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Biographies Steven J. Dick

The former Charles A. Lindbergh Chair in Aerospace History at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, Dick is an astronomer, author, and historian who served as the chief historian for NASA from 2003 to 2009 and formerly served as an astronomer and historian of science at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. As a scholar-in-residence at the Kluge Center Dick explored the critical issues and optimal approaches to studying the societal impact of the discovery of microbial or complex life beyond Earth. On December 4, 2013, Dr. Dick testified before the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology about astrobiology and the search for biosignatures in our solar system.

Area of study: Astrobiology, Astronomy, History of Science

Affiliation(s): National Air and Space Museum 2011-2012; NASA, 2003-2009; American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), elected 2012.

Kluge Center project: Societal Impact of the Discovery of Life in the Universe

Residency: November 2013 – October 2014

News Releases

Selected Publications


  • Preparing for Discovery: A Rational Approach to the Impact of Finding Microbial, Complex, or Intelligent Life Beyond Earth” (Sept. 18-19, 2014)
  • Astrobiology and Theology: A Discussion” (Jun. 18, 2014)
  • Searching for Life in the Universe: What Does it Mean for Humanity” (Jan. 28, 2014)
  • Seeing What's in Store: The Future in the Literary and Scientific Imagination” - part of the Symposium on the Longevity of Human Civilization (Sept. 12, 2013)

Additional Resources

Selected Works at the Library of Congress