LEWISTON – The author of a new book about extraterrestrial life is coming to Bates College to discuss the subject from cultural, historical and scientific perspectives.

David Grinspoon, whose “Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life” was published in November, will speak at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, in the Keck Classroom (G52), Pettengill Hall on Andrews Road.

At 10:30 a.m. the next day, Grinspoon will hold a book signing at Mr. Paperback, 855 Lisbon St.

Blending science, history, philosophy and memoir, “Lonely Planets” turns the question of alien life into a mirror on human awareness, desires and potential. With the perspective of a scientist who has helped shape modern planetary exploration, Grinspoon also engages the spiritual dimensions of the question, showing how both scientific and “new age” thinking about alien life serve the same deep spiritual urge.

“Grinspoon handles the wide variety of material necessary for a coherent narrative with great aplomb,” Publishers Weekly wrote.

Grinspoon is an adviser to NASA on planetary exploration strategy and is principal scientist in the Department of Space Studies at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo. Internationally recognized as an authority on planetary research, Grinspoon has written for Slate, Scientific American and Astronomy.

The talk is open to the public free of charge.

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