Speaker's Night: Indigenous astronomies, stories of the sky and Indigenizing the Drake Equation (ONLINE)

Hilding Neilson
Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm

Astronomy has been practised on the land we call North America since time immemorial and the peoples across this land had and have their own ways of understanding the sky and the Universe. In this talk, Dr. Hilding Neilson will discuss Indigenous methods of science and how sky stories reflect observations and knowledge of different peoples. He will show how these methods are related to constructing knowledge and apply these axioms to the current questions of where life is in the Milky Way Galaxy. He will also show how these methods add to our current understanding of the Drake Equation and conclude by discussing how these ideas impact the cultural discussion of space exploration and colonization.

Dr. Hilding Neilson is Mi’kmaq from Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland) whose work focuses on stellar and exoplanet astrophysics and on indigenizing astronomy. He earned is PhD from the University of Toronto in 2009 on Cepheid atmospheres and mass loss. He was then an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the University of Bonn followed by a research professor at East Tennessee State University.  Hilding returned to the University of Toronto in 2014 as a CLTA assistant professor.

Who can attend: Everyone
Not required
Organized by: RASC, Toronto Centre