21-24 July 2022 Jodrell Bank Observatory

An Answer for Bowie

Karen Olsson-Francis is a microbiologist with an interest in life in extreme environments, whether those be on Earth or in space. She has been involved in the ESA funded BIOPAN VI and EXPOSE missions, which investigated the effect of low Earth orbit on microbial survival and bio-signatures and is the UK representative on the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) Panel on Planetary Protection. She is the Director of Astrobiology OU at The Open University, a group that aims to bring together expertise in science, technology, international development, law and education to address the scientific and governance challenges associated with advancements of astrobiology and related space exploration missions.

Talk: An Answer for Bowie

‘Is there life on Mars?’ remains one of the fundamental, unanswered questions for humanity. With ExoMars and Mars 2020 missions planned to launch this summer, we could be closer than ever to having an answer. In this talk, Karen will explain how we might detect life on Mars and elsewhere in the Solar System, and why it’s not just science that is needed to make it happen.