Astrobiology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life
What can modern results in astrobiology tell us about the prospects for finding intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe? The famous Drake equation, which provides a rough estimate of the number of civilisations in our galaxy, predicts that space should be teaming with aliens. So where are they and why have we not found them yet? Ian Andrew Crawford is professor of planetary science and astrobiology at Birkbeck, University of London. Crawford is a specialist in the science and exploration of the Moon and in the search for life in the Universe. Before switching his research interests to planetary science in 2003, Crawford had a 15-year career at University College London as an observational astronomer specialising in studies of the interstellar medium. He is the author of over 130 peer-reviewed research papers in the fields of astronomy, planetary science, astrobiology and space exploration. Crawford is a Fellow, and currently Vice President, of the Royal Astronomical Society, and a former member of the European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC) of the European Science Foundation. In 2014 he was appointed to the European Space Agency's Human Spaceflight and Exploration Science Advisory Committee (HESAC). This talk and Q&A were filmed at the Ri on 16 October 2017.