Thursday, April 12, 2018

Live telecast of Breakthrough Discuss conference on Astrobiology later today...

Salman Hameed


A quick note here to let you know that Breakthrough Initiatives - yes the same group that wants to send small unmanned spacecrafts to Alpha Centauri, is hosting its third annual conference on April 12-13. The theme of the conference is Alien Life - Diversity in the Universe. Better still, the whole conference will have a live telecast on YouTube: 

Day 1 here: youtu.be/nFoTyKGHdLc

Day 2 here: youtu.be/3GiN-tWAV_k

The lineup of speakers looks really good. In a timely manner, there is a paper that just published in the journal, Astrobiology, that looks at the possibility of life in the acidic clouds of Venus. And in the conference, David Grinspoon will be talking about this very possibility.

In any case, here is the program for this year's Breakthrough Discuss conference:

Day 1 Schedule: Presenters/Panelists

Live on YouTube: youtu.be/nFoTyKGHdLc
Pacific Time USA
09:00
Welcome to Breakthrough Discuss 2018: Hosts Charles Alcock, Penelope Boston, Jamie Drew, Peter Michelson, S. Pete Worden
09:15
Keynote: Carolyn Porco, “Enceladus: Little Moon, Big Possibilities”
10:00
Session One: Search for Life in our Solar System: Chairs Penelope Boston, Chris McKay
10:10
David Smith, “Why Aren’t Clouds Green?”
10:30
David Grinspoon, “The Case for Venus: Life in Acid Clouds?”
10:50
Britney Schmidt, “Robots Under the Ice, and One Day, In Space?”
11:25
Alfonso Davila, “Search for Life Beyond Earth: Motive, Means and Opportunity”
11:45
Morgan Cable, “Dragonfly: In situ exploration of Titan’s prebiotic organic chemistry and habitability”
12:05
Penelope Boston, “Wherever You Go, There You Are: The Questions That Drive the Destinations”
13:40
Panel One: Search for Life in our Solar Systems: Chairs Penelope Boston, Chris McKay, Panelists Dale Anderson, Steven Benner, Nathalie Cabrol, Cynthia Philips, Carol Stoker
15:10
Session Two: Possibilities for Non-Terran Life in the Universe: Chairs Svetlana Berdyugina, Lisa Kaltenegger
15:20
Lynn Rothschild, “Universal Biology: Investigating Life as it Must Be”
15:40
Steve Benner, “Chemical Constraints on Non-Earth Life”
16:00
Sara Seager, “A New View of Life's Journey Through Chemical Space”
16:30
Charles Ofria, “Using Artificial Life to Uncover Universal Evolutionary Dynamics”
16:50
Emilio Enriquez, “Searching for lifeform-independent technosignatures
17:10
Lee Cronin, “The Evolution of Inorganic Life in the Universe

Day 2 Schedule: Presenters/Panelists

Live on YouTube: youtu.be/3GiN-tWAV_k
Pacific Time USA
09:00
Welcome Remarks, S. Pete Worden
09:10
Keynote: Martin Rees, “Will SETI Detect Organic or Electronic Intelligence?”
10:05
Panel Two: Possibilities for Non-Terran Life in the Universe: Chairs Svetlana Berdyugina, Lisa Kaltenegger, Panelists Penelope Boston, Chris McKay, Anders Sandberg , Clara Sousa-Silva, Sara Walker
12:30
Session Three: Progress in Novel Space Propulsion: Chairs Sigrid Close, Zachary Manchester
12:40
Sonny White, “Pilot Wave Model for Impulsive Thrust from RF Test Device”
13:00
Ryan Weed, “Scaled Radioisotope Positron Propulsion for Interstellar Spacecraft”
13:20
Geoffrey Landis, “Sails: From the Solar System to the Stars”
13:50
Robert Zubri, “Dipole Drive for Space Propulsion”
14:10
Kevin Parkin “Progress in Beamed Energy Propulsion”
14:30
Les Johnson, “Solar and Electric Sailing: Stepping Stones to the Stars”
15:00
Panel Three: Progress in Novel Space Propulsion: Chairs Sigrid Close, Zachary Manchester, Panelists Elena Ancona, Harry Atwater, Heidi Fearn, Mateusz Józefowicz, Kelvin Long
16:20
Conference concluding remarks

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