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2012 Annual Science Report

Montana State University Reporting  |  SEP 2011 – AUG 2012

The ABRC Philosophy of Astrobiology and the Origin of Life Discussion Group

Project Summary

The focus group continues to meet every other week. This year, 3 faculty members (Sara Waller, Prasanta Bandyopadhyay, and Visiting Assistant Professor Jeffrey Stephenson) and one graduate student (Stephen Keable) form the core of the group. We have discussed exo-environmental ethics, time travel, and the latest research on arsenic-based life forms. Dr. Bandyopadhyay is finishing a paper for publication that develops a Baysian analysis of the probability of the existence of extra-terrestrial life. Dr. Stephenson is working on an article in exo-environmental ethics. Dr. Waller continues to work with students who record communicative vocalizations of non-human animals on Earth to develop an empirical basis for analyzing potential extra-terrestrial communications. The group recently submitted a grant proposal to the NAIDDF to support further research and discussion on pressing questions of policy regarding exo-environmental ethics.

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