Back To Schedule
Saturday, May 25 • 2:25pm - 3:25pm
WHY-FI (Why is this Fictional?) – Interplanetary Edition

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
Frequent EV guest Morgan Gendel (writer of “The Inner Light” episode of Star Tek: The Next Generation) presents a live version of his “WHY-FI” podcast, currently in development with Ridley Scott’s company. In this special installment for EV, Gendel will moderate a panel of renowned scientists to explore the well-worn sci-fi trope of journeying to a distant star system to meet up with homo sapiens-like humanoids. Yet in real life, as we know, FTL (faster-than-light-speed) travel is theoretically impossible, and the probability of a planet in that Goldilocks zone (not too hot, not too cold) that will sustain liquid water, considered a precursor for life, is statistically low. Gendel and his panel will discuss the alternatives: hibernation for long flights; wormholes as shortcuts; and the possibilities for finding life of a completely different kind than we encounter in movies and TV.

avatar for Morgan Gendel

Morgan Gendel

Screenwriter, producer, and futurist
Morgan Gendel is a screenwriter, producer and futurist with more than 200 credits,including the CW Network hit, The 100; Star Trek: The Next Generation and DeepSpace 9; the TekWar TV movies; The Dresden Files; Drop Dead Diva and Law & Order. He is perhaps best known as writer of “The... Read More →

avatar for DAVID BRIN, PhD


Award-winning science fiction author and Museum of Science Fiction advisory board member, David Brin is coming to Escape Velocity! David’s book, Heaven’s Reach is perfectly on-theme for this year’s event: Other Worlds. David will be discussing Fractal World of his Uplift series... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Connie Bertka

Dr. Connie Bertka

Geologist and Consultant, Science and Society Resources LLC
Connie Bertka holds a Ph.D. in Geology from Arizona State University and a Master of Theological Studies from Wesley Theological Seminary. She is a consultant with Science and Society Resources, LLC. She Co-Chairs the Smithsonian Institution’s Human Origins Program’s Broader Social... Read More →
avatar for C. ALEX YOUNG, PhD


C. Alex Young is a solar astrophysicist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Associate Director for Science of its Helophysics Science Division. In this role he is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the education and public outreach (EPO) team for the division. In... Read More →
avatar for Dr. John Bracht

Dr. John Bracht

Biologist, American University
Dr. John Bracht is an assistant professor of Biology at American University and is an expert on genomics, with a focus on how genomes change--either during development or during evolution. A current project in the lab is is to determine how animal genomes adapt to extreme environments... Read More →


Author, Astrobiologist
Dr. Grinspoon is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author, as well as a frequent advisor to NASA on space exploration strategy. His new book Earth in Human Hands was named a Best Book of the Year by NPR’s Science Friday. He is a Senior Scientist... Read More →
avatar for Richard S. Miller

Richard S. Miller

Astrophysicist, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Dr. Richard S. Miller is a Senior Professional Staff member at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He is an astrophysicist whose research efforts have taken him from experiments deep underground in mines to satellites that orbit the Moon, from cataclysmic deaths... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Gregory Harry

Dr. Gregory Harry

Professor of Physics, American University
Gregg Harry has degrees from the California Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland and has spent his career in the search for gravitational waves.  His is an author of many papers and book chapters on the technology of making the mirrors for the LIGO detectors and... Read More →

Saturday May 25, 2019 2:25pm - 3:25pm EDT
Main Events (WW A)
  • Moderator Morgan Gendel