Dinner 2010



For release: April 2, 2010

Fourth Biennial Dinner for Association of Mars Explorers to be held in Houston, TX

The Association of Mars Explorers is to hold its fourth biennial dinner on April 27 2010 at 7.30 pm at La Brisa Mexican Restaurant in League City, to coincide with the 2010 Astrobiology Science (AbSciCon) Conference in Houston, Texas.

The evening will pay tribute to the Association’s latest Honorary Life Member, American writer Kim Stanley Robinson, who is best known for his trilogy on the exploration of Mars – Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars. It will also mark the formal handing over of the Presidency of the Association from the writer William Fox to writer and filmmaker Sam Burbank. William Fox is the author of Driving to Mars, focusing on Mars-related analog research, and has written extensively on the transformation of land to landscape through human cognition. He was appointed the Director of the Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno in 2009. The new President of the Association of Mars Explorers, Sam Burbank, has an equally impressive background, with over two dozen documentary productions for National Geographic and Discovery Channel, including the film Mars on Earth about extremophile biologists on Devon Island.

Says William Fox: ‘Kim Stanley Robinson’s reach as an author transcends science-fiction. His Mars trilogy and Antarctic novel are political science tracts at the highest level. I heartily approve his nomination as a rare cultural critic and novelist who has done wonders to advance thinking about Mars’.

Sam Burbank concurs: ‘Kim is a great writer and researcher who has inspired countless explorers with his stories and characters, but above all, with his ceaseless optimism about humanity’s future. He participated in the National Science Foundation’s Artists and Writers program in Antarctica in 2000, conducting research into Mars analog environments, culminating in the novel Antarctica. Kim’s vision and interests are squarely in line with the ethos behind the establishment of the Association of Mars Explorers, as a forum for explorers of Mars and Mars analog environments.’

The award of life membership by the Association of Mars Explorers to Kim Stanley Robinson continues a tradition which started in 2004 with an award to scientist and explorer William Hartmann, author of A Travelers Guide to Mars. This was followed by awards to eminent scientists involved in Mars-related research – Professor Steve Squyres and Dr. Agustin Chicarro in 2006 and Dr Benton C. Clark in 2008. Details of the Association and its biennial dinners can be found at http://www.mars-club.org.

Media wishing to interview William Fox, Sam Burbank or Kim Stanley Robinson in connection with the dinner should contact William Fox at explore@mars-club.org and provide details of media accreditation.

The Association of Mars Explorers was founded in 2002 as a forum for expeditioners and explorers interested in exploring the frontiers of Mars, including the deserts, mountains, poles and caves. It also included within its remit those who have explored Mars analog environments, which could include analog environments on the moon. There are currently over eighty members around the world, including scientists, engineers, writers and artists, and a number are at the forefront of current Mars-related research.

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