Massachusetts Institute of Technology / MIT Museum
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Are We Alone? That question has perplexed humanity for centuries. Perhaps scientists are getting closer to the answer; come find out during four evenings of discussion as biologists, astronomers, geologists, chemists and anthropologists talk and share their insights with you as they explain some of their latest research about life on other planets, as well as on our own.
This series is being recorded and archived on Tech TV.
Life in the Universe
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Think big. Dimitar Sasselov, astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and director of Harvard’s Origins of Life Initiative provides a cosmic perspective on the conditions for life in the universe, while Sara Seager, MIT’s Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Planetary Science and Professor of Physics, presents the latest research on the search for exoplanets. How many places capable of supporting life may there be in the universe?
In the Beginning
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
In the beginning, life was different. Join Nobel Laureate Jack Szostak, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, and Roger Summons, Professor of Geobiology at MIT, for an interdisciplinary conversation about the origins and evolution of complex life on Earth. What does it take for life to appear, and how does it develop over time?
Why Mars Matters
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
From Viking to the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Red Planet has long held our fascination as a platform for life. Klaus Biemann, Professor Emeritus in MIT’s Department of Chemistry, Samuel Kounaves, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Tufts University, and Zara Mirmalek, postdoctoral associate in MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society, share their experiences working on various Mars exploration missions. What are we really searching for on Mars, and what might we conceivably find?
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Mind matters. Harvard researchers Paul Horowitz, Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, and Richard Wrangham, Ruth Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology, lead the final conversation of the series, discussing the nature of intelligence and how we go about detecting it – on Earth, and elsewhere in the universe. What does it take for animals to evolve intelligence, and how common is this event in the universe?