NASA astronomer David Morrison debunks conspiracy theories surrounding the “discovery” of Planet X, or Nibiru. Photoshop and a creative imagination, Morrison explains, lead many to believe in this fictional planet and the doomsday predictions for 2012.
This program was recorded in collaboration with the 2010 SkeptiCal Conference, in Berkeley, CA, on April 24, 2010.
Dr. David Morrison is the Director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute and Senior Scientist for Astrobiology at the NASA Ames Research Center. He holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard and is internationally known for his research on small bodies in the solar system, including advocacy for developing plans to defend the Earth from impacts by comets and asteroids.
A Fellow of CSI, he has written extensively on such fringe science topics as Velikovsky, cosmic catastrophes, UFOs, the creation science movement, and most recently the climate crisis caused by global warming. For the past two years he has been the primary scientist critic of the widespread fear that the world will end in 2012, and of the doomsday sleaze artists who use the Internet, blogs, and cable TV to frighten people for profit.
Dr. Morrison’s discussion largely centers around the hoax of 2012. – SkeptiCal Conference
David Morrison is the senior scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., where he participates in a variety of research programs in astrobiology — the study of the living universe.
Dr. Morrison obtained his doctorate in astronomy from Harvard University. He is the author of more than 155 technical papers and has published a dozen books. He has been a science investigator on NASA’s Mariner, Voyager and Galileo space missions. Morrison is recipient of the Dryden Medal for research of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Sagan Medal of the American Astronomical Society for public communication, and the Klumpke-Roberts award of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for contributions to science education. He has received two NASA Outstanding Leadership medals and he was awarded the Presidential Meritorious Rank for his work as director of space at NASA Ames. Morrison was a founder of the multidisciplinary field of astrobiology, and he provides on-line answers to questions from the public sent to “Ask an Astrobiologist,” found at: http://nai.arc.nasa.gov/astrobio/
Morrison is perhaps best known for his leadership since 1991 in defining the hazard of asteroid impacts and seeking ways to mitigate this risk. Asteroid 2410 Morrison is named in his honor.