McDonnell Distinguished Lecture Series

McDonnell Distinguished Lecture Series

The McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, established in 1975 through a gift from aerospace pioneer James S. McDonnell, is a consortium of Washington University faculty, research staff and students, primarily from earth and planetary sciences and physics, both in Arts & Sciences. They are working on the cutting edge of space science research.

The Hedgehog and the Fox - A Nelson Mandela Perspective on Global Warming

Professor George Philander points out that global warming is polarizing because it involves both the world of science where the laws of nature are absolute and apply without exception and the world of human affairs where compassion is a virtue and compromise, a requisite.

Energy, environment focus of 2019 McDonnell lecture

Energy, environment focus of 2019 McDonnell lecture

Global warming focus of 2018 McDonnell lecture

Global warming focus of 2018 McDonnell lecture

Past Lectures

March 2019

Falling dominoes: Ice sheets and sea level  | Professor Richard Alley, Pennsylvania State University

Finding the good news on energy and environment  | Professor Richard Alley, Pennsylvania State University

March 2018

The Precarious Present - Is Global Warming Inhibiting an Incipient Ice Age?  | Professor George Philander, Princeton University

The Hedgehog and the Fox - A Nelson Mandela Perspective on Global Warming  | Professor George Philander, Princeton University

March 2017

Geology Never Sleeps: Lessons from the Geological Exploration of the Pluto System  | Professor William B. McKinnon, Washington University in St. Louis

Pluto Explored! NASA's Epic Voyage to the Edge of the Solar System  | Professor William B. McKinnon, Washington University in St. Louis

March 2016

Models for Compositional Variations in the Murray Formation Mudstone, Gale Crater, Mars  | John P. Grotzinger, California Institute of Technology

A Habitable Environment in the Gale Crater on Mars  | John P. Grotzinger, California Institute of Technology

April 2015

Mercury ain't the Moon: Results from the MESSENGER mission  | Roger J. Phillips, Institute Scientist, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder CO; Director Emeritus, McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences and Professor Emeritus, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis

No Denying Climate Change on Mars  | Roger J. Phillips, Institute Scientist, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder CO; Director Emeritus, McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences and Professor Emeritus, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis

March 2014

The origin of Earth's volatiles  | Professor Alex Halliday, FRS, University of Oxford

The Origin of the Earth and Moon  | Professor Alex Halliday, FRS, University of Oxford

April 2013

Constraints on Grain Formation Around Carbon Stars From Laboratory Studies of Presolar Graphite  | Professor Thomas J. Bernatowicz, Washington University in St. Louis

Stardust in the Laboratory  | Professor Thomas J. Bernatowicz, Washington University in St. Louis

April 2012

Black Holes, Waves of Gravity, and other Warped Ideas of Dr. Einstein  | Clifford Will, James S. McDonnell Professor of Space Sciences

Testing General Relativity in the Strong-Field Dynamical Regime  | Clifford Will, James S. McDonnell Professor of Space Sciences

March 2011

Mysteries of the Dark Universe  | Rocky Kolb, Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics

Taking Sides on Dark Energy  | Rocky Kolb, Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics

April 2010

The Promise and Challenge of Detecting Gravitational Waves From Space  | Bernard Schutz, Director, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics

Gravitational Waves: Listening to the Music of the Spheres  | Bernard Schutz, Director, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics

April 2009

Finding the Big Bang  | P.James E. Peebles, Albert Einstein Professor of Science Emeritus, Princeton University

Establishing the Big Bang  | P.James E. Peebles, Albert Einstein Professor of Science Emeritus, Princeton University

March 2008

The James Webb Space Telescope: A Window to the Past  | Kathryn Flanagan, Senior Scientist and Head of James Webb Space Telescope Mission Office, Space Telescope Science Institute

X-Ray Astronomy with the Naked Eye: The Chandra High Resolution Spectrum of SNR 1E0102-72  | Kathryn Flanagan, Senior Scientist and Head of James Webb Space Telescope Mission Office, Space Telescope Science Institute

March 2007

The MESSENGER Mission to Mercury  | Sean C. Solomon, Director, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington

The Impact of Roger on Mars as a Codger: The Geophysical Evolution of Early Mars  | Sean C. Solomon, Director, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington

April 2006

The Accelerating Universe: Einstein’s Blunder Undone  | Robert P. Kirshner, Harvard College Professor of Astronomy and Clowes Professor of Science, Harvard University

April 2004

The Stardust Mission  | Donald Brownlee, Professor of Astronomy, University of Washington

April 2003

Outer space is our window on the earliest moments of creation. In the beginning…  | Michael S. Turner, Bruce V. & Diana M. Rauner Distinguished Service Professor, Departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, University of Chicago

April 2002

"Extraterrestrial Life? So what?"  | Bruce Jakosky, Director, University of Colorado Center for Astrobiology