A touch of awe: crafting meaning from the wonder of the cosmos

Steve Paulson, Paul Davies, Ard Louis, Lucianne Walkowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


From the birth of galaxies to the self-organizing dynamics of our planet to the ongoing expansion of the universe, the more we discover about the evolution of the cosmos, the more acutely we realize the enormity of what remains to be known. Just this year astrophysicists at the University of Nottingham confirmed that there are at least two trillion galaxies in the cosmos, 10 times more than had been previously thought. What guidance or wisdom can the study of cosmology and astrophysics offer us in our search for meaning and purpose? In conversation with Steve Paulson, executive producer and host of To the Best of Our Knowledge, theoretical physicists Paul Davies and Ard Louis, and astrophysicist Lucianne Walkowicz share their perceptions based on years of gazing upward and beyond our own intimate planet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-62
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Christianity
  • anthropology
  • astrobiology
  • cosmos
  • evolution
  • meaning
  • multiverse
  • quantum mechanics
  • space travel
  • universe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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