Science fiction meets science reality during the 2022 Neighborhood Lecture Series

Spring 2022 Virtual Events
Wednesday, March 30, 2022 

Carnegie Science's Earth and Planets Laboratory is pleased to announce the Spring 2022 Neighborhood Lecture Series which will feature exciting virtual and in-person lectures from some of Carnegie’s resident exoplanet experts and astrobiologists.

On April 28, 2022, Carnegie Staff Scientist Dr. Peter Gao will take you on a tour of some of our Galaxy’s most enigmatic exoplanets in his talk entitled, “Hot Jupiters, Super Puffs, and Lava Planets, Oh My! Exoplanet Science in James Webb Space Telescope Year 1.” 

In this virtual Neighborhood Lecture, Gao will highlight the exoplanet observations that will take place in the first year of James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) operations, which target planets both large and small and in some cases aim to find conditions that may be conducive to life. He will also discuss his own project which aims to understand the odd cotton-candy-like density of the “super-puff” planet Kepler-51 b.

The virtual event will be held via Zoom, learn more and register for the event here.  

Then, on June 16, 2022, join us in person to boldly go where no Neighborhood Lecture has gone before as astrobiologist Dr. Michael L. Wong presents, “The Science of Star Trek.” Wong is a Carnegie Postdoctoral Fellow, NASA Hubble Sagan Fellow, and host of the podcast Strange New Worlds. From the Drake equation in Star Trek's original 1964 outline to gravitational waves in Star Trek: Discovery, Wong will examine how scientific discoveries underpin this legendary science-fiction franchise's 55-year history.

Right now, the June event will be held live in the Greenewalt Building of the Carnegie Institution for Science’s beautiful Broad Branch Road campus in Northwest Washington, D.C. More details about the live event will be announced closer to the event date. Stay tuned to the most up-to-date information on the Neighborhood Lecture Series webpage.

The Neighborhood Lecture Series provides an opportunity to explore the world from the perspective of scientists who are working at the leading edge of scientific discovery. Both virtual and in-person lectures begin at 6:30 p.m. and last for approximately one hour, followed by a brief question and answer period.

These lectures are free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required to attend. Please visit to learn more and secure your spot at these events.