Frank White

Frank White’s best-known book, The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution, is considered by many to be a seminal work in the field of space exploration. 

A film called “Overview,” based largely on his work has had more than 8 million plays on Vimeo. Ron Garan appears in the film and he also participated in a panel at its premiere at Harvard University in 2012.

Frank conducted a series of interviews with astronauts at Johnson Space Center in June of 2019, which have now become the basis for NASA’s series called “Down to Earth,” available on YouTube and other NASA social media platforms.

In his latest book, The Cosma Hypothesis: Implications of the Overview Effect, (Multiverse Publishing 2019) Frank asks the fundamental question, “What is the purpose of human space exploration? Why has the evolutionary process brought humanity to the brink of becoming a spacefaring species?” 

In Cosma, he also shares the idea of “the Human Space Program” as a central project that will engage all of us in the process of becoming “Citizens of the Universe.” The Human Space Program, Inc. is incorporated as a nonprofit in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and work has begun on the project.

Frank teaches at Harvard Extension School, Harvard Summer School, Boston University’s Metropolitan College, and Kepler Space Institute.

Frank and his wife Donna have an extended, blended family of five children and 10 grandchildren.

3 words to describe Nature?

Nurturing. Beautiful. Awe-inspiring

3 things Nature taught you?

Be prepared

Enjoy, respect, and protect the environment

Explore and evolve

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Black Forest, Germany

Cape Cod

Sanibel Island

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Calm, yet happy to be onshore!

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Inspired by the majesty of the trees and the community they create.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?


When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Grateful to live on such a beautiful planet in such an amazing universe.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?


When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Glad to be inside

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?


On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?


Share with us a childhood nature memory?

Growing up in the South of the United States, nature was always close and available to me. I enjoyed exploring the fields and woods near my home with my dog, fishing in a nearby lake or river, or just enjoying being outdoors. At night, I could clearly see the stars and I was inspired by the immensity of the universe.