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TED Talk by Armando Azua-Bustos

How can Earth teach us about extraterrestrial life? In his TED Talk, The most Martian place on Earth, Dr. Armando Azua-Bustos takes us on a tour of the Atacama Desert, his childhood home now turned into his astrobiological laboratory. Searching for signs of life on Mars, or other planets, requires careful understanding of how organisms can survive in dry and extreme environments, and Dr. Azua-Bustos’ research helps to reveal the conditions that we might find life both there and elsewhere. […]

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Ethical Considerations of Altering Mars and Other Planetary Bodies

Tara Vega shares her ethics & society case study, which she completed as part of our Young Scientist Program. While studying the various factors that go into allowing permanent human settlement on Mars, I repeatedly came across many possibilities of contamination. Carrying plants, microbes, water etc., within spacecraft landings to Mars all harbor the possibility of contaminating the red planet. I use not the term contamination as negativity, but more as the result of no better way to explain such an […]

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The Ethics of Space Exploration

Liz Miller shares her ethics & society case study, which she completed as part of our Young Scientist Program. Space exploration is an exciting and constantly progressing field. Fulfilling natural human curiosity about worlds other than our own, exploration of our solar system and beyond is generally met with support by people from all walks of life. While the bulk of our effort is put into allowing both objects and humans to survive safely on other planets and moons, there is […]

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Space Mining: Ethical Issues and Some Possible Solutions

Stephanie Meursing shares her ethics & society case study, which she completed as part of our Young Scientist Program. Earth, the planet we have known for so long. The planet which fuels our every need. But with population increasing, with a prediction to be around 10 billion people by 2050, can the Earth sustain our needs? Many individuals think not. This fear has caused a boom of companies that can lead humankind into a new revolution. Companies such as Shackleton Energy […]

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One for All, All for One: A Report on the Ethics of Model Organisms

Brian Smith shares his ethics & society case study, which he completed as part of our Young Scientist Program. The use of animals in scientific research has long been a subject of controversy, dating back to at least 1822, when the British Parliament enacted new laws “relating to the Cruelty to Animals” (Nowlan). Movements like these set the precedent for animals’ treatment in research, with two critical pillars on which even modern model organism work stands: A person shall not perform […]

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