eso0132 — Organisation Release

Life in the Universe

Live Webcast from Europe's Leading Research Organisations

8 October 2001

Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? Are we alone? These questions have always fascinated humanity and for more than 50 years, physicists, biologists, chemists, cosmologists, astronomers and other scientists have worked tirelessly to answer these fundamental questions. And now this November via webcast, all the world will have the opportunity to see and hear the latest news on extraterrestrial life from the most prestigious research centers and how for the past three months, European students have had the chance to jump into the scientists' shoes and explore these questions for themselves.

The event is being sponsored by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), in cooperation with the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE). "Life in the Universe" is being mounted in collaboration with the Research Directorate-General of the European Commission for the European Week of Science and Technology in November 2001 .

"Life in the Universe" competitions are already underway in 23 European countries to find the best projects from school students between 14 and 18. Two winning teams from each country will be invited to a final event at CERN in Geneva on 8-11 November 2001 to present their projects and discuss them with a panel of International Experts at a special three-day event. They will also compete for the "Super Prize" - a free visit to ESA's and ESO's research and technology facilities at Kourou and Paranal in South America.

Students participating in the programme are encouraged to present their views on extraterrestrial life creatively. The only requirement is that the views be based upon scientific evidence. Many projects are being submitted just now - among them are scientific essays, pieces of art, theatrical performance and CD-Roms. The best of these will be presented worldwide during the "Life in the Universe" webcast — live from CERN on November 10th at 7 pm CET (18 UT).

The webcast - during which the "Super Prizes" for the two best works will be announced - will also feature interviews, video clips and animations on the latest scientific findings on the subject of extraterrestrial life.

The webcast is truly an around-the-world event that will actively engage even geographically distant audiences. During the webcast, anyone on the planet can send questions via e-mail to the real experts with live connections in European laboratories who will answer live during the broadcast. Tuning in is easy too. All people have to do is visit the Life in the Universe website and they will get full instructions on how to connect up.

The home base of "Life in the Universe" is a vibrant web space where details of the programme can be found. It has a wealth of information and links to the national websites, where all entries will be posted.

Is there other life in the Universe? We do not know - but the search is on and you'll know much more about it by just following the webcast!


More information and related links may also be found on the dedicated "Life in the Universe"-webpage at the ESO Outreach website:

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About the Release

Release No.:eso0132
Legacy ID:PR 21/01
Name:Live Webcast
Type:Unspecified : People : Other/General