2018 Georgia Tech Astrobiology Colloquium

Explorigins Colloquium

March 30th, 2018

Georgia Tech Astrobiology is proud to announce that the 2018 Astrobiology Colloquium will take place on March 30th, 2018. This is a new early career event for the Georgia Tech astrobiology community and will consist of presentations and talks by students (both graduate and undergraduate) and post-doctoral fellows working in astrobiology, space science, and engineering across the Georgia Tech campus and greater Atlanta. There will also be plenary lectures given by distinguished members of the global astrobiology community.Our theme, for what we hope is the inauguration of an annual event is: Exploring Life Origins and the Universe: A Networking Event. As such, in addition to our early career speakers, poster presentations, and our plenary lectures, there will be networking and innovation platform activities to forge connections and explore collaborative ideas among participants. Hence, senior researchers and faculty are highly encouraged to attend.

Registration for the 2018 Georgia Tech Astrobiology Colloquium is now closed as the event has reached capacity. However, an overflow space with a direct feed to the conference presentations is available in the Suddath Symposium Room located on the first floor of the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience Building (IBB).  This room will have a view-only feed from the main colloquium in EBB and is open to the entire campus community. Space is limited and first come-first served.

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Plenary Speakers

Organizing Committee

Faculty Advisors

Martha Grover

Glenn Lightsey

Jennifer Glass

Exploring Life Origins and the Universe: Program

March 30, 2018

  • 8:15-9:00: Coffee and Poster Setup
  • 9:00-9:10: Welcome by Paul M. Goldbart, Dean of Georgia Tech College of Sciences
  • 9:10-10:10: Plenary 1: Ada Yonath, Weizmann Institute, Israel
    What Was First, the Genetic Code or its Products? 
  • 10:10-10:30 Coffee Break and Posters 1
  • 10:30-10:45: Burcar, B.; Lago, J.; Pasek, M.; Menor-Salvan, C.; Hud, N.
    Phosphorylation in Urea-Rich Eutectic Solvents
  • 10:45-11:00: Taran, O.
    Iron Sulfide Minerals in Prebiotic Redox Chemistry
  • 11:00-11:15: McKee, A.
    A Possible Path to Prebiotic Peptides Involving Mineral Substrates and Hydroxy Acid-mediated Amide Bond Formation
  • 11:15-11:30: Fialho, D.; Clarke, K.; Moore, M.; Schuster, G.; Krishnamurthy, R.; Hud, N.
    Glycosylation of a Model Proto-RNA Nucleobase with non-Ribose Sugars: Implications for the Prebiotic Synthesis of Nucleosides
  • 11:30-11:45: Solano, M.; frenkel-Pinter, M.; Grover, M.; Hud, N
    Selection and Assembly of Prebiotically Plausible Protopeptides
  • 11:45-12:00: Bray, M.; Bowman, J; Petrov, A.; REddi, R.
    Iron: Primordial Cofactor for the Translation System
  • 12:00-1:15: Lunch, atrium of the Integrated Biosciences Building (IBB)
  • 1:15-2:15: Plenary 2: Niles Lehman, Portland State University
    Scrambling to Build the RNA World
  • 2:15-2:35: Coffee Break and Posters 2
  • 2:35-2:50: Márquez-Zacarías, P.; Ratcliff, W. C.
    How to Describe Exo-Evo? An Organismal Approach to Evolutionary Dynamics
  • 2:50- 3:05: Chen, K.; Rosenzweig, R. F.; Herron, M. D.
    Genetic Basis Underlying De Novo Origins of Multicellularity in Response to Predation
  • 3:05-3:20: Szeinbaum, N.; Henry, C.; Crowe, S. A.; Stewart, F. J.; DiChristina, T. J.; Reinhard, C. T.; Nunn, B. L.; Glass, J. B.
    Metaproteomics Reveals a Novel Betaproteobacterium with Roles in Metal and Nitrogen Cycling in the Deep Subsurface
  • 3:20-3:35: Krafft, A.; Colvin, T.; Homar, K.; Lynch, K. L.; Greene, R. Fitzsimmons, R.; Zaharescu, G. D.
    The Embedded Scientist Program 
  • 3:35-3:50: Lourenco, N. E.; Williams, W. L.; Coen, C. t.; Frounchi, M.; Cressler, J. D.
    MicroNimbus: a Spaceborne mm-Wave Temperature Profilometer for the Earth’s Atmosphere
  • 3:50-4:05: Duca, Z.; Cantrell, T.; Speller, N. C.; Stockton, A. M.
    Quantitative, Compositional Analysis of Trace Amino Acids in Europa: analogues with a modular μCE-LIF System
  • 4:05-4:55: Transport to Evening Venue
  • 4:55-5:45: Round Table Activities
  • 5:45-6:15 Summary and Wrapup
  • 6:00: Dinner, Ironmonger Brewing, Marietta, GA
  • 7:00: Plenary 3: Shawn Domagal-Goldman, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    LUVOIR: An Astrobiology Mission to Targets Near and Far
  • 9:00: Transport back to Georgia Tech

2018 Seminars



A well-resolved pre-LUCA history of Class I aminoacyl-synthetase proteins reveals a critical link to the RNA world

Dr. Gregory Fournier, Cecil and Ida Green Assistant Professor of Geobiology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2:00-3:00 | Molecular Science & Engineering 3201A
Friday, December 7, 2018

Translation is one of the most ancient and essential biological processes.  An important step in the process is aminoacylation, by which tRNA are loaded with the amino acid cognate to their anticodon specificity.  This process is carried out in all life by two unrelated groups of proteins, Class I and Class II aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs), each class containing protein families with specificity for 10 of the 20 canonical amino acids. As all aaRS families are present across all 3 Domains of life, it has been inferred that the lineage containing LUCA inherited a full “modern” collection of aaRS.  Therefore, these protein families must have diversified from a common ancestor pre-LUCA.  While clearly homologous, extensive structural and sequence divergence within each family makes alignment and phylogenetic reconstruction extremely difficult. Previous phylogenetic reconstructions of pre-LUCA aaRS divergences have therefore only used small highly conserved regions of the proteins associated with the catalytic aminoacylation domain, leading to poorly resolved histories due to an insufficient number of informative sites.  Here I present an improved alignment of Class I aaRS proteins, that recovers a much greater number of informative sites, and produces a fully resolved, robust phylogeny. Improved alignment techniques, including structure-based alignments, still consistently mis-align regions of these proteins.  Therefore, a careful, site-by-site manually curated alignment was performed, with reference to structural and functional studies in the literature. The resulting phylogeny is distinctly ladderized, permitting a rooting of protein family divergences based on parsimony models for insertion and deletions.  Ancestral sequence reconstruction of the root shows that all 20 amino acids were very likely already being incorporated at conserved sites within the ancestor, requiring a “modern” genetic code to predate the origin of cognate aaRS proteins.  This result is only possible if the protein-based aaRS system was predated by an earlier aminoacylation coding system, implicating such a process being part of the RNA world. Additionally, we show that the best fitting evolutionary models for these ancient protein divergences resemble those empirically determined from modern proteins, and that our observed phylogeny is unlikely biased by wrongly assuming that an earlier genetic code operated by the same general substitution frequencies.  This further supports that not only the amino acid alphabet, but the structure of the genetic code itself may have been similarly modern at this time.  Finally, we make the surprising observation that bacterial leucyl-tRNA synthetase underwent a major recombination event early in its history, inserting its proofreading domain to a different region of the protein. Misalignments resulting from this recombination may have further confounded previous attempts at reconstructing the history of this protein family.

Seminar Presented by The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering:

Seeking and Supporting Life Beyond Earth

Christopher E. Carr, Ph.D., Research Scientist, MIT Research Fellow, MGH
3:30 PM | Guggenheim Building, Room 442
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The search for life beyond Earth is a major focus of space exploration, both robotic and human. Informed by the molecular biology revolution, exploration of extreme environments, from Earth, to icy moons, and exoplanets, are dramatically transforming our view of life in the universe. We now know that Mars was once habitable and may support life today. We are developing the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Genomes (SETG) to search for life on Mars ancestrally related to us, possibly shared by ancient impact events that transported a billion tons of rock between our worlds. Beyond Mars, we can now seriously consider missions to search for life at Enceladus, or Europa, although it will require transformational mission capabilities including a revolution in autonomy. More broadly, we now have the foundation to understand the limits of our own adaptation to space, and to augment those limits through innovative engineering, both biologically inspired, and biology-based. Building the tools required for a robotic and human future in space, on Mars, and beyond, we can simultaneously advance human health and sustainability on Earth.

Biography: Christopher E. Carr is a Research Scientist in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT and a Research Fellow in the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Molecular Biology. After completing dual S.B. degrees in Aero/Astro and Electrical Engineering from MIT, Dr. Carr worked on the Mars Sample Return mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. As an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Dr. Carr applied bioengineering principles to human adaptation to space, the bioenergetics of movement, and improved space-suit design. He currently serves as the Science PI for the SETG life detection instrument, also relevant to astronaut health, space biotechnology, and field research. He is broadly interested in searching for and expanding the presence of life beyond Earth.

Sustaining Life with Genes and Proteins Designed ‘From Scratch’

School of Biological Science Seminar
Dr. Michael Hecht | Princeton University
11:00-12:00| Engineered Biosystems Building 1005
Friday, November 16, 2018

Space Science & Innovation Symposium

October 18-19, Georgia Tech Global Learning Center

“The Georgia Department of Economic Development and Georgia Tech Center for Space Technology & Research are hosting a one-day symposium at the Georgia Tech Global Learning Center in Atlanta, GA.  The symposium is planning a combination of technical presentations, panel discussions and guest speakers to highlight recent innovations in space science and technology.”

Life in the Universe

Prof. Avid Loeb, Chair, Astronomy Department, Director, Institute for Theory and Computation, Founder Black Hole Initiative, Harvard University
March 12, 2018 3:00-4:00 Marcus Nanotechnology Building . 1116-1118

Avi has a wide range of research interest, including black holes, the first stars, and the search for extraterrestrial life. Avi is the chair of the Astronomy Department, founding director of the Black Hole Initiative, director of the Institute for Theory and Computation at Harvard university, and he also chairs the Advisory Committee for the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative.

Geochemical Controls on Protocell Self-Assembly in the Origins of LifeProf. Nita Sahai, Department of Polymer Science; Department of Geology; and Integrated Bioscience Program, University of Akron, Akron, OH
March 1, 2018  10:50-11:50 Ford ES&T L1205

The focus of our work is to determine the constraints placed by atmosphere-water-rock interactions on the environmental conditions for self-assembly of the molecular building blocks of the earliest like-like entities, “protocells.” We have addressed the problem that modern geochemical concentrations of total dissolved phosphate (PT) and Mg2+ are much lower than those are required for non-enzyamtic (prebiotic) RNA synthesis, while Mg2 and Ca2+ concentrations are too high for membrane stability, so how did life emerge on early Earth? We used a geochemical thermodynamic modeling approach, to show that a single, globally-occurring geological process of komatiite rock weathering and evaporation of the resulting solutions under specific partial pressures of atmospheric CO2 (PCO2) can quantitatively provide the PT, Mg2+ and Ca2+ concentrations required for nucleotide synthesis, RNA polymerization and protocell-membrane stability. Conversely, the biologically-required concentrations of PT, Mg2+ and Ca2+ place constraints on the PCO2 levels on early Earth compared to previous estimates ranging over five orders of magnitude. Using these environmental constraints on Mg2+ and Ca2+ concentrations, we examined the stability and evolution of simple protocell membranes from pure single chain amphiphile (SCA) compositions through mixed SCA-phospholipid (PL) to pure PL compositions found in modern cells. We showed that, rather than acting being toxic, the divalent cations promoted evolution of the membranes towards more modern compositions. We also found that RNA oligomer synthesis is possible even at much lower concentrations of Mg2+ than previously reported, well within the concentration range constrained by the atmosphere-water-rock interactions. Thus, we have used a geochemical modeling approach to create the components of a simple protocell under geochemically plausible conditions.

2017 Seminars


Chance, Necessity, and the Origins of Life

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Seminar
Dr. Robert Hazen, Carnegie Institution for Science 
November 29, 2017 3:00, College of Computing (Room 016)

Reception to follow at 4:00 in ES&T L1 Atrium


Earth’s 4.5 billion-year history is a complex tale of deterministic physical and chemical processes, as well as “frozen accidents.” This history is preserved most vividly in mineral species, as explored in new approaches called “mineral evolution” and “mineral ecology.”

This lecture will explore possible roles of mineral surfaces in life’s origins, including molecular synthesis, protection, selection, concentration, and templating. We find that Earth’s changing near-surface mineralogy reflects the co-evolving geosphere and biosphere in a variety of surprising ways that touch on life’s origins. Recent research adds two important insights to this discussion. First, chance versus necessity is an inherently false dichotomy when considering the possibility of life on other worlds—a range of probabilities exists for many natural events. Second, given the astonishing combinatorial chemical richness of early Earth, chemical events that are extremely rare may, nevertheless, be deterministic on time scales of a billion years.


Big-Data Mineralogy: Visualizing Mineral Systems in Space and Time

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Seminar
Dr. Robert Hazen, Carnegie Institution for Science 
November 30, 2017 ES&T L1205, 11:00

A fundamental goal of mineralogy and petrology is the deep understanding of mineral phase relationships and the consequent spatial and temporal patterns of mineral diversity and distribution in rocks, ore bodies, sediments, meteorites, and other natural polycrystalline materials. Large and growing databases of mineral species, properties, localities, and co-occurrence provide opportunities for data-driven discovery in mineralogy, including the prediction of new mineral species and ore deposits.

Data-driven discovery depends on three key developments: (1) enhanced data resources in mineralogy and petrology; (2) development and implementation of analytical and visualization methods; and (3) creative framing of questions related to mineral diversity, distribution, and co-occurrence in space and time.

We are especially interested in visualization methods that illustrate multiple attributes of complex mineral systems. In particular, network analysis provides a dynamic, quantitative, and predictive visualization framework for employing “big data” to explore complex and otherwise hidden higher-dimensional patterns of diversity and distribution in such mineral systems. Mineral networks (see Figure) facilitate quantitative comparison of lithologies from different planets and moons, analysis of coexistence patterns simultaneously among hundreds of mineral species and their localities, exploration of varied paragenetic modes of mineral groups, and investigation of changing patterns of mineral occurrence through deep time. Mineral network analysis, furthermore, represents an effective visual approach to teaching and learning in mineralogy and petrology.

Explaining the Origin of Life: What’s the Question?

Physics Colloquium
Eric Smith, Professor, Santa Fe institute
November 20, 2017 3:00, Marcus Nanotechnology Building 1116-1118

The attempt to understand how and why Life emerged on Earth has been an approachable scientific question since the 1930s.  However, what we think that question is, and what counts as an answer, have continually changed as our understandings of biology and of planetary and space chemistry have repeatedly been overturned.  In this talk I will review four approaches to the problem of life’s origin, each anchored in a paradigm-changing discovery about nature but also to some extent reflecting traditional viewpoints from different disciplines.  One approach focuses on the molecules of life and how to make them.  A second emphasizes the capacity of Darwinian evolution to shape matter, and the particular role of nucleic acids in carrying the evolutionary process on Earth.  A third emphasizes the intricate embedding of the biosphere within geochemistry and planetary energetics, and interprets the invariance of these relations over geological timescales as evidence of constraints on the possibilities for both living matter and evolution.  The fourth approach, emphasizing the problem of Life’s robustness, is still mostly passed over both in biology and in Origin of Life, but lessons learned in physics about the hierarchy of matter suggest that it is as fundamental as the other three.  From each new point of view, the requirements for an explanation of Life’s emergence have changed.  Regarding them together, we can arrive at a provisional definition of the nature of the living state that is at once commonsense, but surprisingly far-removed from the definitions that were thought to be adequate a century ago.

Metabolic Evolution and the Self-Organization of the Biosphere

Rogier Braakman
Simons Foundation Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation; Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences; Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cohosted by Biology and Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
September 14, 2017
Engineered Biosystems Building

Metabolism is the biochemical network that supplies the energy and building blocks for all cells on Earth. The collective metabolism of all cells in turn mediates the global biogeochemical cycles, which regulate Earth’s climate. Reconstructing metabolic evolution provides a powerful lens for linking evolutionary dynamics across levels of biological organization and for understanding the chemical co-evolution of Earth and the biosphere. I will illustrate these ideas using globally abundant oceanic phytoplankton and co-occurring bacteria as a model system. I will argue the macroevolution of this system drew down nutrients in the surface oceans, thereby increasing total ecosystem biomass, while also increasing levels of dissolved organic carbon. I will further argue this evolutionary dynamic produced a collective mutualism in oceanic microbial ecosystems that is highly similar to that of organelles within plant cells. Finally I will argue that the evolutionary self-organization of oceanic microbial ecosystems contributed to the oxygenation of Earth, and more generally that the rise of atmospheric oxygen reflects an increasing metabolic rate of the biosphere.



2017/2018 Past Events

Public Events

A Celebration Georgia Tech Astrobiology

September 14, 2018

Past Events

Who Are We and Where Are We Going? The Human Search for Origins and Life Beyond Earth

11:30-2:30, September 3, 2017 Hilton 210-211
Where do we come from? Does life exist elsewhere in the universe? While the latter may seem like the stuff of 21st century science fiction, both questions have been integral to myriad cultures for millennia. Over the last decades however, research the life and physical sciences has brought these inquiries into the realm of science, and given rise to the field of astrobiology. But what do we know about our origins? And how do we search for life? The first part of this interactive symposium will introduce current scientific thought on the beginnings of our biochemistry, the evolution of our planet as a habitable system, and how we search for signs of life in space. The second half will explore the mutually influential roles science and science fiction, the implications of the discovery of water on Mars, and what life might look like on worlds far different than our own. Audience members are encouraged to come curious and ready with questions about the science and its place in our broader human context.

Life in the Cosmos: Past, Present, and Future A Celebration of Astrobiology at Georgia Tech

September 23, 2017
Among the oldest questions conceived by humans are: What is the origin of life, and does life exist on other worlds? Georgia Tech will host a day-long public Symposium on Astrobiology and Society in Fall 2017 with sessions dedicated respectively to Origin and Evolution of Life on Earth and The Search for Life Beyond our Home Planet. Each session will be rounded out by a half-hour discussion led by a panel of distinguished scientists and humanists. Anticipating discoveries that will alter our very concept of life, astrobiology pushes us to reflect upon the meaning of “creation”, our place in it, and how to accommodate scientifically plausible alternatives to longstanding hypotheses and myths. While astrobiology is often presented to the public as ‘other worldly’, and can easily carry utopian visions of possibility and hope, the force of astrobiology is first and foremost terrestrial. The aura of new worlds reminds us that our cosmic ‘other worldly discoveries’ above all concern the planet on which we live. Analysis of data from vent plumes in our solar system or in Pacific Ocean trenches show the ways our solar system has become a laboratory for better understanding our own planet. The symposium and related interviews with participants will be recorded and provide substrate for a documentary that focuses on how astrobiology drives research across science and the humanities, and sparks open and imaginative discussion about Big Questions, including, What is life? What is the value of different life forms? What is humankind’s destiny? Register Here

The Hidden Lives of Microbes in the Wild and How They Transform Our Planet

Nadia Szeinbaum, Potdoctoral Researcher, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences September 23, 7:00-9:00 Manuel’s Tavern

We know that life began with single-celled microorganisms which, in contrast to us, remained unicellular, and “primitive.” Most of us are familiar with microbes in our daily lives, both in a good way (yogurt, yay!) or a bad way (cavities, boo!). However, most microbes aren’t so domestic; they live in the wild, and have intriguing lifestyles that affect our existence at a global scale. These cells, though minuscule, are major contributors to the living world on Earth. Because they are ancient, they also retain secrets about life on Earth before we showed up. In this presentation, Georgia Tech postdoctoral fellow, Nadia Szeinbaum, will discuss these invisible giants and share with us what she has found out while investigating them in the lab. RSVP Here

Religious and Scientific Perspectives on the Future of Life

9:30 am – 5:30 pm February 17, 2018 Candler School of Theology at Emory University, 1531 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322
This full-day event was organized in partnership with the Leadership and Multifaith Program and is co-sponsored by Columbia Theological Seminary. The symposium aims to generate a multifaith discussion among scholars, clergy, community leaders, and students about science, spirituality, and the future of life on earth and elsewhere. Speakers will address this theme from diverse disciplinary perspectives, including cognitive science, religious studies, ecology, ecotheology, ethics, and astrobiology. The symposium will be held on February 17, 2018, at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, located at 1531 Dickey Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322. Lunch is included, and a short reception will follow the final session. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. More details

The Golden Record

3:00-4:00, 6:00-7:00 March 11, 2018 The Space, 4620-A S Atlanta Rd SE, Atlanta, GA 30339
Georgia Tech Astrobiology is collaborating with, The Hereafter Artist Collective, andFlight of Swallows to bring performance art to the Atlanta Science Festival. Forty years ago, Carl Sagan arranged to send The Golden Record into space as a part of the Voyager Mission. The Golden Record, two phonograph records full of sounds and images, serves as a time capsule for future life forms to one day look back upon our existence. Under the direction of the Hereafter Artist Collective, this performance piece incorporates aerial arts, modern dance, and live music to explore the themes of this “time capsule” and how humanity may appear to those lifeforms. Will humanity be but a fairytale and The Golden Record just a beautiful moment when we reached to the stars looking to “join a community of galactic civilizations”?

CRA Distinguished Lecture: The Case for Cosmic Modesty

Abraham “Avi” Loeb Chair of the Astronomy Department, Founding Director of the Black Hole Initiative, Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation, Harvard University March 12, 2018, 6-7 PM Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons, Room 152 266 4th St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
Based on the premise that we are not special, Loeb argues for modesty from a cosmic perspective. His “principle of cosmic modesty” implies that both primitive and intelligent forms of life should exist away from Earth, and we should therefore search for them without prejudice. Abraham (Avi) Loeb Chair of the Astronomy Department Founding Director of the Black HoleInitiative, Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation, Harvard University CRA Distinguished Lecture The Case for Cosmic Modesty Abraham (Avi) Loeb is the Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor of Science at Harvard University. He published nearly 600 papers and 4 books which pioneered several new frontiers in astrophysics and cosmology. Loeb serves as Chair of the Department of Astronomy at Harvard University, Founding Director of Harvard’s Black Hole Initiative and Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation (ITC) . He also chairs the Advisory Committee for the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative, and serves as Vice Chair of the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the International Academy of Astronautics. In 2012, TIME magazine selected Loeb as one of the 25 most influential people in space

Talking science with your grandma, your neighbor, or a Fox News Pundit!

Jon Perry Animator and Founder of Stated Clearly Georgia Tech Molecular Sciences and Engineering Building Wednesday, March 21; 2:00-3:30
Join Georgia Tech Astrobiology and Jon Perry for an interactive workshop on how scientists can practicably and understandably communicate with members of different publics.

“Why Do We Look Up at the Heavens?”

Br. Guy Consolmagno Director of the Vatican Observatory, Rome Where: Georgia Tech TSRB Building Auditorium (Technology Square: 85 5th Street, NW @ Spring and 5th) When: Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 7:00 pm
Why did we go to the Moon? Why does the Vatican support an astronomical observatory? These questions mask a deeper question: why do individuals choose to spend their lives in pursuit of pure knowledge? The motivation behind our choices, both as individuals and as a society, controls the sorts of science that gets done. It determines the kinds of answers that are found to be satisfying. And ultimately, it affects the way in which we think of ourselves. Read more here


June 4-8, 2018 Atlanta, GA
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVaYVLKlWZs&w=560&h=315] See the preliminary schedule here.

Why on Earth?

September 3, 2018, 1:00 Dragon Con How did we get here? Is there life elsewhere? Can we know it? Panelists from prebiotic chemistry, life detection, exoplanet discovery, planetary evolution, and more discuss how we’re learning where we came from, where else life might be, and how we might discover and communicate with it. Mon 1:00 pm; 210—211 [Hil]