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FAU’s Harbor Branch Presents ‘An Evening with Marc Kaufman … Is There Life Beyond Earth?’

BOCA RATON, FL (March 28, 2012) — Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and Friends of Harbor Branch will host “An Evening with Marc Kaufman … Is There Life Beyond Earth?” on Friday, April 13 at 7 p.m. in the Johnson Education Center at HBOI, 5600 U.S. 1 North, Fort Pierce.  A question and answer session, reception and book signing will follow the lecture.

Kaufman is national editor at The Washington Post and a science writer who recently authored the bestselling book on astrobiology, First Contact: Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth.  In his lecture, he will relate scientific information and anecdotes gathered while researching First Contactas well as his coverage of the breakthrough of Antarctica’s ice at Lake Vostok, a great quest of our time.

Astrobiology encompasses the search for life beyond Earth and brings together scientific fields from microbiology to chemistry and on to cosmology, and has inevitable implications for ethics, philosophy and religion. It is the multi-disciplined search for extreme forms of life on Earth and for possibly similar, or more advanced, life elsewhere in the solar system and in distant galaxies.  As a journalist, Kaufman’s interest in astrobiology began with his desire to “jump on the big story.” He spent more than two years traveling the globe to meet and learn from the scientists at the cutting edge of research on extremophiles, which are bizarre microbes found in very harsh Earth environments.

Kaufman has been a writer and editor for more than 30 years, covering NASA, science and the environment, health, biotechnology and the Food and Drug Administration. He is the recipient of the Sidney Hillman Foundation Award, the Genesis Award of the Humane Society of the U.S. and the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. He is a Smithsonian lecturer; has addressed the Carnegie Institution, Google headquarters and the Hayden Planetarium; and recently appeared on the NPR show “Fresh Air.”

The event is a part of Harbor Branch’s popular Ocean Science Lecture Series, which brings news of ocean science research and innovation to the community.  Tickets are $10 for Harbor Branch members and $15 for nonmembers.  To purchase tickets, call 772-242-2559. For more information, contact Cindy Willson at 772-242-2226.


About Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute :
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University is a research institute dedicated to exploration, innovation, conservation and education related to the oceans.  Harbor Branch was founded in 1971 as a private non-profit organization. In December 2007, Harbor Branch joined Florida Atlantic University. The institute specializes in ocean engineering, at-sea operations, drug discovery and biotechnology from the oceans, coastal ecology and conservation, marine mammal research and conservation, aquaculture, and marine education. For more information, visit

About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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