All scientific disciplines face their own unique set of challenges. As new discoveries are made, new questions arise that make us rethink what our goals are and what we are striving to obtain. Some discoveries can turn an entire field on its’ head and inspire an entire new era of research and theories. New discoveries drive us to question more deeply and think more critically about the world we live in. Astrobiology is no exception to this rule, however, astrobiology faces an entirely unique set of problems. The cross-disciplinary nature of astrobiology makes defining what the field is and what its focus is extremely difficult. NASA designates the main goal of astrobiology as to “find evidence of past or present life beyond Earth”. This is insufficient and does not do well enough to define the breadth and scope of astrobiology. Stating that the goal of astrobiology is to find life in the universe, leaves much to be wanted and does not provide a clear definition of what the discipline is and what it encompasses.

            Astrobiology is unique as a field. The diversity of backgrounds among those who are astrobiologists is a part of the problem when attempting to define what the goal of the field is. Classically trained physicists, geologists, cosmologists, chemists, and biologists who now find themselves in the field of astrobiology will more than likely give different definitions of what astrobiology is depending upon their background. This incongruency is further amplified when attempting to define important ideas within astrobiology – such as what is life? How should we look for life outside of Earth? Etc. Having such an interdisciplinary field as astrobiology can be very beneficial as differing expertise and viewpoints can lead to innovation and advancement. However, in this case, such diversity may be a hinderance. Making the definition of astrobiology and the goal of the field so broad hurts both the research community by not focusing studies and hurts those who wish to go into the field but do not have a clear path ahead of them to pursue astrobiology as a legitimate scientific field.

            There is no easy solution to this problem. Attempting to define the purpose of a rapidly growing and advancing field is difficult but it is a necessity. Although advancements can and will continue to be made without any attention given to this issue, the efficiency of these advancements and discoveries will be hindered without a clear purpose. Unlike biology or geology, astrobiology is an extremely young field and must have clear goals in order to establish itself and have information to work off of. As it is now, the field will not sufficiently advance if it remains a field without a subject matter.

Views: 29

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

Blog Posts

The 5th Mexican School of Astrobiology

Posted by Tardigrelda on June 24, 2019 at 1:00pm 0 Comments

I am really glad to invite everyone to the next Mexican School of Astrobiology (aka EMA) which is this August.

¡Anímate a participar en la 5ta Escuela Mexicana de…

Continue

A consortium of representatives of European Research Organisations has taken the initiative to create a virtual institute named the “European Astrobiology Institute” (EAI) with the ambition of enabli…

Posted by Wolf D. Geppert on February 24, 2019 at 1:33am 0 Comments

A consortium of representatives of European Research Organisations has taken the initiative to create a virtual institute named the “European Astrobiology Institute” (EAI) with the ambition of enabling Europe to emerge as a key player in Astrobiology and to…

Continue

AbSciCon session on life in high salt habitats

Posted by Jeff Bowman on December 14, 2018 at 8:12am 0 Comments

Abstract submissions are open for AbSciCon 2019!  You can check out the full selection of sessions here, however, I'd like to draw your attention toward the session Salty Goodness: Understanding life, biosignature…

Continue

vemala Network

Posted by Apit Supriatna on October 7, 2018 at 1:07am 0 Comments

Vemala.com merupakan situs yang membahas seputar gaya hidup, dengan berbagai macam informasi kesehatan, olahraga, Fitness, review, kecantikan, relationship,Lifestile, Tips kehamilan,Fashion dan lain sebagainya.

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Discussion Forum

Are We Unique in the Cosmos?

Started by Jacob Jordan Nov 22, 2017. 0 Replies

Astrobiology presents a unique framework to investigate both the distribution and probability of life in the universe and the future evolution of the human species as whole. Both of these aspects…Continue

An Important Problem Facing Astrobiology

Started by Brett Smaga Nov 22, 2017. 0 Replies

All scientific disciplines face their own unique set of challenges. As new discoveries are made, new questions arise that make us rethink what our goals are and what we are striving to obtain. Some…Continue

Guiding Our Path By Knowing Where We Came From

Started by Joe Holland Nov 21, 2017. 0 Replies

 “Astrobiology,” the word itself conjures images of analyzing aliens on some red-skied moon orbiting a gas giant. However, in the 21st century, astrobiology does not meet these sci-fi visions. In…Continue

Origins of Life Underground: A Case for Survival during Heavy Bombardment Earth

Started by Jacob Jordan Sep 11, 2017. 0 Replies

At the present time, I believe the most plausible hypothesis for the origin of life is that it originated within the Earth in environments where hyperthermophilic organisms could thrive (beneath the…Continue

© 2019   Blue Marble Space, a non-profit organization committed to science and science outreach.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service