Astrobiology – the study of life in its broadest possible sense – is about to become BIG in New Zealand, with the first ever NASA Spaceward Bound outreach expedition commencing this Friday in Taupo (http://astrobiology.kiwi/spaceward-bound-new-zealand/
). This will bring together NASA scientists and overseas educators with kiwi scientists, teachers and students.
Astrobiology is an ideal medium for learning in science and also across science-humanities boundaries because it is truly interdisciplinary.
Astronomers, biologists, engineers and robotics experts all need to interact, and the philosophical and ethical issues require careful integration with science.
Dr Kim Warren-Rhodes at NASA Ames Research Center in California comments:
“It is quite fitting that New Zealand embarks on its first Spaceward Bound program given the recent new evidence for past water and possible life on Mars and other planets. Veteran Spaceward Bound scientist Prof. Steve Pointing promises to kindle the excitement of astrobiological research for a new generation of scientists and explorers as they help search for clues to the limits of life on the Earth and beyond.”