Are we alone in the universe? How did life begin? Will the human civilization expand out into the solar system and beyond? How can we act as curators of our home planet to achieve long-term sustainability? As astrobiologists we recognize these scientific and societal questions as some of the greatest of our time.
These questions are powerful not only because they engage scientists but also inspire the wider public. Motivated by a vision of providing an easily accessible, inclusive online environment for scientists and the public to engage these big questions, the Social Action for a Grassroots Astrobiology Network (S.A.G.A.N.) was launched in April of 2012 at the Astrobiology Science Conference in Atlanta, GA. S.A.G.A.N. is a social network and collaborative web platform anyone can access by visiting www.saganet.org.
Celebrating our first year anniversary, S.A.G.A.N. has grown to a community of over 650 members from across the world, with backgrounds ranging from professional scientists, to science enthusiasts, students, educators, and journalists.
What is in it for you?
For professional scientists, S.A.G.A.N. provides an easily accessible platform for communication and collaboration, with freely available built-in video conferencing tools (found in our Breakout Rooms), document sharing, live text chat, and resources to start your own private or public groups. S.A.G.A.N. also provides a social platform for sharing Education and Public Outreach efforts and activities via blogs, lectures, or status updates, or even running outreach through the site!
For science enthusiasts and students, S.A.G.A.N. offers a fun and rich platform to ask questions, join special interest-groups, read about interesting and relevant astrobiology news, listen to podcasts, view seminars, interact with scientists, find like-minded individuals in regional settings, and find mentors.
For educators, S.A.G.A.N. offers opportunities to directly connect your classroom and students with "real life" scientists and stay up-to-date with the latest science news.
For administrators, S.A.G.A.N. offers a targeted audience to communicate science relevant opportunities, such as conferences, summer-schools, graduate student/post-doc/faculty opportunities, and other programs relevant to space exploration and astrobiology.
Events and Activities on S.A.G.A.N. are as follows (but not limited to!):
* Monthly "Talk to an Astrobiologist" live chat with a renowned astrobiologist (1st Tues of every month). Our upcoming guests include Dr. Chris McKay and Dr. David DesMarais!
* Weekly seminars including live broadcasts of the Arizona State University Astrobiology Coffee Hour seminars and SETI Institute Public Lectures!
* Book club, currently reading "Cosmos and Culture"
* Weekly discussions on engaging questions in space exploration and astrobiology.
* Opportunities to learn about international astrobiology activities and interact with astrobiology enthusiasts from all over the world!
* Celebrate each month with a different theme: Mars enthusiasts out there, May is for you and filled with a variety of Mars themed events!
If you haven't logged in, and are interested in astrobiology, space exploration and related disciplines, or in the public communication of science check out S.A.G.A.N. and join in on the conversation at www.saganet.org.
We look forward to your involvement!
Your S.A.G.A.N. Team
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