About Dr. David Grinspoon, PhD

StarTalk All-Star

David Grinspoon, Senior Scientist at Planetary Science Institute and adjunct professor of astrophysical and planetary science at The University of Colorado, is an astrobiologist and prize-winning author and science communicator. In 2013 he was appointed as the inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at the U.S. Library of Congress, researching his now published book Earth in Human Hands. Along with his book Earth in Human Hands he has three other books: Venus Revealed, Lonely Planets, and his most recent Chasing New Horizons with co author Alan Stern. His technical papers have been published in Nature, Science, and numerous other leading journals, and he has given invited keynote talks at conferences around the world. He is a frequent advisor to NASA on space exploration strategy, and is on the science team of several active interplanetary spacecraft missions. 

Grinspoon’s popular writing has appeared in Slate, Scientific American, Natural History, Nautilus, Astronomy, Seed, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and Sky & Telescope Magazine where he is a contributing editor and writes the quasi-monthly “Cosmic Relief” column. He is the author and editor of several books, including Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life which won the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Nonfiction. 

Grinspoon, who appears frequently as a science commentator on television and radio, was awarded the 2006 Carl Sagan Medal for Public Communication of Planetary Science by the American Astronomical Society. He is also an award-winning musician and entertainer, who leads the House Band of the Universe and has been honored with the title “Alpha Geek” by Wired Magazine. His live appearances combine riveting, thought-provoking science with comedy, music and pop-culture references. He has appeared on stage with Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson and comedian Sara Silverman.