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Astronomer to speak on the place of humanity

April 1, 2018

Astronomer to speak on the place of humanity in the universe

Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, a senior American astronomer, will speak on astrophysics and its relevance to religion, at the University of Auckland (lecture theatre B28, Library Building, Alfred St) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday 11th April. Similar lectures will be held in Wellington on 10th April and Dunedin on 4th April.

Dr Wiseman’s Auckland topic will be: Eclipsed? The Significance of Human Life in an Incredible Universe.

Jennifer is able to communicate the vastness of the known and imagined universe, and at the same time has the capacity to wonder whether and where there is life outside our planet. She is a part of a research group that is now discovering possibly habitable exoplanets around other stars.

While still a research student at MIT, Jennifer discovered a comet that is named for her. After research fellowships at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the Johns Hopkins University, she took up her current position as a senior astrophysicist at the Goddard Space Flight Centre, where she previously headed the Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics. She is the senior project scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope. She is also Director of the Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion of the American Association for the Advancement of Science ( As well as her scientific work, Jennifer is known for her ability to communicate the excitement of science to the general public.

Jennifer is in New Zealand to speak at the Public Communication of Science and Technology Conference in Dunedin, April 3 & 4 (

The Auckland lecture is sponsored by New Zealand Christians in Science/Te Kāhui Whakapono ki Nga Kaipūtaiao o Te Motu ( and the Maclaurin Chapel at the University of Auckland. The Dunedin and Wellington lectures are co-hosted by the Centre for Theology and Public Issues (Otago) and NZCIS. All are welcome.

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