Astrobiology (general): October 2006

Director's Corner - Message from NASA Astrobiology Institute Director Carl Pilcher, NAI

"The clearest expression that astrobiology doesn't "measure up" comes from the Administrator of NASA himself, Mike Griffin. Mike has testified before Congress that he does not see astrobiology as having the same importance as other components of the NASA science portfolio. He's also been quoted as saying that it has less intrinsic subject matter, is less advanced, and that its questions are more vague. Shortly before I left NASA Headquarters I had the opportunity to have an "elevator conversation" with Mike about some of his perceptions about astrobiology."

Andrey Bekker of the Geophysical Laboratory, and the NAI - Carnegie Institution of Washington Team and Ganqing Jiang from the Department of Geoscience, University of Nevada Las Vegas have organized a session at the upcoming Geological Society of America meeting in Philadelphia, October 22 - 25, 2006.

SETI Institute to Announce New Astrobiology Center - The Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe

"On Tuesday, October 17, the SETI Institute will unveil a new center to study life in the universe and a fund-raising strategy to counter NASA's proposed budget cuts for astrobiology research. From 10 to 11 a.m. at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, a distinguished panel of institute trustees and staff will announce the formation of the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe. The center's activities will focus on astrobiology and be dedicated to the memory of planetary scientist and astronomer Carl Sagan. The panel will explain a new emphasis on fundraising from private sources to offset a proposed 50 percent budget cut by NASA for astrobiology research."