New monthly series by DSU professors starts Thursday
The inaugural presentation of a new monthly colloquium series at DSU will be given by Dr. Michael Gaylor, Assistant Professor of Chemistry on Thursday, Feb. 21st at 4:00 p.m. in the Science Center auditorium on the DSU campus. The topic of his presentation is “From Terrestrial Seeds to Extraterrestrial Civilizations: Musings on Origins, Evolution, Distribution and Detection of Life in the Universe.”
The DSU College of Arts and Sciences is kicking off the new series by featuring presentations by faculty members of the college on a topic related to their scholarly activities. The goals of the series are to increase understanding of faculty interests, develop collaborative relationships, and promote understanding and discussions on a wide variety of topics. The series is open to all DSU and Madison area community members.
Dr. Gaylor’s gives his description of his presentation; “Questions of life’s origins on Earth and the existence of life in the universe are as old as human existence and have been debated by scientists, theologians, philosophers and dilettantes since antiquity. Fueled by a recent barrage of technological advances and profound astronomical discoveries, the raw chemical ingredients of life are now routinely found throughout the visible universe. Such astonishing observations, coupled with a profusion of corroborating field and laboratory findings here on Earth, have yielded unprecedented scientific consensus that life should occur everywhere in the universe that these chemical raw materials encounter nurturing environments. This revolution in scientific thinking has spawned the fledgling science of Astrobiology. This impressively interdisciplinary field of inquiry seeks to understand the emergence and early evolution of life on Earth, the existence of life in extraterrestrial environments and the development of sophisticated methods for detecting it. In this presentation, I will survey our current understanding of life and its emergence and early evolution on Earth, as well as our ambitious efforts to locate evidence of extraterrestrial life at organizational scales ranging from single molecules to advanced civilizations.”