The notion that life exists outside of the earth continues to inspire a wide range of scientific research that spans across the microbiology of exotic organisms to space exploration. Inspired by the work for James Strick and Steven Dick in The Living Universe (2005), our exploration of the scientific research programs seeking to discover the existence of life in the universe will introduce us to the fields of exobiology, astrobiology, the origin of life research. Studying the institutional context of this research - NASAs Office of Life Sciences, NIH and NSF, Russian Academy of Sciences, etc. - will help us to understand the agendas, and worries, of the administrations and scientists engaged in this work. A number of scientific disciplines contribute to this research, each offering novel perspectives on the nature, origin, and evolution of life. While engaging the writings and presentations of scholars with expertise in these issues, we will explore the search for alien life, intelligent and basic, and how that search influences our self-understanding at a personal, cultural, and species level.
Instructors: Dr. Lloyd Ackert, Dr. Shivanthi Anandan, Dr. Kevin Egan
For more information, contact Kevin Egan at firstname.lastname@example.org