Renowned Earth scientist Robert Hazen to speak at URI

Earth scientist, mineralogist, and astrobiologist Robert Hazen will deliver a lecture titled “Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life’s Origins” on Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at Edwards Hall, 64 Upper College Road, as part of this year’s Honors Colloquium at the University of Rhode Island.

Hazen, a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory and Clarence Robinson Professor of Earth Science at George Mason University, researches what role minerals play in terms of life’s origins.

Titled, “Origins: Life, the Universe and Everything,” this fall’s colloquium addresses such questions as “Where did we come from? How did the universe begin? How did intelligent, rational beings arise? And from such humble beginnings, how did we develop a mind that can ask these big questions? Now in its 54th year, the colloquium is the University’s premier public lecture series, offers lectures on most Tuesday evenings through Dec. 5. Hazen’s lecture will be shown on the web at

The primary focus of Hazen’s research involves different aspects of the coevolving geosphere and biosphere, especially as it pertains to Earth’s ever changing mineralogy. Beyond that, he looks at the close relationship between crystal structure and physical properties. Through the development of different high-pressure and high-temperature techniques, paired with the study of a wide variety of materials, Hazen and his team have been able to isolate and identify new superconductor structure types.

URI Associate Professor of Geosciences in the College of Environment and Life Sciences, Dawn Cardace is looking forward to Hazen’s lecture. “I am keenly interested in the relationship between Earth’s geology and biology, through Earth’s 4.6-billion-year-long history as a planet and across its diverse planetary surface and near subsurface,” Cardace said…[Read more]