Whose Bugs? Avoiding Planetary Contamination in the Scientific Exploration of Mars
Scientists have been exploring the surface of Mars with increasingly sophisticated missions ever since NASA’s Viking missions in 1976. Each successful mission has revealed even more mysteries of the Red Planet. Now, as future missions may be closing in on whether Mars is home to life, scientists must also make sure that our robots are not carrying Earth life …and that when samples one day are returned, martian bugs are not brought home.
Join Tony Darnell, Harley Thronson and Alberto Conti as they discuss with Dr. Jennifer Stern and Dr. Bette Siegel future scientific programs for Mars exploration and how both planets are protected against contaminating each other.
The Aliens Are Coming! with Ben Miller and Jim Al-Khalili
Writer Ben Miller leads Jim Al-Khalili through our search for alien life in the Universe.
For millennia, we have looked up at the stars and wondered whether we are alone in the Universe. In the last few years, scientists have made huge strides towards answering that question. Comedian and bestselling science writer Ben Miller is in conversation with Jim Al-Khalili, taking us on a fantastic voyage of discovery, from the beginnings of life on earth to the very latest search for alien intelligence.
Ben Miller is a science writer and comedian. After studying physics at Cambridge and beginning a PhD, he left to pursue a career in comedy. He is now half of one of Britain’s most popular TV comedy duo, Armstrong & Miller, and a successful actor, but has always maintained a passionate interest in science. He maintains this interest through science writing.
Q&A – The Aliens Are Coming! with Ben Miller
What form might life take if it isn’t carbon-based? Are we on the brink of receiving a signal from Alien life? Ben Miller and Jim Al-Khalili take questions from the audience following their discussion.
Alien Hunters in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence – Space Pod 08/10/15
This week Ariel Waldman introduces us to a handful of the awesome humans behind SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. From studying the syntaxes of humpback whales to the evolution of artificial intelligence, the SETI endeavor gives way to some of the coolest jobs on Earth. Featured in this episode are Frank Drake, Jill Tarter, Seth Shostak, Douglas Vakoch and Laurance Doyle.
We all know Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye are friends, but that doesn’t mean they agree on everything. In our latest “How Tweet It Is” segment, Neil talks about an angry tweet he sent about “artificial borders” after a visit to the passport office. Bill challenges Neil about the validity of some of those borders, and then the two discuss what a hypothetical alien visitor or Martian might be concerned with when visiting our fair planet.
The vast, simple hydrogen clouds formed after the big bang weren’t enough to create life; it was the incredible life cycle of stars that forged the elements and compounds that comprise all complex matter–including life.