The 2015 Wilson Lecturer will be Shawn Domagal-Goldman from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. His talk is titled "The Scientific Search for Life on Planets Near and Far."
Are we alone in the universe? This is a question that humans have pondered for ages. That pondering has mostly been restricted to the realm of guesses. Some of these guesses have become more educated over time, but a direct search for life has rarely been undertaken. However, the next generation of space science missionswill approach this question directly with the scientific method. Does Mars have life near the surface? Did Mars ever have life? Is there life on the icy worlds at the outer regions of our solar system? And do the myriad worlds orbiting other stars harbor global biospheres similar to our own? In this year’s Wilson lecture, we will discuss these questions, our plans to obtain answers to them, and what else we might learn by searching for those answers.