Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? Are we alone? These questions have always fascinated humanity and for more than 30 years, physicists, biologists, chemists, cosmologists and astronomers have worked tirelessly to answer these questions. And now this November via webcast, all the world will have the opportunity to see the latest 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 Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN*), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), in cooperation with European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) "Life in the Universe" is being mounted in collaboration with the Directorate General for Research of the European Commission for the European Science and Technology Week in November 2001. 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 8-10 November 2001 to present their projects to a panel of International Experts.
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. Teams will present their projects to a panel of International Experts at a special three day event devoted to understanding the possibility of other life forms existing in our Universe. Among the submitted projects 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.
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 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 enter http://www.lifeinuniverse.org into their browser 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 are posted.
Is there other life in the Universe? We do not know - but the search is on and you'll know all about it by just following the webcast!
* CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, has its headquarters in Geneva. At present, its Member States are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Israel, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United States of America, Turkey, the European Commission and Unesco have observer status.