World renowned planetary scientist Prof Ian Crawford (University College London) has agreed to speak to the i4is/ISU Interstellar Studies elective Module being delivered by i4is/ISU to the Masters course in May (and introduced earlier). The topic of his presentation will be the Local Interstellar Medium.
Dr Ian Crawford is Reader in Planetary Science and Astrobiology at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck College, University of London. His career in science began with astronomy where he conducted studies of the interstellar medium and also the circumstellar disks that may be around planetary systems. His research interests include lunar exploration and he was a co-investigator on the D-CIXS instrument which orbited the Moon on ESA’s SMART1 spacecraft between 2004 and 2006. He also chaired the Science Team for the Chandrayaan-1 X-Ray spectrometer that flew on India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission in 2008-2009. He has an interest in astrobiology which is the study of the astronomical and planetary context of the origin and evolution of life. This includes studying extreme environments such as in Iceland. He has a passion for space exploration and in 2007 was a member of the UK Space Exploration Working Group, which recommended increased UK involvement in global space exploration. He teaches many subjects including foundations of astronomy, geology of the solar system, introduction to astrobiology and advanced topics in planetary science. He is a member of the Association for Astronomy Education, Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, past President of the Society for Popular Astronomy and he is currently Geophysical Secretary of the UK Royal Astronomical Society. He has published nearly 100 technical papers relating to space science.