The Oldest Scientific Society in Washington

Fall 2017 & Spring 2018 Lecture Series

Sponsored by The Policy Studies Organization
In Cooperation with the American Public University
The Policy studies OrganizationAmerican Public University

PSW 2390th
Friday, March 23rd at 8:00 p.m.

Earth’s Earliest Life Written in Stone
Reconstructing Earth Life's Deep History and What It Suggests About Life Elsewhere in the Universe 

Andrew H. Knoll

Fisher Professor of Natural History and
Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Harvard University

Earth records its own history, encrypted in sedimentary rocks laid down one bed upon another through time.  For nearly two hundred years, paleontologists have mined this archive for the fossils of plants and animals.  We now know, however, that this record of shells and bones and leaves and wood captures only the last fifteen percent of life’s evolutionary history.  In fact, life has been part of the Earth’s surface for most of the planet’s history, and for most of this time life was exclusively microbial. 

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The Lectures, which are the centerpiece of all Philosophical Society of Washington meetings, are selected to appeal to those with a general interest in science and do not require a specialized knowledge of the subject. They always contain information that is current, explanations that are understandable and a few controversial issues to be challenged by a critical listener. The series is designed as much as possible to include a wide range of disciplines.

The meetings are open to the public, free, and no reservations are required. Dress is informal. Meetings are followed by lively conversation. All must exit the Cosmos Club at 10:30 p.m. Conversations are continued at another location. Please note, there is no parking at the Cosmos Club.

Meeting Location

The John Wesley Powell Auditorium is adjacent to the Cosmos Club, 2170 Florida Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008. Entrance is through the club gate, the first right-hand entrance on Florida Avenue north of the intersection with Massachusetts Avenue NW. The auditorium entrance is to the left of the gate.

The Cosmos Club is within walking distance of the DuPont Circle Metro stop (Q Street exit), the Connecticut Avenue bus routes (L2, L4), and the Massachusetts Avenue bus routes (N2, N4).


Title Name
President Larry S. Millstein
Treasurer Brett Magaram
Program Chair Larry S. Millstein
Membership Chair Lloyd Mitchell
Corresponding Secretary Robin Taylor