Saturday, December 22, 2007

What skies of alien worlds could look like and the gentle breathing out of plants on other planets

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here’s today’s news:
g Abodes - What would the skies of alien worlds look like? See article.
g Life - The first signs of life beyond our solar system might come from the gentle breathing out of plants on an alien world. See article.
g Cosmicus - Jacques Arnould is a consultant in charge of ethical, social and cultural aspects of space activities at the French Space Agency. In Bangalore to deliver a lecture on space ethics, he spoke to the Times of India. See article.
g Learning - The academic world is now becoming so specialized that the advantages of a cross disciplinary education are being lost in the tidal wave of scholarship concentrating upon narrow subject fields whilst displacing the values of connected disciplines from the sciences and humanities. The almost rigorous segregation of science and the arts at degree level is being felt not only within academia, but within society. The more a subject is concentrated, the less profound and applicable it appears to the public who should ultimately be the beneficiaries of such knowledge. In order to achieve a form of parity through which our modern world can be examined, the University of Glamorgan has introduced an innovative degree course aimed at developing a multidisciplinary knowledge of science and the arts via an exploration of the science, history, philosophy, religious, artistic, literary, cultural and social endeavors of the fields of astronomy and fantastic literature. See article.

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