Avi Loeb, Harvard University




Abraham (Avi) Loeb is the Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University and bestselling author (in lists of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, Die Zeit, Der Spiegel, L'Express and more). He received a PhD in Physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel at age 24 (1980-1986), led the first international project supported by the Strategic Defense Initiative (1983-1988), and was subsequently a long-term member of the  Institute for Advanced Study (1988-1993). Loeb has written 8 books, including most recently, Extraterrestrial (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021), and about 800 papers (with an h-index of 117) on a wide range of topics, including black holes, the first stars, the search for extraterrestrial life and the future of the Universe. Loeb is the head of the Galileo Project in search for extraterrestrial intelligence, the Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation (2007-present) within the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics , and also serves as the Head of the Galileo Project (2021-present). He had been the longest serving Chair of Harvard's Department of Astronomy  (2011-2020) and the Founding Director of Harvard's Black Hole Initiative (2016-2021). He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences the American Physical Society, and the .International Academy of Astronautics.  Loeb is a a former member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) at the White House, a former chair of the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies (2018-2021) and a current member of the Advisory Board for "Einstein: Visualize the Impossible" of the Hebrew University. He also chairs the Advisory Committee for the  Breakthrough Starshot Initiative (2016-present) and serves as the Science Theory Director for all Initiatives of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. In 2012, TIME magazine selected Loeb as one of the 25 most influential people in space and in 2020 Loeb was selected among the 14 most inspiring Israelis of the last decade. Click here for Loeb's commentaries on innovation and diversity.

Abstract Title:  The Galileo Project: In Search for Technological Interstellar Objects

Avi Loeb, Professor of Science, Harvard University

The search for extraterrestrial life is one of the most exciting frontiers in science. First tentative clues were identified close to Earth in the form of the unusual interstellar object `Oumuamua and Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) in the Earth's atmosphere. The recently announced "Galileo Project" ushers the new frontier of "space archaeology" in search of extraterrestrial technological relics. The lecture will feature content from my book "Extraterrestrial", as well as the textbook "Life in the Cosmos", both published in 2021. Related material was also featured in my weekly commentaries in Scientific American and Medium

Robin Carhart-Harris, University of California San Francisco



ROBIN CARHART-HARRIS, Ralph Metzner Distinguished Professor, Director of Neuroscape Psychedelics Division, Department of. Neurology, University of California, San Francisco

ROBIN CARHART-HARRIS  moved to Imperial College London in 2008 after obtaining a PhD in Psychopharmacology from the University of Bristol, focused on the serotonin system, and an MA in Psychoanalysis from Brunel University, 2005. Robin has designed human brain imaging studies with LSD, psilocybin, MDMA and DMT, a clinical trial of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression, a double-blind randomized controlled trial comparing psilocybin with the SSRI, escitalopram, for depression, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and a multimodal imaging study in first time users of psilocybin. Robin has published over 100 scientific papers. He founded the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London in April 2019, the first of its kind. In 2021, he was listed in TIME magazine’s ‘100 Next’, a list of 100 rising stars shaping the future. Also in 2021, he moved to University of California, San Francisco, becoming the Ralph Metzner Distinguished Professor in Neurology and Psychiatry. At UCSF, Robin will serve as Director of the new Psychedelics Division within the translational neuroscience Centre, Neuroscape. 

Abstract Title: Psychedelics: Brain Mechanisms

Robin Carhart-Harris

The talk takes a multi-level approach to the question of how psychedelics work in the brain. Key themes include: the pharmacology of classic serotonergic psychedelics, what this tells us about the current, developmental and evolutionary function of serotonin 2A receptor signaling, the acute brain effects of psychedelics as determined by functional brain imaging,  current evidence for psychedelic therapy, the 'REBUS' model of the action of psychedelics, and how this maps on to the phenomenology of the acute psychedelic experience and therapeutic outcomes. The talk will end with a focus on a recent double-blind RCT comparing psilocybin therapy with an established antidepressant drug in the treatment of depression. 

David Chalmers, New York University   


Co-Founder, Center for Consciousness Studies, Tucson

DAVID CHALMERS, Professor of Philosophy, New York University; Director, Centre for Consciousness, ARC Federation Fellow; Australian National University, Canberra.

Currently affiliated with Australian National University and New York University, Department of Philosophy; co-director of the Center for Mind, Brain and Consciousness at NYU. Co-director of PhilPapers; co-founded Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness; Former Director, Center for Consciousness Studies, University of Arizona. Faculty positions included, UC Santa Cruz, University of Arizona, Australian National University.  PhD, Philosophy and Cognitive Science, Indiana University; McDonnell Fellow at Washington University; Rhodes Scholar in Pure Maths and Computer Science at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Chalmers’s writings include: Philosophy of Mind; The Conscious Mind; The Character of Consciousness; Constructing the World; Mind and Consciousness; Facing Up to the Problem of Consciousness.