theological Studies, from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC. In addition to her research in planetary sciences, Dr. Bertka has had a long-term scholarly and pragmatic interest in the relationships between science and religion and their influence on public understanding of science. Previously she directed the Program of Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Prior to that she was a Senior Research Associate at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory where she also served as Program Director of the Deep Carbon Observatory. She has also taught on contemporary issues in science and religion at Wesley Theological Seminary. Currently she is a consultant with Science and Society Resources LLC. Dr. Bertka Co-Chairs the Broader Social Impacts Committee of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History’s Human Origins Program. She is the lead author on the Human Origins Program’s Cultural and Religious Sensitivity Teaching Strategies Resource (2015) and part of the team facilitating public programming for the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit, Exploring Human Origins: What Does It Mean to Be Human? She is editor of Exploring the Origin, Extent, and Future of Life: Philosophical, Ethical and Theological Perspectives (2009)
Chelsea Haramia is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Gender Studies Program at Spring Hill College. She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her current research focuses on astrobiology ethics, the ethics of science and technology, the ethics of space exploration, and feminist philosophy. She is especially active in debates concerning the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and the activity of Messaging ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence (METI). She has recently published multiple journal articles on the morality of messaging extraterrestrial intelligence. She also has a chapter forthcoming in the Routledge Handbook of Social Studies of Outer Space outlining the philosophical and ethical dimensions of current METI and SETI projects, and she has a chapter forthcoming in the volume Reclaiming Space: Progressive and Multicultural Visions of Space Exploration in which she and co-author Daniela DePaulis highlight the value of deviant reactions to space imagery and discourse. She is also co-editor of the open-access journal 1000-Word Philosophy, which houses a growing set of original, philosophical essays aimed at experts and non-experts alike.
Roland Faber is Kilsby Family/John B. Cobb, Jr., Professor of Process Studies at Claremont School of Theology, Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Claremont Graduate University, Executive Co-Director of the Center for Process Studies (CPS), and Executive Director of the Whitehead Research Project (WRP). As Founder of WRP, he is the initiator of the series of International Conferences of WRP since 2007 and their publication, the co-editor of the Contemporary Whitehead Studies series, and co-initiator of the Critical Edition of Whitehead’s Works. His recent publications include The Garden of Reality: Transreligous Relativity in a World of Becoming (2018), The Ocean of God: On the Transreligious Future of Religions (2019), Depths As Yet Unspoken: Whiteheadian Excursions in Mysticism, Multplicty and Divinity (2020), and The Cosmic Spirit: Awakenings at the Heart of All Religions, the Earth, and the Multiverse (2021). Research and publications are developed at whiteheadresearch.org. Professional information is provided at faber.whiteheadresearch.org.
ANDREW M. DAVIS
Andrew M. Davis is Program Director for the Center for Process Studies at Claremont School of Theology at Willamette University. He received his Ph.D. in Religion and Process Philosophy from Claremont School of Theology. He received the 2013 Award for Excellence in Biblical Studies, the 2017 fellowship with FASPE (Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics) and the 2020 Presidential Award for Academic Excellence. He was recently nominated and elected as a fellow for the International Society of Science and Religion (ISSR). He is author, editor or co-editor of several books including How I Found God in Everyone and Everywhere: An Anthology of Spiritual Memoirs (Monkfish, 2018); Propositions in the Making: Experiments in a Whiteheadian Laboratory (Lexington, 2019); Depths as Yet Unspoken: Whiteheadian Excursions in Mysticism, Multiplicity, and Divinity (Pickwick, 2020); Mind, Value, and Cosmos: On the Relational Nature of Ultimacy (Lexington, 2020); Nature In Process: Organic Proposals in Philosophy, Society and Religion (Process Century Press 2022); and Process Cosmology: New Integrations in Science and Philosophy (Palgrave, 2021). Follow his work at andrewmdavis.info
Derek Malone-France is an Associate Professor of Religion, of Philosophy, and of Writing at George Washington University (GW) in Washington D.C. He is also founding Co-Director of GW’s French Embassy Center of Excellence and a member of GW’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers (for which he served as the Inaugural Chair from August 2012-August 2014). Derek’s research and teaching areas include: philosophy of religion, metaphysics and epistemology, the philosophical and religious implications of astrobiology and human space exploration, political and legal philosophy, political and religious rhetoric, and educational theory and practice. He received a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Wofford College in 1995 and a doctorate in Philosophy of Religion and Theology from the School of Religion at the Claremont Graduate University in 2001. Outside of GW, Derek serves as a Trustee and member of the Board of Directors for METI, International, the nonprofit Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence Initiative, and as Director of Academic Design for the NASA Astrobiology Debates educational outreach project. He has also previously served as Seminar Director for the Blumberg Dialogues in Astrobiology and Human Society, jointly sponsored by NASA and the Library of Congress. He is an elected Research Member of the International Whitehead Research Project. He is editor of a two-volume anthology titled: Political Dissent—A Global Reader, Vol. 1: Ancient to Early Modern Sources & Vol. 2: Modern Sources, and author of Deep Empiricism: Kant, Whitehead, and the Necessity of Philosophical Theism; and Faith, Fallibility, and the Virtue of Anxiety: An Essay in Religion and Political Liberalism.
Kelly C. Smith
Kelly C. Smith received his M.S. in Zoology (Evolutionary Genetics) from Duke University in 1992, followed by his Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1994. He wears several different professional hats, with joint appointments in Clemson’s department of Biological Sciences and as chair of the Department of Philosophy & Religion. In 2012, he was appointed to the faculty of the University of South Carolina Medical School in Greenville, where he oversees their ethics curriculum. Kelly’s research is similarly wide ranging and includes work on the concept of genetic disease; the relationship between religious faith and scientific reasoning; the ethical implications of new biotechnologies; complex systems in developmental and evolutionary biology; the origins and nature of life and philosophical issues surrounding the search for life on other planets (astrobiology). He is co-editor with Carlos Mariscal Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology.
matthew D. Segall
Matthew D. Segall is a process philosopher whose research focuses on process-relational thought (especially Alfred North Whitehead) and German Idealism (especially Friedrich Schelling). He is an Assistant Professor in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA (CIIS.edu). He has published articles on a wide-array of topics, including metaphysics, Gaia theory, religious studies, psychedelics, and architecture. He also blogs regularly at footnotes2plato.com.
Bruce Damer is Director and Chief Scientist at the BIOTA Institute. Has spent his life pursuing two great questions: how did life on Earth begin, and how can we give that life (and ourselves) a sustainable pathway into the cosmos? He conceived of BIOTA in 1996 and guided it through its first two decades of evolution in which it hosted four conferences and a podcast (hosted by Tom Barbalet) on the use of digital spaces to simulate evolution and natural systems. A decade of scientific research with his collaborator Prof. David Deamer at the UC Santa Cruz Department of Biomolecular Engineering resulted in the Hot Spring Hypothesis for an Origin of Life published in the journal Astrobiology in 2019. In 2021, with growing global collaboration around the hypothesis, he determined that BIOTA was ready for its new mission: raising grants for students and young scientists to test this scenario for life’s origins and explore its implications for humanity. Dr. Damer also has a long career working with NASA on mission simulation and design and recently co-developed a spacecraft to utilize resources from asteroids.
jeffery D. long
Jeffery D. Long is the Carl W. Zeigler Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Elizabethtown College, in Pennsylvania, where he has taught since receiving his doctoral degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School in the year 2000. This year (2021), Elizabethtown College has given Dr. Long its Ranck Award for Research Excellence. In 2018, he received the Hindu American Foundation’s Dharma Seva Award for his ongoing work to promote accurate and culturally sensitive portrayals of Indic traditions in the American education system and popular media. He has spoken in such prestigious venues as the University of Chicago, Yale University, Princeton University, and the United Nations. He is the author of A Vision for Hinduism, Jainism: An Introduction, the Historical Dictionary of Hinduism (first and second editions), and Hinduism in America: A Convergence of Worlds, as well as being the editor of the volume Perspectives on Reincarnation: Hindu, Christian, and Scientific and a co-editor of the Buddhism and Jainism volumes of the Springer Encyclopedia of Indian Religions, and the volume Beacons of Dharma: Spiritual Exemplars for the Modern Age. He also is the series editor of Explorations in Indic Traditions: Ethical, Philosophical, and Theological, for Lexington Books. He is an initiated member of the Vedanta Society, established by Swami Vivekananda in 1894, and is active in the Hindu community in North America.
Noreen Herzfeld is the Nicholas and Bernice Reuter Professor of Science and Religion at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict. She holds degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from The Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Theology from The Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. Herzfeld is the author of In Our Image: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Spirit (Fortress, 2002), Technology and Religion: Remaining Human in a Co-Created World (Templeton, 2009), The Limits of Perfection in Technology, Religion, and Science (Pandora, 2010) and editor of Religion and the New Technologies (MDPI, 2017). Herzfeld is a research associate at the Institute for Philosophical Studies, Koper Slovenia and the Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa. She is a co-founder and writer for the Avon Hills Salon at avonhillssalon.com.
Ilia Delio, OSF holds the Josephine C. Connelly Chair in Christian Theology at Villanova Universe. Her area of research is Systematic-Constructive theology with a focus on evolution, quantum physics and artificial intelligence and the import of these for Christian doctrine and life. She holds a doctorate in Pharmacology from Rutgers University, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and a doctorate in Historical Theology from Fordham University. She is the author of twenty-three books including Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology and Consciousness, a finalist for the 2019 Michael Ramsey Prize and The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution and the Power of Love, for which she won the 2014 Silver Nautilus Book Award and a 2014 Catholic Press Association Book Award in Faith and Science. She is founder of the Center for Christogenesis, an online spiritual and educational resource for the integration of science, religion and culture, based on the work of Teilhard de Chardin.
Wahida Khandker is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is the author of Philosophy, Animality and the Life Sciences (Edinburgh University Press, 2014) and Process Metaphysics and Mutative Life: Sketches of Lived Time (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). She also co-edits a book series, Palgrave Perspectives on Process Philosophy.
Brian G. Henning
Brian G. Henning is Professor of Philosophy and of Environmental Studies at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington where he is founding Director of the Gonzaga Center for Climate, Society, and the Environment. He is also founder and Executive Editor of the Edinburgh Critical Edition of the Complete Works of Alfred North Whitehead. Henning’s research includes more than thirty-five articles and ten books and edited volumes, including Climate Change Ethics and the Non-Human World (Routledge), Riders in the Storm: Ethics in an Age of Climate Change (Anslem Academic) and the award winning book The Ethics of Creativity: Beauty, Morality and Nature in a Processive Cosmos (University of Pittsburgh). He is currently completing a monograph on environmental metaphysics.
Brianne Donaldson, Ph.D. explores how implicit metaphysical beliefs inform social inclusion and ethical action toward plants, animals, and marginalized people. She is the author of Creaturely Cosmologies: Why Metaphysics Matters for Animal and Planetary Liberation (2015), and the forthcoming Insistent Life: Principles for Bioethics in the Jain Tradition (2021, co-authored with Ana Bajželj). She is the editor of Beyond the Bifurcation of Nature: A Common World for Animals and the Environment (2014), The Future of Meat Without Animals (2016; co-edited with Christopher Carter), and Feeling Animal Death: Being Host to Ghosts (2019; co-edited with Ashley King). Brianne holds the Shri Parshvanath Presidential Chair in Jain Studies at University of California, Irvine.
Mark Lupisella, Ph.D. has a doctorate in evolutionary biology (Program in Behavior, Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics), with his dissertation on “A Theoretical Microbial Contamination Model for a Human Mars Mission.” He also has a B.S. in Physics, and a M.A. in Philosophy of Science with a thesis on “Using Artificial Life to Assess the Typicality of Terrestrial Life,” all from the University of Maryland at College Park. He founded The Horizons Project which aims to improve Humanity’s ability to address long-term survival challenges. He’s worked for NASA for 30 years and presently serves as the Exploration Research and Development Manager at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He has worked on the Hubble Space Telescope, Exploration and Constellation Programs (with an emphasis on human mission architectures and advanced systems), and areas in astrobiology such as planetary protection, artificial life, and societal issues. Dr. Lupisella assisted the Secure World Foundation in its initial stages of development and also helped lead the development of an Ethics Committee for Planet Labs (now called Planet). He also serves on the Advisory Council for METI International (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence). He has authored over 35 published works ranging from human Mars missions to the search for extraterrestrial life and space ethics. He is co-editor of the NASA book, Cosmos and Culture: Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context with previous NASA Chief Historian, Steven Dick, and recent author of Cosmological Theories of Value: Science, Philosophy, and Meaning in Cosmic Evolution (Springer 2020).