Life, the Universe, and Everything: the next 50 years of astronomy

Life, the Universe, and Everything: the next 50 years of astronomy

Life, the Universe, and Everything: the next 50 years of astronomy

event Monday, July 22, 2024 schedule 7.00pm - 8.00pm BST
event Monday, July 22, 2024 schedule 7.00pm - 8.00pm BST
  • speakers
Professor Vasily Belokurov, Professor Hiranya Peiris and Professor Nikku Madhusudhan
In-person and online
Open to: 
Public (open to all)
Babbage Lecture Theatre | View details

Tickets for this talk are now sold out. Please visit the Institute of Astronomy YouTube Channel to join online.

Join us for an illuminating panel discussion covering 'Life, The Universe, and Everything: The Next 50 Years of Astronomy,' featuring three Cambridge professors working at the forefront of astronomical research.

Our distinguished panelists bring a wealth of expertise to the table, offering diverse perspectives on the evolving landscape of astronomy. From the search for planets and life in the Universe, to the origin of our Milky Way and the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, our experts will chart a course for the future of astronomical inquiry.

Embark on a journey through space and time as we discuss the revolutionary instruments and experiments poised to transform our understanding of the Universe. From next-generation telescopes and space missions targeting distant exoplanets to table-top searches for dark matter, our expert panelists will illuminate the possibilities and challenges that lie ahead.


Professor Vasily Belokurov (Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge)


Vasily Belokurov is Professor of Astronomy at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge. He graduated from Moscow State University, Relativistic Astrophysics Department, Sternberg Astronomical Institute, and did his DPhil at the University of Oxford, in the group of Professor Wyn Evans.

Professor Hiranya Peiris (Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge)

Prof Peiris

Professor Peiris' research aims to test fundamental physics using large cosmological datasets, including the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and galaxy surveys, using an interdisciplinary approach combining observations, theoretical physics, and advanced statistical and machine learning methods. Hiranya is increasingly engaged in the interface between cosmology and galaxy evolution, and in gravitational wave astrophysics. She also enjoy thinking about stellar dynamics and the structure of the Milky Way. More broadly beyond astrophysics, her research involves interdisciplinary collaborations at the interface of cosmology with particle physics and condensed matter physics.

Hiranya is the Principal Investigator of the European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant project CosmicExplorer. She is theory lead in the Quantum Simulators for Fundamental Physics (QSimFP) Consortium, funded by UKRI’s Quantum Technologies for Fundamental Physics programme. She is a founding member of ALPHA, an international collaboration working to deploy a plasma haloscope to detect the QCD axion, a prime dark matter candidate. She is part of several international research projects on multimessenger astrophysics and cosmology with gravitational wave sources and their electromagnetic counterparts.

Professor Nikku Madhusudhan (Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge)

Professor Nikku Madhusudhan

Professor Nikku Madhusudhan is Professor of Astrophysics and Exoplanetary Science at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge. His research interests include understanding the atmospheres, interiors, formation conditions and habitability of exoplanets (planets that orbit other stars). Nikku is widely known for pioneering the inverse techniques used to measure the atmospheric properties of exoplanets, seen using a wide array of observational facilities in space and on Earth. He has received various awards for his work in exoplanetary science, including the 2019 MERAC Prize in Theoretical Astrophysics from the European Astronomical Society, and the 2019 Pilkington Prize for excellence in teaching at the University of Cambridge.

Booking information


Babbage Lecture Theatre
New Museums Site
University of Cambridge
United Kingdom