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Widening perspectives: the intellectual and social benefits of astrobiology (regardless of whether extraterrestrial life is discovered or not)

  • I.A. Crawford (a1)

Astrobiology is usually defined as the study of the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the Universe. As such it is inherently interdisciplinary and cannot help but engender a worldview infused by cosmic and evolutionary perspectives. Both these attributes of the study of astrobiology are, and will increasingly prove to be, beneficial to society regardless of whether extraterrestrial life is discovered or not.

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C.M. Bertka (ed.) (2009). Exploring the Origin, Extent and Nature of Life: Philosophical, Ethical and Theological Perspectives. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

I.A. Crawford (2010). Astrobiological benefits of human space exploration. Astrobiology 10, 577587.

R. Holmes (2008). The Age of Wonder. Harper Press, London.

M. Kemp (2009). Dissecting the two cultures. Nature 459, 3233.

M. Race , K. Denning , C.M. Bertka , S.J. Dick , A.A. Harrison , C. Impey & R. Mancinelli (2012). Astrobiology and society: building an interdisciplinary research community. Internat. J. Astrobiology 12, 958965.

F. Spier (2010). Big History and the Future of Humanity. Wiley–Blackwell, Hoboken.

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International Journal of Astrobiology
  • ISSN: 1473-5504
  • EISSN: 1475-3006
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-astrobiology
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