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The Overview Effect | Jane Poynter

The Overview Effect is part of a series of public programming events designed to illuminate our exhibition, The Nature of Art, which looks at the myriad ways humans have used art to navigate and mediate our environment.

Space Perspectives balloon over Florida

A pivotal moment in human history occurred with the first sighting of the “Earthrise,” an image capturing our planet from space. This perspective instilled a sense of humility and inspiration, highlighting the fragility of our existence. This remarkable image, captured by astronaut Bill Anders during the Apollo 8 mission, evoked a profound “state of awe with self-transcendent qualities, precipitated by a particularly striking visual stimulus.” This powerful effect prompted Jane Poynter and Taber McCallum to establish Space Perspective.

Emerging from their collaboration within Biosphere 2 and their endeavors designing equipment for human survival in extreme environments, they have pioneered innovative approaches for humans to act as both stewards and survivors of our planet.

Join us on February 22 at 6 pm as we welcome Space Perspective Co-Founder and CEO Jane Poynter to the MFA. Poynter will discuss the profound impact of the Overview Effect and how she, through Space Perspective, hopes to create the same opportunities for a greater diversity of Explorers, including artists, writers, community leaders, and elected officials—pondering the impact a trip to space may have on the important work they do.


The Overview Effect | Jane Poynter
Thursday, February 22, 2024
6:00 pm–7:00 pm
Marly Room
$10 MFA Members; $20 Not-yet Members


MFA Members enjoy free admission for an entire year, early access to special exhibitions, discounts at the MFA Shop and Café Clementine, special member-only exclusive events, and more.



Jane Poynter is the Co-Founder, Co-CEO, and Chief Experience Officer of Space Perspective where she is charged with ensuring all Space Explorers have the most meaningful and memorable journey possible. Jane was a member of the Biosphere 2 design team and original crew who lived for two years inside the sealed, self-sustaining habitat, the first prototype space base built and operated. She then co-founded and was President of Paragon Space Development that today has technologies on almost every human spacecraft in operation in the U.S. In partnership with the World Bank and United Nations, she developed the first carbon credit program using mangroves. She holds a patent for the world’s first self-sustaining habitat used in multiple space programs and bred the first animals to complete multiple life cycles in space. Jane’s book, The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2, chronicles her time as one of the original eight crew members on that project. She is a fellow of the Explorers Club, and her TED talk on global sustainability has been viewed over one million times. See the video of this talk below.



NASA “Earthrise”

Founder, Co-CEO and Chief Experience Officer of Space Perspective, Jane Poynter

The Biosphere 2 complex in 1991, John Miller/Associated Press

SpaceBalloon™ courtesy of Space Perspective

Event Details

February 22

6–7 pm

Museum of Fine Arts – Marly Room

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