EGU Galileo Conference

Excited to be at the EGU conference to present the prefinal version of a joint white paper on societal implications of astrobiology research in Europe at the EGU Galileo conference, during Friday’s session 9: Planetary research: Ethical, philosophical and societal issues. The conference entitled ‘Geoscience for understanding habitability in the solar system and beyond’ is held in Furnas, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal, September 25-29, 2017.


In this paper, presented by the White Paper lead authors on behalf of the WG5 History and Philosophy of Astrobiology, the prefinal version of the joint Astrobiology and Society in Europe Today will be introduced. The talk gives a brief overview of the structure and contents of the latest version of the white paper, that is Version 5.2. During the talk, we will discuss the societal implications of astrobiology research in the European context and the timely role of an organised initiative in astrobiology policy as well as astrobiology communication.

About the EGU Galileo Conference

The conference “Geoscience for understanding habitability in the solar system and beyond” will be held from 25 to 29 September 2017 at the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, Furnas, Azores, Portugal. The meeting will start on 25 September in the morning and finish on 29 September at lunchtime. The conference functions as an EGU Galileo meeting and is co-organized by the COST action “Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth and in the Universe”, the Nordic Network of Astrobiology, and the Belgian Planet Topers project. It is co-chaired by Prof. Veronique Dehant (Royal Observatory of Belgium) and by Prof. Wolf Geppert (Stockholm University Astrobiology Centre).

Scope of the meeting

This conference will deal with fundamental issues of planetary habitability, i.e. the environmental conditions capable of sustaining life, and how interactions between the interior of a planet or a moon and its atmosphere and surface (including hydrosphere and biosphere) affect the habitability of the celestial body. It will address some hotly debated questions in the field including the following:

  • What effects do core and mantle have on evolution and habitability of planets
  • What is the relation between (plate) tectonics and atmospheric evolution?
  • What role does the mantle overturn play in the evolution of the interior and atmosphere?
  • What is the role of the global carbon and water cycles herein?
  • What influence do comet and asteroid impacts exert on the evolution of the planet?
  • How does life interact with the evolution of Earth’s geosphere and atmosphere?
  • How can we use our knowledge of the solar system geophysics and habitability for exoplanets?

The proposed interdisciplinary will encompass research on all the planets from the upper atmosphere to the deep interior relevant to their habitability. It aims to bring together scientists from all disciplines related to the field in order to discuss the above-mentioned issues.

Visit EGU Galileo Conference website or download the scientific programme in pdf.

Astrobiology Conference AbSciCon 2017 in Mesa, Arizona

Excited to be at the Astrobiology Conference AbSciCon 2017 in Mesa, Arizona and ready to present my recent work during the poster session. Many thanks to the Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies, Lund University for making this trip possible. A PDF of the AbSciCon Program is available online.

Conference Information
AbSciCon 2017 is the next in a series of conferences organized by the astrobiology community. The theme for AbSciCon 2017 is “Diverse Life and its Detection on Different Worlds.” Mars and icy worlds in our solar system are increasingly recognized as habitable, even as increasing numbers of exoplanets in their stars’ habitable zones have been discovered. The focus is shifting from identification of habitable worlds, to detection of life on them.

2nd Conference on History and Philosophy of Astrobiology

Aim of the meeting is to deal with the transition of non-living to living matter, how chemical processes evolve into biological ones and the onset of biological evolution as well as the tree of life. Scientists and students from humanities and natural sciences will convene to discuss these questions that engaged mankind since centuries.

The conference is co-organised by the Nordic Network of Astrobiology and the EU COST Action ‘Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth and in the Universe’.

It will also constitute the fourth annual meeting of the Nordic Network of Astrobiology. The conference will be organised by David Dunér (Lund University, Sweden), Wolf Geppert (Stockhholm University, Sweden) and Christophe Malaterre (UQAM, Canada).

Höör, Sweden, 8 – 10 May 2015

International Committee for the History of Technology reports on “Sounds of Space”

Newsletter of the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC) reports on the Sounds of Space workshop organized by William R. Macauley and the Emmy Noether Research Group “The Future in the Stars: European Astroculture and Extraterrestrial Life in the Twentieth Century.” The workshop gathered more than two dozen scholars at Freie Universität Berlin in late November 2012. It set out to investigate how outer space was sonically imagined between the late 1940s and 1980. Broadening academic work on astroculture – hitherto focused on visual aspects – into another sensorial dimension was the main objective.

Read and/or download the ICOHTEC Newsletter, No 98, June 2013.

How to get a message across?

The poster I am sharing today was presented at the Postgraduate Anthropology Conference in Durham in May. The poster was intended as a case study of how the visual evidence can be used and utilised in writing about science and global popular culture.

The poster introduces the science in search for life beyond earth as a case study of a dynamic scientific practice and presents reflections on this practice in global popular culture and mass media. The ‘search’ is a temporal practice that is also culturally biased and takes place in societal context.


NASA Astrobiology Conference 2012: Abstract and Poster

The poster abstract ‘The Detection of Extraterrestrial Life – Are We Ready?’ for AbSciCon – NASA Astrobiology Science Conference 2012: Exploring Life: Past and Present, Near and Far is available online.

Abstract Body: The paper offers a novel perspective on the scientific search for life beyond Earth, based on the ‘outsiders’ point of view approach that anthropology of sciences has proposed. It sheds light on the ways in which alien life is imagined and theorised in order to assess the possible reaction of scientific community and general opinion to the detection of other life forms.

The papers is based on the findings of my PhD research that conceptualises the extraterrestrial life hypothesis as a significant part of the general world-view, constantly shaped by the work and discoveries of science. It draws from the ethnographic fieldwork conducted over two years in the UK that combined interviews with scientists (astrobiologists, physicists, and astronomers) with data collected from the global ‘online’ community. On the base of this data, the paper offers an insight into the current concepts of other life as understood, perceived, and interpreted by the scientific community and popular culture. Go to AbSciCon NASA website to continue reading …