Getting the Message Across. Science in Search for Life Beyond Earth, a poster presented at the Postgraduate Anthropology Conference (May 9, 2014) Durham University, Department of Anthropology, UK. 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. The poster presents a case study of how the visual evidence can be used and utilised in writing about science and global popular culture.
… and the second AbSciCon 2017 poster ‘Astrobiology and Society. A White Paper on Societal Implications of Astrobiology Research in Europe Today’ by Klara Anna Capova, David Dunér, and Erik Persson is also available online: www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/abscicon2017/eposter/3159.pdf
ASTROBIOLOGY AND SOCIETY IN EUROPE TODAY. THE WHITE PAPER ON SOCIETAL IMPLICATIONS OF ASTROBIOLOGY RESEARCH IN EUROPEAN CONTEXT
Klara Anna Capova*1, David Duner2, Erik Persson3,4
1 Department of Anthropology, Durham University, UK, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University, Sweden
3 Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, USA Email: email@example.com
4 The Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies, Lund University, Sweden
The poster presents recent work of Working Group 5 Philosophy and History of Science, is a Trans Domain European COST Action Life-ORIGINS TD1308 and introduces the latest draft of the White Paper on societal implications of astrobiology research in European context, ‘Astrobiology and Society in Europe Today.’ The poster provides overview of sections related to contributions of astrobiology to society, advancement of science in Europe, environmental protection and the quest for sustainability, as well as societal challenges from astrobiology, and potential conflicts of interest between astrobiology and commercial use of space. Furthermore, it will illustrate the contemporary perceptions of astrobiology by general public and the timely role of an organised initiative in astrobiology education and popularisation of science.
The first poster entitled ‘Students’ Attitudes to Astrobiology. Attitudes towards scientific search for extraterrestrial life among Swedish high school and university students’ by Erik Persson, Klara Anna Capova, and Yuan will be presented later today at the AbSciCon 2017.
E-poster is available online: www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/abscicon2017/eposter/3156.pdf
STUDENTS ATTITUDES TO ASTROBIOLOGY. ATTITUDES TOWARDS SCIENTIFIC SEARCH FOR EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL LIFE AMONG SWEDISH HIGH SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
Erik Persson1,2, Klara Anna Capova*3, and Yuan Li4,
1 Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, USA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 The Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies, Lund University, Sweden
3 Department of Anthropology, Durham University, UK, Email: email@example.com
4 Department of Biology, Lund University, Sweden
The paper presents results of a recent study looking into the attitudes towards the scientific search for extra-terrestrial life among high school and university students in Sweden. The analysis has revealed that (a) the great majority of students believe that extra-terrestrial life exists; (b) most students regard searching for extra-terrestrial life to be fairly important; (c) very few students think that searching for extra-terrestrial life is something we should actively avoid; (d) the most common motive for assigning a high priority to search for extra-terrestrial life, is that it is interesting; and the most common motive for assigning a low priority is the opinion that such knowledge would not be practically useful or that the money would be better spent elsewhere; (e) most students do not think they are very well informed regarding the search for extra-terrestrial life. At the same time, however, a higher percentage of the students who judge themselves to be well informed also believe that extra-terrestrial life exists. We have also found some differences between sub-groups (men/women, high school students/university students and different fields of study), but the differences are with few exceptions small in comparison to the overall trends, and typically matters of degree rather than direction.
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 …