Emerging Scholar Workshops on Society and Astrobiology, CTI Princeton

Super excited about being in Princeton and taking part in the Questing for Life: Emerging Scholar Workshops on the Societal Implications of Astrobiology at the Center of Theological Inquiry, CTI.

Supported by a grant from the NASA Astrobiology Program and the Templeton Foundation, the 2016/2017 Center’s Inquiry on the Societal Implications of Astrobiology aims to engage the humanities, social sciences, philosophy, and theology with current science exploring the origins and extent of life in the universe.

The workshop Questing for Life: Emerging Scholar Workshops on the Societal Implications of Astrobiology (June 13-16, 2017) focuses on the joint contributions of the sciences and humanities.

More information about the event was published in the Fresh Thinking Magazine: Issue 1 (2018)

About the workshop

Astrobiology is the quest to understand the potential of the universe to harbor life beyond Earth. Societal understanding of life on Earth has always developed in dialogue with scientific investigations of its origin and evolution. Today, the science of astrobiology extends these investigations to include the possibility of life in the universe. As astrobiology develops and its discoveries become more widely known, scholars in the humanities and social sciences will have new opportunities to interpret the significance of these discoveries and deepen our understanding of life itself. These research workshops offer one such opportunity. Questing for Life is for emerging scholars who are open to this new angle of vision on perennial questions. Sample topics include the use of narratives in understanding life in space; historical studies of first encounters with other cultures and natural life on Earth; how literature and the arts shape expectations of life; ethical, philosophical, and theological implications of the quest; conceptual questions in defining life; theoretical problems in identifying life; the legal, environmental, political, and commercial issues in planetary protection; and the impact of astrobiology on views of nature for indigenous and world religions. CTI aims to foster a community of discussion that crosses traditional boundaries.