Cosmic Visions is a joint research initiative, funded by a JHU Discovery Award (2022) and the AGHI, and working in collaboration with the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).

The data emerging from the Webb Telescope (JWST) challenges us to rethink our place in the universe not only scientifically but in humanistic terms as well. Seizing on this moment of shifting horizons, Cosmic Visions creates opportunities to probe the history, philosophy, politics and aesthetics of the humanistic and scientific view of our cosmos. Through intellectual sharing and exchange, we aim to integrate the ‘Deep Fields’ of Humanistic and Space Science, to understand how discoveries about the universe impact beliefs and practices here on Earth, and how these in turn affect our view of the cosmos, the questions we ask, and what we expect to find.

First WEBB images: Carina Nebula
(Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI)
First WEBB images: Carina Nebula (Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI)

The Cosmic Visions programme includes:

  • an annual conference
  • a series of podcast programmes broadcast on Science Friday
  • an Art Competition in collaboration with Baltimore public schools and art students
  • a new academic Journal for the History of Cosmological Thought
  • ongoing research-and-teaching events

News & Announcements

Art Competition & Show at the STSci

Photo by Steve Ruark for Johns Hopkins University

For an art competition, local high school student artists took on the difficult task to interpret, imagine, and visually respond to the amazing discoveries and images emerging from the Webb Telescope. See the results here.

New Book by Professor Egginton

Cover: The Rigor of Angels by William Egginton

A poet, a physicist, and a philosopher explored the greatest enigmas in the universe—the nature of free will, the strange fabric of the cosmos, the true limits of the mind—and each in their own way uncovered a revelatory truth about our place in the world. William Egginton’s new book, a soaring and lucid reflection on...