Kathryn Denning is an anthropologist and archaeologist at York University, where she teaches courses including Humanity’s Journeys, Ancient Civilizations, Archaeology and Society, Social Lives of Places and Things, and the Anthropology of Outer Space, on topics ranging from humanity’s biological and social evolution and expansion across Earth in the Pleistocene and Holocene eras, to our science and technology’s expansion into our solar system in the Anthropocene era. She has also guest lectured in a Life in the Universe natural science course, and she teaches a graduate course in Anthropology and Science & Technology Studies called Anticipating the Alien, on SETI and astrobiology. She has presented her work internationally, including at the Royal Society in London, ES:GC2 in Brussels, American Anthropological Association, several International Astronautical Congress meetings, Bioastronomy, AbSciCon, and Singularity University. Her published SETI-related research includes explorations of: scientists’ conceptions of ETI, and how these are influenced by culture, history, and by the technology used in SETI; interstellar message construction; debates about ‘active SETI’; and, what civilizations on Earth tell us about the Drake factor “L” (a key variable in the Drake Equation).
She is co-Chair of the Astrobiology & Society Focus Group of the NASA Astrobiology Program and co-PI of the NAI-funded Intelligence in Astrobiology project (affiliated with the NAI’s Arizona State Astrobiology group and the SETI Institute). She greatly enjoyed being part of Crew 78 at the Mars Desert Research Station, and her several extended visits at NRAO Green Bank. On the interstellar front, she collaborates with Icarus Interstellar, the Tau Zero Foundation, and 100YSS. She has served on the Board of Contact: Cultures of the Imagination and the editorial advisory board of the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society.