Center of Science, Policy and Society Programs: AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion
AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion
News & Events: Workshop
Exploring the Origin, Extent, and Future of Life: Philosophical, Ethical,
and Theological Perspectives (PET)
Will we find life on other planets? Will we reproduce the origins of life in a laboratory? A growing number of researchers in a relatively young but exploding field of science believe that we will accomplish one or both of these goals, and possibly not that long from now. The field is astrobiology – the NASA funded basic research program that is searching for life, the conditions for life’s origins, and the essential ingredients of life both on and off (indeed, sometimes unimaginably far from) Earth, the planet we’ve come to take for granted as life’s home in the universe.
The goals of NASA's astrobiology program; to explore the origin, extent, and future of life, raise fundamental philosophical, ethical and theological questions. A serious and responsible consideration of the societal implications of the goals and discoveries of astrobiology will require the scientific community to engage with a broader academic and pubic community.
As a first step in this outreach and engagement effort, the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion (DoSER), with support from NASA and the John Templeton Foundation, organized a series of three workshops that began to identify and address the philosophical, ethical, and theological (PET) issues associated with astrobiology. The group assembled for the series included astrobiologists, theologians, ethicists, philosophers and historians. The workshops are listed below, all were held in Washington, DC.
- Origin of Life
21-23 February 2003
- Extent of Life
14–16 November 2003
- Future of Life
12-14 November 2004