Alienating Mars: Challenges of Space Colonization Virtual Event on May 12

Human bodies are optimized for life on Earth and are ill-equipped for environments like those we will encounter on Mars. As technologies like CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) enable us to manipulate our genes, we just might be able to bioengineer the perfect astronaut. Genetic engineering has its own daunting ethical questions, but that is not where the challenges for space exploration end. While we are absorbed in self-preservation, we may harm the planet we hope to colonize. Though there is no evidence for life on Mars—yet—it is still a land that has no one to speak for it, or to defend it. So in the process of getting humans to Mars, what values may be compromised along the way?

On Tuesday evening, May 12, from 7:00 – 8:15 pm EDT, the New York Academy of Sciences will present a virtual event, Alienating Mars: Challenges of Space Colonization, a fascinating discussion of these dilemmas. The Academy’s Chief Scientific Officer Brooke Grindlinger will moderate a panel of experts including Kennda Lynch of the Lunar and Planetary Institute as well as Christopher Mason of Weill Cornell Medicine and Lucianne Walkowicz of The JustSpace Alliance. Register online today!