Annual Women in Science Lecture
Professor Monica Grady (Open University) – Life Beyond Earth
The question of whether we are alone in the Solar System, galaxy or universe is one which has fascinated humanity since the earliest of times. As a starting point to the search for life beyond the Earth, we can examine how and where life arose on Earth, and the type of conditions in which life survives. We can then look for where similar environments might exist on other bodies, either now or in the past. Based on the range of conditions over which bacteria exist and flourish on Earth, it seems fairly clear that there are many niches throughout the Solar System that could provide a suitable habitat in which micro-organisms might emerge. It is, however, far from clear that there has been any emergence of life on other bodies, which is why there is currently so much interest in the study of astrobiology and the planning of appropriate space missions to investigate and explore other worlds.
Vote of Thanks: