Astrobiology (general)

Call for Applications: New NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology

By Keith Cowing
January 20, 2012

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress is accepting applications and nominations for the new Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology.

Applications and nominations must be postmarked by Monday, February 13, 2012. For guidelines and forms, visit . Candidates should apply directly using the online form. Nominations should be submitted in writing to [email protected].

The astrobiology chair is a new distinguished senior research position in residence at the Library’s Kluge Center for a period of up to 12 months. This is an appointment made by the Librarian of Congress on the recommendation of a selection committee, which considers both applications and nominations. For the Library’s announcement of the chair, visit .

Using the collections and services at the Library of Congress, the chair holder conducts research at the intersection between the science of astrobiology and its humanistic aspects, particularly its societal implications. The astrobiology scholar receives a stipend of $13,500 per month. The tenure is expected to begin in October 2012.

The chair holder is expected to give at least one public presentation in the Washington, D.C. area and to organize workshops, symposia, small conferences or other activities that engage the broader academic community and the public.

The late Dr. Baruch S. Blumberg was the founding director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute. Blumberg shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1976 for discovering the hepatitis B virus and developing a powerful vaccine to fight it, saving countless lives. He also was a founding member of the Library’s Scholars Council, which advises the Librarian of Congress on scholarly matters.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources, and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit .

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds nearly 147 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at . Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

The NASA Astrobiology Program supports research into the origins, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. The NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), an element of that program, is a partnership among NASA, 14 U.S. teams, and eight international consortia. NAI’s goals are to promote, conduct, and lead interdisciplinary astrobiology research, train a new generation of astrobiology researchers, and share the excitement of astrobiology with learners of all ages.

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