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Read all about the 100YSS team members and initiatives making headlines in the news.


Dr. Mae Jemison Gives Annual Sturm Lecture

Dr. Mae Jemison, an American astronaut and physician, gave the University’s annual Sturm Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, April 19 in the Ring Family Performing Arts Hall, followed by a reception and observing session at Van Vleck Observatory. Her talk, “Exploring the Frontiers of Science and Human Potential,” focused on her devotion to her 100 Year Starship Project, of which she is the principal, aiming to make human travel to another star within the next century. Jemison is the first African American woman to have ventured into space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour and is a dogged promoter of STEM education.

“Her leadership and vision provides guidance and direction for the foundation and in fulfilling its goal of ensuring all the capabilities for a successful human journey to another star will exist by 2112,” reads Jemison’s biography on the 100 Year Starship website.

Throughout her talk, Jemison emphasized the the significance of interstellar travel, arguing that such expeditions are worthy endeavors to undertake. One of the main obstacles to space voyages, she explained, involves preparing for the uncertainties that exist with respect to interstellar travel.

“The interesting thing is, as we travel into space, it becomes black,” Jemison said. “Space is black, and in order to prepare for ‘going into the black,’ we really need to prepare to travel successfully in the unknown….There are all these issues that are associated with going into something where you don’t know all the answers, and that to me is what’s so compelling and powerful about it.”

Jemison addressed her concern that while astronomers are in tune with the need for space exploration, it is often more difficult for the public to see the importance of venturing into space since it appears to be far removed from their daily lives.

“When people think about space exploration, very frequently, they don’t think of the impact that it has,” Jemison said. “When folks think about space exploration, they think about ‘What does it have to do with me?’”

To change this perception, Jemison explained the need to involve a large and diverse population of individuals to assist in the effort of traveling into the unknown. Countries with robust space programs incorporate inclusive and transdisciplinary philosophies to achieve their goals, which helps make their research relatable to a larger audience.

“I really posit that if we expand our geographic scope of ourselves, then we’ll also better appreciate our home,” Jemison said. “That’s what 100 Year Starship is about…the purpose of process and impact.”

Abby Shneyder ’17, who is currently working on the Under Connecticut Skies project creating a museum exhibit to honor the last 100 years in astronomy, particularly enjoyed the way Jemison interacted with the audience during her lecture. Simulating the kinds of decisions and planning that go into a long-term space mission, she polled audience members, asking them to make seemingly mundane choices to demonstrate the depth of detail involved in such an endeavor.

“All of these questions, while ultimately fun to think about, underlined the connections between imminent space travel and current technological innovations and development,” Shneyder wrote in an email to The Argus.

At a more emotional level, Shneyder was excited to be learning about astronomy from someone who has actually been to space.

“What stood out to me about this year’s lecture was the nature of the speaker herself,” she said. “Every couple of minutes, suddenly I would be struck by this sort of rather obvious epiphany: this incredible woman has actually traveled to outer space!”

Drawing on her experience working with the Under Connecticut Skies project, Shneyder shared her excitement about being able to simultaneously look into the past and peer into the future of astronomy.

“Throughout the talk, I felt like I had rather luckily found myself at a particular pivot point in history, able to see both 100 years back into the past and 100 years forward into the future,” she wrote.

Melissa Joskow ’18, another student working on the Van Vleck historical exhibition project, particularly appreciated the way Jemison handled addressing a lay audience.

“I attended the Sturm lecture last year, and while the speaker last year was really inspiring, what was great about Dr. Jemison’s talk was that it really seemed geared towards those who may not know a lot about astronomy, or space, or physics,” Joskow wrote in an email to The Argus. “That doesn’t mean that the content was any lesser, but she was addressing many important questions that anybody could think about, regardless of their major or interests.”

Each spring, the Sturm Lecture features a speech by a distinguished astronomer with the goal of stimulating public interest in the sciences. Free of charge, it is sponsored by the Astronomy Department, the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, the Baldwin Lecture Fund, and the Connecticut Space Grant Consortium. This year’s Sturm Lecture is also part of the Astronomy Department’s ongoing celebration of the Van Vleck Centennial.



This audacious plan to send humans to distant stars might just save the world

Before we can launch a ship carrying some part of humanity’s population to a faraway star, perhaps to colonize a new planet (maybe Kepler-452b?), there are a lot of technological, scientific, and societal challenges we need to figure out.

But those challenges shouldn’t prevent us from even trying.

Instead, we should work develop solutions as soon as possible. Along the way, we might find that these same solutions will address some of the greatest problems facing us here on Earth, like how we can survive and thrive with limited resources, a changing climate, new diseases, and growing population. 

That’s what the 100-Year Starship program is all about.

The NASA and DARPA funded project, launched in 2011, is supposed to make humans capable of voyaging beyond our solar system within the next 100 years.

Read Full Article Here



Starshot: Russian billionaire and Stephen Hawking want to use lasers to send tiny spacecraft to nearby star

This is not your granddad’s moonshot. Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and physicist Stephen Hawking have announced Breakthrough Starshot, a $100-million initiative to develop spacecraft that would send probes all the way to Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system.

These nano-craft would have to travel roughly a thousand times faster than current spacecraft – and would also be much smaller, consisting of a light sail and a chip that could fit in your cellphone. That’s a big job for some tiny tech.

“Collectively we as humans are at a point in which, technologically, there’s at least one feasible path to getting to another star within our generation,” former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison said at a news briefing Tuesday at the One World Observatory in New York City. Jemison now leads the 100 Year Starship project, which fosters research into the necessary technology for interstellar travel.

Over the 20th and 21st centuries, humans have been sent as far as the moon and spacecraft have ventured much farther – to Mars, to Pluto and in the case of NASA’s Voyager spacecraft, into interstellar space. But even Voyager, traveling around 40,000 mph, has centuries to go before it enters the Oort Cloud ringing our solar system’s fringes – and tens of thousands of years more to emerge from it. Visiting the nearest star is another challenge entirely.

Read Full Article Here



Internet Investor and Science Philanthropist Yuri Milner & Physicist Stephen Hawking Announce Breakthrough Starshot Project to Develop 100 Million Mile per Hour Mission to the Stars within a Generation

$100 million research and engineering program will seek proof of concept for using light beam to propel gram-scale ‘nanocraft’ to 20 percent of light speed. A possible fly-by mission could reach Alpha Centauri within about 20 years of its launch.  

Mark Zuckerberg is joining the board.

New York – Tuesday, April 12 – Internet investor and science philanthropist Yuri Milner was joined at One World Observatory today by renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking to announce a new Breakthrough Initiative focusing on space exploration and the search for life in the Universe.

Breakthrough Starshot is a $100 million research and engineering program aiming to demonstrate proof of concept for light-propelled nanocrafts. These could fly at 20 percent of light speed and capture images of possible planets and other scientific data in our nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, just over 20 years after their launch.

The program will be led by Pete Worden, the former director of NASA AMES Research Center, and advised by a committee of world-class scientists and engineers. The board will consist of Stephen Hawking, Yuri Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg.

Ann Druyan, Freeman Dyson, Mae Jemison, Avi Loeb and Pete Worden also participated in the announcement.

Today, on the 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering space flight, and nearly half a century after the original ‘moonshot’, Breakthrough Starshot is launching preparations for the next great leap: to the stars.

Read Full Text of Press Release Here



An astronaut planning a mission to a distant star shares 'an unpleasant truth I have to tell everyone'

Tech Insider | Kevin Loria

As a species, we have long looked to the stars. They have provided navigational guidance, spurred our imaginations, and inspired us to explore.

We are explorers who have spread around the world and are now reaching into space — to Mars soon, we hope, and beyond. Some of our most popular fiction focuses on life spread across the universe, including “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” as well as video games like “Mass Effect” and the coming “No Man’s Sky.”

So it’s perhaps no surprise that when people find out about the 100-Year Starship project, which is designed to push humanity toward achieving what’s needed to actually be capable of interstellar travel within 100 years, many are excited — and want to sign up to go.

But Dr. Mae Jemison, the astronaut in charge of the NASA- and Darpa-funded 100-Year Starship, has some bad news for those eager to join an interstellar voyage.

Read more to find out about that “unpleasant truth”…




The first obstacle we face when figuring out how to travel to a distant star

TechInsider.com | Kevin Loria 

There are plenty of obstacles that we have to overcome before humanity might hypothetically be able to send a ship full of thousands to a distant star.

We have to figure out how to create a vessel that can sustain itself for generations and provide everything needed for life. Plus, it has to have the power and speed to cross light years of ever-expanding space.

But out of all the technical questions that must be answered and hurdles that must be jumped before we start on a project designed to make interstellar travel a real possibility, there’s one that stands out at the start, according to Dr. Mae Jemison, a former astronaut who’s now in charge of the 100-Year Starship organization.

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100YSS Canopus Award Winner Ken Liu profiled by NBC News

Award-Winning Sci-Fi Writer Ken Liu On Labels, Authenticity, and Juggling Two Careers

By day, Ken Liu is a litigation consultant, providing expert opinions and expert witness testimony in high-tech cases. By night, he is an award-winning author. His 2012 short story “The Paper Menagerie” was the first work of fiction to win all three major science fiction awards (Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards), and his first novel, “The Grace of Kings,” was published last year. Its sequel, “The Wall of Storms,” will be released in October 2016.


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Ahead of Tuesday’s release of his latest short story collection, “The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories” — which includes his most popular works as well as a new story — Liu spoke with NBC News about storytelling, identity, and his advice for aspiring writers.

How did you choose the stories for this collection? Are they grouped thematically, or was there another method of selection?

That’s a good question. I would say that the stories are all very different in one sense. I don’t really care that much about genre labels. I tend to write across a variety of different genres. I think a lot of writers sometimes for marketing reasons, and also for personal interest, tend to build a strong brand that is very successful around one well-defined genre.

I certainly have been writing stories that are hard science fiction, that are very reminiscent of “Golden Age tales” from the ‘40s and '50s. I’ve also written stories that are very high fantasy that are the direct opposite of that style. “The Paper Menagerie” is a magic realism tale and there are some magical realist tales in there, and there are also that are reminiscent of a modern Chinese writer like Han Zhu.

If you go in there and expect that all the stories to be like “The Paper Menagerie” in the sense that you expect all magical realism tales that are about families, that is not what you are going to find. However I will also say that all my stories are unified by a certain humanist view of life, and of the universe.

I write speculative fiction, and in my view, speculative fiction is really just a very intense version of the work of literature in general. All fiction and all literature are unified in that they operate by a different mode of rhetoric than persuasion. So when we write an essay or try to write a brief, or a letter to our boss, trying to argue for a point, what we’re doing is engaging in the logic of persuasion. And that’s the bulk of human communication. Fiction is a slightly different mode of communication where the logic of metaphors takes precedence over the logic of persuasion.

Speculative fiction and realist fiction are both about the logic of metaphor. In speculative fiction, the writers and the readers tend to be more welcoming to metaphors that are literalized. In science fiction and fantasy both, I don’t think of them as really about science or magic per se. I think they’re techniques that are used in the story, but the stories are unified by the idea of the logic of metaphors, the literalizing of metaphors. In something like “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” the idea of empathy, of human connection, is literalized in the taking of the test that tells you whether you’re human or not. In “The Paper Menagerie” the love of the mother and her son are literalized in these paper animals that come to life.

“The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories”
The cover of “The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories” Saga Press
What do you think are problems specific to Asian-American writers?

The problems faced by writers of color are analogous to the problems face by women writers. Sylvia Plath is famous for this, but a lot of women poets are very frustrated by the fact that their work can’t seem to be recognized as valuable unless they are willing to put themselves into it in a way that male writers don’t have to. Their work is only valuable as long as they’re treated as autobiographical confessions. And that was the mode I was trying to resist.

So my initial set of works that I wrote were all very careful to not touch anything having to do with my Chinese heritage. I wanted to avoid the possibility of any characters in my book being interpreted as Chinese, or anything I say being interpreted as Chinese, because I wanted to avoid the idea that anything I wrote could be particularized and reduced into a mere autobiography, a mere confession, a mere ethnic color.

“IT’S IMPORTANT TO LEARN WHAT KIND OF WRITER YOU ARE OVER TIME. DIFFERENT PEOPLE WILL LIKE DIFFERENT THINGS.”
I was going for a very non-Chinese mainstream Western presentation. And that ended up being extremely oppressive because it’s as though you’re trying to talk with one half of your mouth taped shut, or trying to dance with half your body paralyzed. I felt, if I’m avoiding saying things I know about and experiences that are deeply meaningful to me because I’m trying to avoid that type of interpretation, then I’m also letting these people dictate what I can or can’t write, and that’s not the right answer either.

So over time I shifted to a different approach, where I’m very happy, and I’m very happy and active in integrating the so-called Chinese experience into my work, to give Chinese characters real voices, real agency, and real interpretation. But I want to do this in a way that challenges the Western gaze and ideas of what it means to be Chinese, or Chinese-American.

There’s this persistence and harmful stereotype that views Americans of Chinese descent as divided between two cultures. There’s this idea that they’re struggling between the ideas of tradition and modernity, between Chinese and American, that they have to choose and the fact is that’s not the reality of how we live. That’s not how Americans of Chinese descent experience life. Every individual person has her own experience. We’re individuals, and we have our own particularized, cultural performance and cultural negotiation that we have to go through. It’s just reductive and silly and wrong to expect us to act out the fantasies of Western readers who imagine that there’s some sort of titanic conflict between cultures. That’s not my lived experience and that’s not the kind of story I’m interested in telling.

Ken Liu
“I’m very happy and active in integrating the so-called Chinese experience into my work, to give Chinese characters real voices, real agency, and real interpretation,” author Ken Liu told NBC News. Courtesy of Ken Liu
What is the story that you are interested in telling?

What’s interesting to me is to think about cultural labels, like “American” and “Chinese,” and think about why they are the way are and what they really mean. What I’ve discovered is that a lot of these labels are imposed by outsiders, and they’re not organic, and they have no reality in the experience of people living through them.

There’s a lot of talk about authenticity of the Chinese-American experience, and whether that person presents in an authentic manner. “Authentic” is a label that outsiders impose on you. It’s not something that you have to perform to get a grade. When somebody says, “That restaurant’s really authentic,” they’re saying that restaurant adheres to their idea and their fantasy of what being Chinese really means. That has nothing to do with what an organic sense of authenticity of meaning in life really comes from.

I believe that a lot of the ideas that are labeled as “Chinese” have very little to do with actually being Chinese, and a lot of labels that are labeled as “American” have very little to do with actually being American. A lot of my works challenge these ideas. You think an idea is Chinese, but it’s not, it’s universal. You think an idea is American, but it’s not, it’s actually universal. At the same time you think this is universal, but it’s not, it’s unique to a very privileged segment of society. So a lot of my work is about negotiating between privilege and the lack of power between dominant cultural narratives and subversive cultural narratives, between labels outsiders impose and the identities that are organically grown from within the community. A lot of my work tries to negotiate that bridge.

“YOU SIMPLY CANNOT COUNT ON THE EXTERNAL VALIDATION AS THE THING TO MOTIVATE YOU.”
I actually don’t like to identify myself as Chinese American. I don’t like the hyphenated identity at all because I think it reinforces the “person divided in half” narrative, which I think is false. I prefer to refer to myself as an American writer, and if people really want to put a label on it, I say I’m an American of Chinese descent. My Chinese heritage is very important to me, and I think it’s what makes me American, and so my stories are very American stories, but they’re about the full range of what it means to be American.

Some writers like it, and they have empowered themselves by seizing on that hyphen. That’s perfectly fine. Everybody has to do it their own way. For me, the much more interesting narrative is the one about challenging these labels and their implications.

You don’t write full-time. What’s your day job?

I work as a litigation consultant with a large consulting company. My work is providing expert opinions and expert witness testimony in high-tech cases.

I think a lot of writers have the dream of being able to do it full-time, and very few of us are able to do it. I don’t think that’s in the cards for me anytime soon. I’ve got two young kids at home. Writing is awesome, writing is wonderful, but we live in a world that’s governed by commerce and there’s a not a whole lot of that when you’re a writer!

Do you see any parallels between the law and writing?

I do see a lot of parallels in all the professions I’ve practiced. After I graduated from college, I worked as a programmer at Microsoft and at a small startup in Cambridge before I went to law school. I was a programmer before I was a lawyer, and I actually practiced as a corporate lawyer for seven years before switching over to do litigation consulting as an expert. So I was a programmer, then I was a lawyer, and now I’m a technical expert who helps attorneys and clients.

All of these professions are very similar because all of them involve constructing new artifacts out of symbolic structures. There’s a British writer, W. Bryan Arthur, who has thought a lot about technology, and he’s a theorist of technology. And he says the way to think about technology is to treat it as a language. So technologies involve its own vocabulary, its own grammar. An engineer really is very analogous to a poet because an engineer is faced with a new problem, and what he has to do is to work with this repertoire of existing technologies, existing phrases and expressions and tropes within the language of technology. Then what she has to do is to compose them together into a new artifact to solve a new problem in the same way that a poet marshals illusions and metaphors and tropes and existing stock phrases and make them do something new n a new in poem. In the same way a lawyer has to solve novel problems by taking existing legal precedents and legal stock phrases and legal reasoning and puts them together into a new legal structure that will achieve the result that is desired.

Writing fiction is the same way. What we do is to work with these ancient tropes and put them together in a novel way, something that feels new, to give a reader a new emotional experience.

I think of engineering as a very creative profession, and writing fiction a lot of the time is like programming, like engineering, like writing a contract.

How do you do it?

One way is to look at it as inspiring, the other is despair. I don’t know which is better! Practically speaking, what really happens is I have to pick the projects I do really carefully. I don’t have a lot of time to write. The job is really demanding, but also I want to be a good father and a good husband. So when I have very young children at home and my wife is trying to deal with them, I have to pick up my share and spend time with them. And that’s time that has to be carved out and reserved. For writing, there’s very little time left, so I have to be efficient. I have to plan out and say, “Look. There are all these anthologies that are open for submission. I could write for all of them but that’s just not going to happen. So I have to just pick one I could make a really good contribution to and write for that. And for novels, some writers write very fast and can do two, three novels a year. I’m not that kind of writer. I neither have the time nor the speed necessary to do that. I can do one book a year, so it better be a book I want to spend a lot of time and I can devote and live with in the limited time I have. It’s a matter of making choices.

Steve Jobs, when he was alive, would say that Apple is very good at saying no to things. They pick a few things they want to work on, and do them well, but they say no to a lot of things people wish they would do.

There are many any things that are increasing and seem like good ideas but I have to be very careful about picking a few ideas I can devote my attention to and do them well.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

"I BELIEVE THAT A LOT OF THE IDEAS THAT ARE LABELED AS 'CHINESE’ HAVE VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH ACTUALLY BEING CHINESE, AND A LOT OF LABELS THAT ARE LABELED AS 'AMERICAN’ HAVE VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH ACTUALLY BEING AMERICAN. A LOT OF MY WORKS CHALLENGE THESE IDEAS.”
The best writing advice I’ve ever heard is from Tobias Buckell, a fellow writer and a friend. He said that the thing about writing is you have to figure out the difference between goals and the things you would like to have happen to you. A lot of the unhappiness we experience as creative types is that we think and set goals for ourselves that are not actually goals at all, but things we would like happen to us.

The difference is goals are things that are entirely within your control. Things you would like to happen to you are not within your control at all, so if you set those things as your goals you’re going to be disappointed because you those are things you can’t even do and strive to make happen to you. For example, a goal would be, “I will use this next year to complete three short stories.” That’s a goal, because sitting there and writing, and setting aside the time to read, to outline, to write, to revise, to edit, those are things you can control. You can decide how to spend your time. But if you decide your goal is “I would like to be professionally published,” or “I would like to sell my novel this year,” that’s not a goal. Getting your story published requires a publisher to accept it, and markets will accept or reject stories for any reason in the world. That’s not within your control. Whether you can sell your novel, or whether it will be a best seller, or win an award.

All these things are nice things that you would like happen to you, but none of them are within your control, and setting these things as your goals will make you very unhappy, because you can’t control them. We tend to do well when we feel like we’re in charge of our own destiny, when we feel we’re in charge of our own lives.

I think it is also true that you also have to know who you are. It’s important to learn what kind of writer you are over time. Different people will like different things. It’s okay for you to write things that are just pleasing yourself, and not chasing the market, because no one really knows where the market is, and chasing that is a loser’s market. Ultimately, you should work on things that are of interest to you and ignore everything else, because everything else is just noise. I had a story that I absolutely loved, and it couldn’t be sold for seven years. Ultimately I did sell it, and I sold it to an anthology that specialized in taking things that had been rejected many times before, so there’s always hope! You simply cannot count on the external validation as the thing to motivate you.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.



The First Black Woman In Space Wants To Take Us Beyond Our Solar System

image

JESSICA LEBER

Mae Jemison was 12-years-old when Americans first landed on the moon in 1969. The event inspired her, as it did an entire generation, and she went on to become the first woman of color who went to space, aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992.

But she’s also sick of people talking about the moon landing, especially today’s technology innovators who like to evoke buzzword “moonshots” and sometimes reaching further back in history to the “Sputnick moment” of 1957. For someone to really remember the moon landing today, they have to be at least 54. For Sputnick? 68.

Jemison says the world needs fresh inspiration, and with her 100 Year Starship organization, founded four years ago with the help of a seed grant from DARPA, she is on a mission to make that happen.

In a talk at TED this week, she summed it up three words: Interstellar space travel.

Today’s thinking about space, says Jemison, is too marred in incrementalism and “baby leaps.” Even putting a person on Mars isn’t ambitious enough to foster the kind of radical leaps that will bring world-changing benefits to humans on Earth today. A manned Mars mission is still an ambitious engineering challenge but, she says, “we know how to do Mars.” The plan for that mission can be written down already, in other words.

To get to humans out of our solar system, we would need innovation in almost every aspect of technology, health, and social science, she says: energy, propulsion systems, farming, microbiology, religion, nutrition, and psychology, to name only a few. The biggest challenge would be solving challenges of human behavior—how do you organize social structures when the people on board will be isolated for decades?

In today’s environment, where lawmakers can’t even agree on passing a federal budget and NASA faces continued cash struggles, imagining such a star-shot seems almost delusional. With its work in public engagement and interdisciplinary collaboration, 100 Year Starship is working to reframe the question as one that looks at how the world would leverage every advancement towards interstellar travel to benefit humans on Earth today. Her organization has brought together experts in disparate fields, including textile designers, biomedical engineers, religious scholars, and science fiction authors, to discuss the challenges in public symposiums. Last year, it held its first award for interstellar sci-fi writing, and a hackathon is coming up soon, she says.

“We need to have that adrenaline rush as humans, that’s where we need to go,” she says. “We need to have an inspiring inclusive collective vision for humanity.”


Read the FastCoExist Article



Star Struck: Finding Earth 2.0

100YSS Educator and 100YSS Class Instructor, Bobby Farlice Rubio speaks to WCAX in Burlington, VT on his experience at the 2015 Public Symposium. 

Check out the video here: http://www.wcax.com/story/30414876/star-struck-finding-earth-20



100 YEAR STARSHIP©  NAMES WINNERS OF FIRST ANNUAL CANOPUS AWARDS© FOR EXCELLENCE IN INTERSTELLAR WRITING

HOUSTON/SANTA CLARA, Calif., October 30, 2015 – 100 Year Starshipâ (100YSSâ) this evening announced the winners of the inaugural 2015 Canopus Award honoring excellence in interstellar writing.  Prizes were given in four categories – Previously Published Long-Form and Short-Form Fiction, and Original Fiction and Non-Fiction – to works that contribute to the excitement, knowledge, and understanding of interstellar space exploration and travel. 

The winners are:

Previously Published Long-Form Fiction
InterstellarNet: Enigma, Edward M. Lerner (Published by FoxAcre)

Previously Published Short-Form Fiction
“The Waves,” Ken Liu (Originally published in Asimov’s December 2012)

Original Fiction
“Everett’s Awakening,” Robert Buckalew writing as Ry Yelcho

Original Non-Fiction
“Finding Earth 2.0 from the Focus of the Solar Gravitational Lens,” Louis D. Friedman & Slava G. Turyshev

100YSS is the independent, long-term global initiative led by former astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison to ensure the capabilities for human travel beyond our solar system exist within the next 100 years and the advances are applied to enhance life here on Earth every step of the way.


The award is named for the second brightest star in the night sky, Canopus, which connects humanity’s past, present and future through fact and fantasy.  Over the millennia Canopus not only heralded planting seasons in the Rift Valley, but was a major navigation star for everyone from the Bedouin of the Sinai and the Maori of New Zealand to deep space probes like Voyager. Just as Canopus has helped explorers find their way for centuries, great writing —telling a story well ––is a guidepost for current and future interstellar achievement.


The winners were announced during Science Fiction Stories Night at 100YSS’s fourth annual public symposium held this year in the heart of Silicon Valley, at the Santa Clara Marriott in Santa Clara, Calif., October 29-November 1.
The judges include writer and 100YSS Creative and Editorial director Jason Batt; author and former Wall Street Journal reporter August Cole; Founder of International Speechwriting Associates Kathleen Colgan; teacher at the University of Edinburgh in the School of Education and Leadership, Janet DeVigne; editor Jaym Gates; 100YSS Principal and former astronaut Mae Jemison, M.D.; Chapman University creative writing student Alec Medén; Rutgers University Professor Ronke Olabisi, Ph.D.; faculty and advisor to the Singularity University David Orban; Georgia high school freshman Bailey Stanley; writer and anthropologist Juliette Wade, Ph.D.; Aeronautical and Astronautical engineer Paul Webber; journalist Sofia Webber;astrobiologist and creator of Yuri’s Night Loretta Whitesides; and Major General Ken Wisian.

For more information about the Canopus Award, visit http://100yss.org/initiatives/canopusaward.



SETI’S JILL TARTER AND BREAKTHROUGH LISTEN’S PETE WORDEN

TO EXPLORE “THE STATE OF THE UNIVERSE” AT 100 YEAR STARSHIP® SYMPOSIUM

HOUSTON/SANTA CLARA, Calif., October 22, 2015 – Where are we on the road to Earth 2.0?  Learn more from SETI Institute co-founder Dr. Jill Tarter and former NASA Ames Center Director and current Breakthrough Listen chair Dr. Pete Worden at “The State of the Universe” during the 100 Year Starship® (100YSS®) fourth annual public symposium in Silicon Valley from October 29-November 1, at the Santa Clara Marriott in Santa Clara, California.

100 Year Starship® (100YSS®) is the independent, long-term global initiative led by former astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison to ensure the capabilities for human travel beyond our solar system exist within the next 100 years and the advances are applied to enhance life here on Earth every step of the way.

On Saturday morning, October 31, Dr. Tarter will lead a discussion focusing on the latest finds in astronomy and space technology, helping to pave the road leading to Earth 2.0. Dr. Worden will discuss Breakthrough Listen, the $100 million funded project to listen for radio signals of intelligent life.  Additional experts will address biosignatures, exoplanets, new telescopes, and how the geological formation of Earth 1.0, our plant, ties together with the evolution of life.

With the timely theme of “Finding Earth 2.0,” the symposium invites the public to explore the game-changing processes required to indisputably find a planet outside our solar system capable of supporting Earth-evolved life.  Symposium attendees will examine what specific capabilities and systems—scientific, technical and societal—will be needed and impacted over the next five to 25 years to definitively identify at least one Earth 2.0.  

A powerful four-day event, the symposium will feature experiences involving transdisciplinary approaches that require attendees to stretch their imaginations and appreciate today’s cutting-edge technologies.  They will be challenged to discuss and take action on thought-provoking frontiers of science, civilization, space, technology, society, music and art, both now and in the future.  

Organized by the global 100YSS team, the 2015 Public Symposium will bring together experts, enthusiasts, students, celebrities, innovators, educators, and thought leaders from around the world.  

Other participants include renown scientists, thinkers, artists, policy makers and celebrities like George Whitesides, CEO, Virgin Galactic; Mickey Fisher, Creator, EXTANT; Lou Friedman, Ph.D. astronomer and co-founder of the Planetary Society; Mae Jemison, M.D., physician, engineer and entrepreneur; Hakeem Oluseyi, Ph.D., TED Fellow and Chief Science Officer, Discovery Channel; Amy Millman, CEO and co-founder Springboard Enterprises; Mmboneni Muofhe, Deputy Director, South African Department of Science and Technology; Pam Contag, Ph.D., CEO, Molecular Sciences Institute; and, Kurt Zatloukal, M.D., Professor, Medical University of Graz (Austria), among others.  

Dr. Jemison stated, “100 Year Starship is building an inclusive movement that spurs us to achieve the extraordinary – human travel beyond our solar system.  Simultaneously, 100 Year Starship is applying the radical leaps in knowledge, technologies, social systems and other capabilities learned and discovered to improve life here on Earth today.  While it might take years to uncover these Earth-bound solutions, it might not.  However, we might not find them at all without the unique perspective afforded by such an audacious goal of interstellar travel.”

For more information or to register to attend, visit:  http://2015.symposium.100yss.org/



100 YEAR STARSHIP CELEBRATES HALLOWEEN EVE AWARDING FIRST INTERSTELLAR WRITING PRIZE DURING SCIENCE FICTION STORIES NIGHT

Inaugural Canopus Award Winners to be Announced

HOUSTON/SANTA CLARA, Calif., October 20, 2015 – Award-winning authors and social and physical science experts will gather at Science Fiction Stories Night and honor winners of the first annual Canopus Awards for Interstellar Writing on Halloween Eve during 100 Year Starship’s ® (100YSS®) fourth annual public symposium in Silicon Valley from October 29-November 1, at the Santa Clara Marriott in Santa Clara, California.

100 Year Starship® (100YSS®) is the independent, long-term global initiative led by former astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison to ensure the capabilitie for human travel beyond our solar system exist within the next 100 years and the advances are applied to enhance life here on Earth every step of the way.

Science fiction frequently leads to science fact. In fact, the extremes of scientific discovery today fuel the imagination and possibilities for science fiction writers tomorrow who catapult them into our collective realm of possibility with their stories.  Join the discussion on Science Fiction Stories Night with awarding winning authors, including Nebula Award winner Pat Murphy (The Falling Woman, Bones, and Points of Departure); Juliette Wade (short fiction published in Analog Magazine and Clarkesworld); Brenda Cooper (Edge of Dark and Beyond the Waterfall Door); and, Jacob Weisman, publisher of Tachyon (titles have won the Nebula, Hugo, Sturgeon, Locus, Mythopoeic and World Fantasy Awards).  

In addition, 100YSS will announce the inaugural winners of its Canopus Awards for Excellence in Interstellar Writing™. The awards recognize and highlight the importance of great story telling to propel the Interstellar movement. Winners will be named in the categories of “Previously Published Long-Form Fiction;” “Previously Published Short-Form Fiction;” “Original Fiction;” and, “Original Non-Fiction.” (See below for list of finalists.)

With the timely theme of “Finding Earth 2.0,” the symposium invites the public to explore the game-changing processes required to indisputably find a planet outside our solar system capable of supporting Earth-evolved life.  Symposium attendees will examine what specific capabilities and systems—scientific, technical and societal—will be needed and impacted over the next five to 25 years to definitively identify at least one Earth 2.0.  

A powerful four-day event, the symposium will feature experiences involving transdisciplinary approaches that require attendees to stretch their imaginations and appreciate today’s cutting-edge technologies.  They will be challenged to discuss and take action on thought-provoking frontiers of science, civilization, space, technology, society, music and art, both now and in the future.  

Organized by the global 100YSS team, the 2015 Public Symposium will bring together experts, enthusiasts, students, celebrities, innovators, educators, and thought leaders from around the world.  

Other participants include renown scientists, thinkers, artists, policy makers and celebrities like George Whitesides, CEO, Virgin Galactic; Mickey Fisher, Creator, EXTANT; Lou Friedman, Ph.D. astronomer and co-founder of the Planetary Society; Jill Tarter, Ph.D., co-founder of SETI Institute, astronomer and TED Prize winner; Mae Jemison, M.D., physician, engineer and entrepreneur; Hakeem Oluseyi, Ph.D., TED Fellow and Chief Science Officer, Discovery Channel; Amy Millman, CEO and co-founder Springboard Enterprises; Mmboneni Muofhe, Deputy Director, South African Department of Science and Technology; Pam Contag, Ph.D., CEO, Molecular Sciences Institute; Pete Worden, Ph.D., Chairman, Breakthrough Prize Foundation and former Director, NASA Ames; and, Kurt Zatloukal, M.D., Professor, Medical University of Graz (Austria), among others.  

Dr. Jemison stated, “100 Year Starship is building an inclusive movement that spurs us to achieve the extraordinary – human travel beyond our solar system. Simultaneously, 100 Year Starship is applying the radical leaps in knowledge, technologies, social systems and other capabilities learned and discovered to improve life here on Earth today. While it might take years to uncover these Earth-bound solutions, it might not.  However, we might not find them at all without the unique perspective afforded by such an audacious goal of interstellar travel.”

For more information or to register to attend, visit:  http://2015.symposium.100yss.org/



EXTANT CREATOR MICKEY FISHER TO SPEAK AT 100 YEAR STARSHIP’S 2015 PUBLIC SYMPOSIUM -- FINDING EARTH 2.0

HOUSTON/SANTA CLARA, Calif., October 12, 2015Mickey Fisher, creator of the CBS space drama series EXTANT, will speak at the 100 Year Starship® (100YSS®) fourth annual public symposium in Silicon Valley from October 29-November 1, at the Santa Clara Marriott in Santa Clara, California.

100 Year Starship® (100YSS®) is the independent, long-term global initiative led by former astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison to ensure the capabilities for human travel beyond our solar system exist within the next 100 years and the advances are applied to enhance life here on Earth every step of the way.

On Saturday night, October 31, Fisher will participate in Accelerating Creativity, a program that examines Artificial Intelligence and how the interplay between the sciences and art push ideas and advancements in innovation, society and space exploration.  The program, which is open to the public, includes a screening of the short film, Project Kronos, an imaginative documentary that poses an unusual solution to the overwhelming data and computational challenges of interstellar exploration.  Following the formal program, 100YSS will host a Halloween Party, featuring a cosmic trick or treat and scavenger hunt, Miss Q Space Cat, light show, DJ and music, and other activities.  

With the timely theme of “Finding Earth 2.0,” the symposium invites the public to explore the game-changing processes required to indisputably find a planet outside our solar system capable of supporting Earth-evolved life.  Symposium attendees will examine what specific capabilities and systems—scientific, technical and societal—will be needed and impacted over the next five to 25 years to definitively identify at least one Earth 2.0.  

A powerful four-day event, the symposium will feature experiences involving transdisciplinary approaches that require attendees to stretch their imaginations and appreciate today’s cutting-edge technologies.  They will be challenged to discuss and take action on thought-provoking frontiers of science, civilization, space, technology, society, music and art, both now and in the future.  

Organized by the global 100YSS team, the 2015 Public Symposium will bring together experts, enthusiasts, students, celebrities, innovators, educators, and thought leaders from around the world.  

Other participants include renown scientists, thinkers, artists, policy makers and celebrities like George Whitesides, CEO, Virgin Galactic; Lou Friedman, Ph.D. astronomer and co-founder of the Planetary Society; Jill Tarter, Ph.D., co-founder of SETI Institute, astronomer and TED Prize winner; Mae Jemison, M.D., physician, engineer and entrepreneur; Hakeem Oluseyi, Ph.D., TED Fellow and Chief Science Officer, Discovery Channel; Amy Millman, CEO and co-founder Springboard Enterprises; Mmboneni Muofhe, Deputy Director, South African Department of Science and Technology; Pam Contag, Ph.D., CEO, Molecular Sciences Institute; Pete Worden, Ph.D., Chairman, Breakthrough Prize Foundation and former Director, NASA Ames; and, Kurt Zatloukal, M.D., Professor, Medical University of Graz (Austria), among others.  

Dr. Jemison stated, “100 Year Starship is building an inclusive movement that spurs us to achieve the extraordinary – human travel beyond our solar system.  Simultaneously, 100 Year Starship is applying the radical leaps in knowledge, technologies, social systems and other capabilities learned and discovered to improve life here on Earth today.  While it might take years to uncover these Earth-bound solutions, it might not.  However, we might not find them at all without the unique perspective afforded by such an audacious goal of interstellar travel.”

For more information or to register to attend, visit:  http://2015.symposium.100yss.org/



VISIONARY INTERSTELLAR CONFERENCE LANDS IN PLANET’S TECHNOLOGY EPICENTER

100 YEAR STARSHIP® TO HOST 2015 PUBLIC SYMPOSIUM IN SILICON VALLEY

HOUSTON/SANTA CLARA, Calif., October 1, 2015 – 100 Year Starship® (100YSS®), the independent, long-term global initiative led by former astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison that is ensuring the capabilities for human travel beyond our solar system exist within the next 100 years, will host its fourth annual public symposium in the heart of high-tech innovation and “blue sky” thinking from October 29-November 1, at the Santa Clara Marriott in Santa Clara, California.

With the timely theme of “Finding Earth 2.0,” the symposium invites the public to explore the game-changing processes required to indisputably find a planet outside our solar system capable of supporting Earth-evolved life.  Symposium attendees will examine what specific capabilities and systems—scientific, technical and societal—will be needed and impacted over the next five to 25 years to definitively identify at least one Earth 2.0.  

Silicon Valley embodies the transformative collision of audacious space exploration and bold tech brilliance,” said Dr. Jemison pointing out innovations such as real-time, precise directions delivered by smart phone, ultra lightweight high temperature insulation and insight into the first seconds of the universe using particle accelerators.  “What better place to hold our annual public symposium?”

A powerful four-day event, the symposium will feature experiences involving transdisciplinary approaches that require attendees to stretch their imaginations and appreciate today’s cutting-edge technologies.  They will be challenged to discuss and take action on thought-provoking frontiers of science, civilization, space, technology, society, music and art, both now and in the future.  

Organized by the global 100YSS team, the 2015 Public Symposium will bring together experts, enthusiasts, students, celebrities, innovators, educators, and thought leaders from around the world.  

Participants include renown scientists, thinkers, artists, policy makers and celebrities like George Whitesides, CEO, Virgin Galactic; Lou Friedman, Ph.D. astronomer and co-founder of the Planetary Society; Jill Tarter, Ph.D., co-founder of SETI Institute, astronomer and TED Prize winner; Mae Jemison, M.D., physician, engineer and entrepreneur; Hakeem Oluseyi, Ph.D., TED Fellow and Chief Science Officer, Discovery Channel; Amy Millman, CEO and co-founder Springboard Enterprises; Mmboneni Muofhe, Deputy Director, South African Department of Science and Technology; Pam Contag, Ph.D., CEO, Molecular Sciences Institute; Pete Worden, Ph.D., Chairman, Breakthrough Prize Foundation and former Director, NASA Ames; and, Kurt Zatloukal, M.D., Professor, Medical University of Graz (Austria), among others.  

Registered symposium attendees will tackle topics, such as:

Playing with the Stars:  The importance of Play in Human and Childhood Education in Deep Space and on Earth

The Data Must Flow: Really Big Data, IT and Communications Contributions to Finding Earth 2.0

Purposeful Inclusion: Key to Achieving Audacious Technologies and Societies

Trending Now: The Science, Technologies, Systems and Ideas on Today’s Cutting Edge

● State of the Universe: A Singular Overview of Exoplanet Discovery, SETI, The Evolution and Status of Geology and Life on Earth 1.0, Biosignatures in Space and Tools to See Deeper

What’s Right for Life?

Who’s Got Next (in Space)?

Design 2.0:  3D In Situ Construction of Space Structures

● Radical Leaps in Technology and Systems

During technical tracks, papers will be presented on Energy and Propulsion; Data, IT & Communications; Health, Life Sciences and Bioengineering; Designing for Interstellar; Becoming an Interstellar Civilization; and, Destinations.  There also will be networking opportunities and a poster session.

In addition, tickets are available for individual special events during the symposium, including:

Science Fiction Stories Night (Friday, October 30) will feature the inaugural Canopus Awards for Excellence in Interstellar Writing™ reception, as well as discussions and book signings with award-winning authors and social and physical science experts.  Confirmed authors include Juliette Wade (short fiction published in Analog Magazine and Clarkesworld); Jacob Weisman, publisher of Tachyon (titles have won the Nebula, Hugo, Sturgeon, Locus, Mythopoeic and World Fantasy Awards); and, Nebula Award winner Pat Murphy (The Falling Woman, Bones, and Points of Departure).  

Accelerating Creativity (Saturday, October 31) will consider Artificial Intelligence and the interplay between the sciences and art to push ideas and advancements in innovation, society and space exploration.  Following the formal session, 100YSS will host a Halloween Party, featuring light show, DJ and music, Miss Q Space Cat, a cosmic trick or treat scavenger hunt, and other activities.

● Individual tickets are also available for luncheons on Friday and Saturday (speakers to be announced).

Dr. Jemison stated, “100 Year Starship is building an inclusive movement that spurs us to achieve the extraordinary – human travel beyond our solar system. Simultaneously, 100 Year Starship is applying the radical leaps in knowledge, technologies, social systems and other capabilities learned and discovered to improve life here on Earth today. While it might take years to uncover these Earth-bound solutions, it might not.  However, we might not find them at all without the unique perspective afforded by such an audacious goal of interstellar travel.”

To register to attend, visit:  http://2015.symposium.100yss.org/



100 YEAR STARSHIP ANNOUNCES THE FINALISTS FOR FIRST ANNUAL CANOPUS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN INTERSTELLAR WRITING

The Authors and Works in Categories of Previously Published and Original Fiction and Nonfiction for the 2015 Awards Released

 

HOUSTON, September 23, 2015 — 100 Year Starshipâ (100YSSâ) today announced the finalists in the inaugural Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Writing.  The Canopus Award is  an annual writing prize recognizing the finest fiction and non-fiction works that contribute to the excitement, knowledge, and understanding of interstellar space exploration and travel.  

Winners will be announced and honored on Friday, October 30, 2015 during the 100 Year Starship 2015 Public Symposium held at the Santa Clara Marriott, in Santa Clara, California  October 29-November 1, 2015.

The finalists (listed in no particular order) in the four award categories are listed below.

In the category of “Previously Published Long-Form Fiction” (40,000 words or more):

·       Other Systems by Elizabeth Guizzetti

·       The Creative Fire by Brenda Cooper

·       InterstellarNet: Enigma by Edward M. Lerner

·       Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson

·       Coming Home by Jack McDevitt

In the category of “Previously Published Short-Form Fiction” (between 1,000 and 40,000 words):

·       “Race for Arcadia” by Alex Shvartsman

·       “Stars that Make Dark Heaven Light” by Sharon Joss

·       “Homesick” by Debbie Urbanski  

·       “Twenty Lights to the Land of Snow” by Michael Bishop

·       “Planet Lion” by Catherynne M. Valente

·       “The Waves” by Ken Liu

·       “Dreamboat” by Robin Wyatt Dunn

In the category of “Original Fiction” (1,000-5,000 words):

·       “Landfall” by Jon F. Zeigler

·       “Project Fermi” by Michael Turgeon

·       “Everett’s Awakening” by Ry Yelcho

·       “Groundwork” by G. M. Nair

·       “His Holiness John XXIV about Father Angelo Baymasecchi’s Diary” by   Óscar Garrido González

·       “The Disease of Time” by Joseph Schmidt

In the category of “Original Non-Fiction” (1,000-5,000 words):

·       “Why Interstellar Travel?” by Jeffrey Nosanov

·       “Finding Earth 2.0 from the Focus of the Solar Gravitational Lens” by Louis Friedman and Slava Turyshev


Judges for the Canopus Award  are: writer and 100YSS Creative and Editorial director Jason Batt; author and former Wall Street Journal reporter August Cole; Founder of International Speechwriting Associates Kathleen Colgan, Ph.D.; teacher at the University of Edinburgh in the School of Education and Leadership, Janet DeVigne; editor Jaym Gates, 100YSS Principal and former astronaut Mae Jemison, M.D., Chapman University creative writing student Alec Medén; Rutgers University Professor Ronke Olabisi. Ph.D.; faculty and advisor to the Singularity University David Orban, Georgia high school freshman Bailey Stanley, writer and anthropologist Juliette Wade, Ph.D.; Aeronautical and Astronautical engineer Paul Webber; journalist Sofia Webber; astrobiologist and creator of Yuri’s Night Loretta Whitesides; and Major General Ken Wisian.

 

For more information about award criteria, visit http://100yss.org/initiatives/canopusaward.



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