2000 Annual Science Report
University of Colorado, Boulder Reporting | JUL 1999 – JUN 2000
Societal and Philosophical Aspects of Astrobiology
We are working to understand the societal issues of astrobiology (such as why the country is so interested in the search for life despite the lack of practical relevance) and to help the astrobiology community appreciate the value of addressing these questions. Our approach is to first describe the broader nature of astrobiology and planetary exploration in our society today and how the public interacts with these fields, and then to explore what the philosophical drivers are behind the interactions. Our goal is to better understand the role of science in society and, especially, the role that scientists can play in those interactions.
So far, our efforts have resulted in two publications, one in proceedings of the 1999 Bioastronomy conference and one in EOS, the weekly newspaper of the American Geophysical Union (see below), about a dozen public talks in the last year (including numerous ones around the country), and numerous interactions with the broadcast and print media discussing aspects of planetary science and astrobiology. Ongoing activities include work on an “edited by” book on the societal connections of astrobiology and on a sole-author book on the same topic.
PROJECT MEMBERS:Bruce Jakosky