Brighter Than A Billion Suns: Imaging Life On Earth

Phil Manning

Paleontology is often viewed as a ‘blue sky’ science, one with little relevance, beyond Indiana Jones movie scripts, in the 21st Century. Phil Manning buries this prehistoric notion in a compelling talk that first and foremost reminds you just how totally cool scientific research can be (plus, his British accent doesn’t hurt). To wit: we can now harness synchrotron light, brighter than 10 billion suns, to view dilute concentrations of elements that played crucial roles in life, both present and past.

Dr Phil Manning is on the faculty of both the College of Charleston (paleontology) and the University of Manchester, England (natural history). He is a Fellow of the Explorer’s Club and an Extraordinary Scientist in Residence at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. His numerous research and teaching collaborations both nationally and internationally support his current research focused on integrating disciplines to solve key questions in paleobiology. Dr. Manning has authored popular and children’s science books and written and presented documentary films for National Geographic, BBC, History Channel, CNN and Discovery.