LINKS: Chris' popular science book on astrobiology:
Tuesday, March 15th at 3:30pm at the JAC
University of Arizona
" The Future of Astrobiology "
Astrobiology is a young, exciting, interdisciplinary field of science. In a few decades, the terrestrial frontier has seen insights into the range of life on Earth and its origin, and the varied mechanisms by which life turns energy into information. Meanwhile, the extraterrestrial frontier has witnessed the discovery of over 500 exoplanets, some of which are nearly Earth-like, the identification of several habitable locations in the Solar System, and the use of new technology to search for extraterrestrial intelligence with greatly increased sensitivity. The future of astrobiology will be most sharply defined by the discovery of life beyond Earth. History may not a good guide to the future, just as life on Earth may not be a good guide to the characteristics of biology elsewhere. Scientists optimism about the predisposition of the universe for life may be misplaced, rendering biology rare and difficult to detect. On the other hand, there may be close to a billion habitable spots in the Milky Way alone. This talk will speculate on how the subject might progress in the next few decades, and what research avenues might make the breakthrough discovery.