Astrobiology: Expanding Views of Life and Encountering New Societal Questions

Monday, 16 February 2015: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Room LL20C (San Jose Convention Center)
The past decade has seen impressive advances in astrobiology research on Earth, Mars, and other bodies in the solar system, as well as increased planning for commercial missions and exploitation of resources beyond Earth’s orbit. Together, science findings, space exploration, and planned exploits have raised numerous questions that touch on ethical, policy, and societal concerns relating to life, environments, and human activities in the short and long term, both on Earth and beyond. Already, policymakers and mission planners are poised to make recommendations on future space exploration and activities. It is important that experts from many disciplines -- and not just those from scientific and technological fields -- are involved in deliberations about these endeavors. This symposium discusses the broad range of issues and questions that have arisen and provides a perspective on current input from researchers in ethics, religious studies, social sciences, and humanities. In many ways, the societal concerns are similar to those in other emerging technologies and require reexamination of humankind’s diverse views about the meaning and value of life -- past, present, and future -- and the implications of deliberate human actions upon it.  
Margaret S. Race, SETI Institute
Brian Patrick Green, Santa Clara University
Margaret R. McLean, Santa Clara University
Chris Impey, University of Arizona
Our Future Off-Earth
Sara Waller, Montana State University
Ethics and the Real Star Trek: The Wild West, but in Space
Arsev Umur Aydinoglu, Middle East Technical University
Astrobiology and interdisciplinary Research: Filling the Gap
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