Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997
Christ Church Cathedral414 Sparks St.

Civilization and the Stars

with Jo Marchant
Hosted by Stephen Brockwell

Civilization and the Stars

with Jo Marchant
Hosted by Stephen Brockwell
Christ Church Cathedral
414 Sparks St.
Jo Marchant - Photo by Poppy Merchant

Join us for a conversation with award-winning science journalist Jo Marchant on her latest international bestseller, The Human Cosmos: Civilization and the Stars .


For at least 20,000 years, we have led not just an earthly existence but a cosmic one. Celestial cycles drove every aspect of our daily lives. Our innate relationship with the stars shaped who we are—our art, religious beliefs, social status, scientific advances, and even our biology. But over the last few centuries we have separated ourselves from the universe that surrounds us. It's a disconnect with a dire cost.


Our relationship to the stars and planets has moved from one of awe, wonder and superstition to one where technology is king—the cosmos is now explored through data on our screens, not by the naked eye observing the natural world. Indeed, in most countries, modern light pollution obscures much of the night sky from view. Jo Marchant's spellbinding parade of the ways different cultures celebrated the majesty and mysteries of the night sky is a journey to the most awe-inspiring view you can ever see: looking up on a clear dark night. That experience and the thoughts it has engendered have radically shaped human civilization across millennia. The cosmos is the source of our greatest creativity in art, in science, in life.


PLEASE NOTE: For the safety and comfort of all patrons, masks are required to attend in person.  


Most people coming by car park for free at the Supreme Court of Canada on Wellington St.


Ticket holders unable to attend in person can request access to the livestream. 



Books are available from our friends at Perfect Books.


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See Also

Included in Optional Saturday Oct 22 Saturday Science Pass

12:00pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
1:30pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
3:00pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
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