LISA KALTENEGGER: I would like to introduce very shortly Professor Steve Squyres, who, as you heard, if he's not busy running Rovers on Mars, is actually part of the faculty here at Cornell. And he has graciously agreed to moderate the panel here. So if you have any questions, just come up to the mic right there. And all the speakers, could you please come up here. So in case somebody has questions, we can try to answer them.
STEVE SQUYRES: There we go. All right. We ready?
DIDIER QUELOZ: Just about.
STEVE SQUYRES: All right. Well, what a-- what a wonderful day this has been. I've been at Cornell for most of what is getting to be a pretty long career now. And I had the enormous pleasure and privilege many years ago to work with Carl Sagan when I was in graduate school. And it is just such a delight for me to see his spirit and to see his ideas so alive in this group, in this room, in this new Institute. It's just the breadth and the magnitude of the questions and the answers that we've been talking about today, it's just staggering to me. And I'm so excited to see this happening, and see this happening here at Cornell.
So now we come to the part that I'm sure a lot of you been looking forward to. And that is the opportunity to pose questions to our speakers. Everybody's up here and ready for your questions. What we ask you to do is come to the microphone here when you have a question that you would like to pose. You may pose your question to an individual speaker. You may pose your question to the group.
I will take my prerogative as the moderator to try to keep things moving along. So I may cut off some of the questioners occasionally and answerers. If I give you a stern glare, it means your time is up.
So anyway, with that, what I would like to do is invite people who have questions to come here to the microphone, not be shy, and pose your questions if you would like. I see people poised and ready to leave. So come on up. Go ahead.
And make sure you use the microphone. OK. And you got to get in close. You got to get close. OK. Go ahead.
AUDIENCE: Two quotes from Feynman, Richard Feynman. If you have a theory, you must try to explain what's good and what's bad about it equally, to question, to doubt, not to be sure. Here's some questions.
Does science have any explanation for the self-organization of matter and energy that precedes and produces inorganic and organic matter? And another question--
STEVE SQUYRES: Why don't we just start with that one because that's a doozy right there.
So scientists, do you have an explanation for this? We'd like to know.
LISA KALTENEGGER: You know, if we had an explanation for that, I think you'd be reading about this in the Nobel Prize for Literature.
STEVE SQUYRES: Self-organization, how does it come about?
LISA KALTENEGGER: Can you rephrase the question-- or state-- what do you think the question is? Restate it for us. Mr. Moderator.
STEVE SQUYRES: Oh, OK. What I heard, I thought, was does science have an explanation for how the self-organization that's required to bring about what we call life-- how is it going to take place? What makes it happen? It sort of goes against the idea that entropy likes to increase. So explain it to us.
NATALIE BATALHA: The rise of complexity. And I was going hand the mic to you.
STEVE SQUYRES: How does complexity arise from randomness?
LYNN ROTHSCHILD: OK. First, I think this is sort of a general misconception that this idea that you're going to more and more complex. Because once you have life, you go all different directions. All you're doing is trying to be the best adapted. It's sort of like the old story, how fast do you have to run to outrun a bear? Just faster than the other guy.
I mean that's evolution. But if you're going to the prebiotic, you are dealing with basic chemical principles. So, for example, lipids are hydrophobic on part of them. And so they do self-organize into little droplets. Just shake up oil and vinegar for salad dressing, and you can see that happening.
There's a lot of self-organization and binding to clays and so on. So it really is not a particularly-- if I can use the word "miraculous thing." It's not conflicting with any laws of nature. You do have to worry about concentration. But it's not at all undoable.
STEVE SQUYRES: OK. So we're going to give you one more. And you can repose your last question or you can ask a different one. Go ahead.
STEVE SQUYRES: You got to use the microphone. And please rephrase your question.
AUDIENCE: Both organic and inorganic matter, how does that form, not just organic? The second question is much easier I think. May other areas of the universe, in time and space, be inimical to life?
STEVE SQUYRES: OK. Let's go on to that second one. Are there going to be places where life won't be happening?
LISA KALTENEGGER: I'll take the step of the question by saying that if you have an incredible amount of pressure or energy, like for example at the center of a star, there is no way we can imagine right now that life as we know it could actually survive. Temperature and pressure are a couple of really interesting limits that we have. And I think, in a way, that's probably also a question for Lynn again. The extreme limits of life are basically set by when you break down some of the chemical bonds. Would you agree to that?
LYNN ROTHSCHILD: You're making me work today. Yes. But that being said-- so life, space, and organic carbon, you've got a hard limit at 500 degrees centigrade. But that being said, we use liquid water as a solvent for all life on Earth. And so you would think that you couldn't have life that's colder than zero degrees or warmer than a hundred.
And show of hands, how many people made it through winter in Ithaca? You obviously made it because you're here.
And I suspect by the end of the summer, you'll have made it over a hundred, too. But seriously, there are obviously organisms that can go well below zero. And there are examples. There are microbes that are known to go to-- to be metabolically active at minus 20 or so. It's certainly not very fast.
And I always throw out, well, penguins. And the answer that I hear is that they're cheating because they have feathers. It's like no, it still counts. Even if you have feathers, even if you have overcoats-- if you've got heaters in your car, the fact is you're living in an environment that's that cold.
On the other side, we know for a fact that there are organisms that can live at 121 centigrade, probably 122. Let's not quibble. And I suspect that we could make ones that are a good deal warmer.
So you can buy some time on either side, ditto with pH, or salinity, or all these other things. You can buy some time. But at some point, there is going to probably be a hard limit with just holding organic carbon together.
JONATHAN LUNINE: I--
STEVE SQUYRES: Go ahead. Jon.
JONATHAN LUNINE: I think Barbara's first question deserves an answer. So--
JONATHAN LUNINE: It's going to be inorganic. So when you look at the second law of thermodynamics in a static way, you have a paradox. But the second law of thermodynamics expressed in a static way only works for systems that are at equilibrium. And none of the systems that we're talking about are at equilibrium.
So 50 years ago, Ilya Prigogine came up with a time-dependent model of thermodynamics. And one of the results of that was that systems that are very far from equilibrium are doing two things. They're generating entropy like crazy. But at the same time, there are portions of those systems that are at very low entropy.
And so we see evidence of systems that have access to large amounts of free energy, large amounts of high-quality energy, inorganic or organic, that are generating entropy like crazy, but are self-organizing because those are the low entropy parts of the system. And they're not violating any laws. They're expressing the time-dependent second law of thermodynamics.
NATALIE BATALHA: Can I--
STEVE SQUYRES: Go ahead. Yeah.
NATALIE BATALHA: Yeah. I just wanted to push Lynn a little bit on this, too. And ask her about symbiotic relationships that are found to be advantageous in nature and the rise of complexity, in a sense, because you had protists and single cell things that came together to create cells, and cells to mammals, for example. And so I'd like to hear you talk a little bit about the rise of complexity in a symbiotic sense. And is it advantageous in an evolutionary sense for complexity to take place?
LYNN ROTHSCHILD: There's a lot to unpack there. I'll just try those two points. One is, is the idea of symbiosis, two organisms living together. The other way to put it is mutual exploitation. No one does it to be a nice guy.
You take advantage of something else. You've got an alga that lives inside a coral. And they're getting some sugars. And they're getting a steady environment. And the coral is getting some sugars, and oxygen, and so on.
So it's hard to think of it that way. It really is sort of what's going to help you get on. That's Darwinian evolution.
Again, the rise of complexity is something that I, as a microbe myself, find difficult to talk about because, in fact, there's an enormous amount of evolution that's gone on, that involves metabolic evolution. So that has nothing to do with going multicellular. And then even if multicellularity occurred so many times among the plants, animals, and fungi.
And the fact is that when it's a change in metabolic diversity, it may be just as difficult evolutionarily, if not more so. We don't give it any credit. We think, oh, they're just doing their funky little thing. Aren't they cute? They're bacteria.
Whereas, oh, wow, they are multicellular. This is so complex. This is so wonderful. It's just one more adaptation.
So that part, in a general sense, that's difficult. But yes, we also do find increasing complexity. We also find decreasing complexity. Viruses strip down genes. Bacteria strip down genes. Parasites strip down genes.
We're very primitive for mammals. We've got five digits on our hands and toes. Horses are more advanced. They fused into a single toe. It's whatever works. And I think to try to put this idea of complexity on this, particularly trying to confuse biological complexity with thermodynamic complexity, is a very slippery slope.
STEVE SQUYRES: OK. Let's move on to our next question. Go ahead.
AUDIENCE: I'd like to thank the speakers. I was a graduate student here. Steve and I worked together--
STEVE SQUYRES: That's right.
AUDIENCE: --a long time ago. I had a bond with Carl myself. I took a course on organic chemistry in the solar system. I owed him a paper, he owed me a grade.
I teach astronomy in Syracuse, New York, at a community college. And 10 years ago, I used to teach that our solar system was unusual because the radial velocity measurements showed that most of the solar systems out there had hot Jupiters. And closed giant planet migration was a common occurrence. But now, I hear Kepler is perhaps not saying that. What should I teach now?
STEVE SQUYRES: There's a good one.
NATALIE BATALHA: Yeah. These hot Jupiters that first came out, they were found because they were easy to find. The actual statistics, now that Kepler is rolling out, is that the frequency of those is about 0.5%. So they're actually quite rare.
DIDIER QUELOZ: It's confusing. It's confusing, especially with the fact that Pluto is not anymore a planet again.
Well, I mean, there is something I think you should-- I would advise you to teach to your students. Science is not an open book. It's a bit like you are somewhere behind a door. And you just try to get a little bit of perception what's behind it. But you're only able to drill a couple of hole into the door.
So today, I think if we're really honest here, we can't answer the questions because if [INAUDIBLE] pick up the easy one because they're shorter, at times they pick up the shortest one because they're even easier to translate.
So there's a lot of biases behind all this. And then it's how much you are able to decipher this, and trying to correct from that. So there is a lot of exercise that has been done, a lot of people trying to do that. Trying to push as much the data, to tell the whole story.
But there is a reality. And still the reality is today, a 1 AU Earth-sized or Earth-mass planet-- because again they don't see the same-- there's still a chance that the boundary of what we can do. But even if it be 1, I would say.
So today, answering honestly the question, I think we don't know. But there is something we know for sure. It is about, if you pick a star in the sky today, any star in the sky-- look at the sky tonight and pick any star you want. Well, you have about 50% of chance that this stars has a planetary system the light we have seen today. Whether it's detected by Kepler or [INAUDIBLE] it doesn't matter. I mean, they are all the same.
But there is stars for which we have not found anything. And it doesn't mean there is no anything. It just means we don't know. So maybe on this one, there is another kind of planets.
They are a bit further out, a bit smaller, a bit less mass. And that's another parameter of space that is lacking a complete understanding. There is planets. And it was mentioned, the planet, to go a bit beyond and try to push this.
So today, you have to tell us your students to be a bit patience, and to do what they can, what we can. And we still do not know. But there is a chance, maybe half of the stars, they do have sort of system like our own.
5% of the star have a Jupiter that looks like our own Jupiter. It's something you can tell. This is for sure. It's about 5%.
So if you believe that having a Jupiter detected about the way they looked like on Jupiter is a good incentive, well, you may claim there is 5% possibly of solar system like our own. But we have no idea if detecting of Jupiter at 5 AU means there will be a smaller planet inside. So that's all I can say at this point.
STEVE SQUYRES: All right. Anybody else? OK. Great. We got a long line up here. Let's go the next one.
AUDIENCE: Hi. Hi. Well, my name is Max. And I was wondering what's the plan for after we find an Earth-like planet? Do we go to it? Do we start planning missions to it?
LISA KALTENEGGER: Can I just-- my first answer is, like, find another one, and find another one, find another one, find another one.
So what it means to me to find an Earth-- we are finding these planets that could potentially be one. They have the right size, at the right distance; the right mass, at the right distance. But there is no way, until we catch the light of these planets, to tell whether they're habitats or whether they are not, or whether they're very different from our Earth, or whether they are-- I think, pretty unlikely-- but exactly the same, just like move the continents a little bit. It's already a little different.
So I think what we're doing is this first statistical look. We needed to figure out how frequent are they because that determines how big the telescope needs to be that catches this light off the planet itself. And so I think we have a very good statistic, as you heard. And one of the next things that we're working on, I would say, is trying to actually get a telescope that can catch enough light to tell us whether these potential Earth-like planets-- first, we have to find them close by. That's what TESS is doing.
But after that, getting a mission on the horizon that actually looks at 10, 15, 20, 30 of those. Because the first Earth is going to be astonishing. But what's going to make it super-interesting is the second, third, fourth, fifth and figuring out how we fit into this puzzle.
DIDIER QUELOZ: OK. Maybe I can add something onto this. I mean it seems a bit like doing a selfie in a way, to try to find a system like own on other stars. But practically, there is a very profound question behind this.
And there is-- I don't know if you are aware of this-- a theory right now, which is kind of shared by many-- many astrophysicists, that the solar system, what it is today, it's not wholly transformed. It may have a goal.
And quite significantly, there is a theory that's called the Late Heavy Bombardment, that we have reshuffled quite a lot of the structure of the solar system, move away Jupiter, clean out a lot of this cometary body that would be lethal for any life evolution. There's a lot of interesting consequence. And possibly the origin of a large fraction of the water on Earth can come from this.
So, OK, it's just a theory. We have some hint that on the Moon, on the dark side of the Moon, a very big impact, that there may be this, at some time ago, happen.
So I think the question of really the structure of the solar system, as it stands, compared to all these systems that we have found today that have nothing to be compared with the solar systems, I think is a really key question for us. And possibility here is we may end up with a situation where we would conclude that a planetary system is a bit like, let's say, the UK weather. It's changing every five minutes.
So we can have any shape, any form you can imagine because a tiny bit of a change will affect the whole global pattern you could get because it's always a bit different what we're getting. So that's behind these big questions. And then the next answer is clearly what Lisa said.
STEVE SQUYRES: Let me poke at this one a little bit more because I think he asked a very interesting question. I just want to poke a little bit.
The thrust of the question is what do we do when we find the first one that really looks like Earth? Let me just twist that around a little bit and say, and what if it's also close? What if it's within a few tens of light years? Does it make it tantalizing in some special way that we ought to treat it a little more aggressively, than just look for another one, another one, another one?
NATALIE BATALHA: Of course. I tell everybody-- I mean people ask me these kinds of questions, well, everything is so far away. We have no hope of ever going there. Why do we care? Why do we even do it?
And my answer is, once we know that there is life, once we could point to a star in the sky and know that there's life there, I personally think we're going to figure out how to get there. We're going to go, right, of course.
LISA KALTENEGGER: And I think if I can add something to this, I think that's definitely a really interesting part of the story. But we know how our own Sun is born and how it's going to die because we look at stars like our own Sun at different points of its evolution. We cannot have a couple billion years and look at our Sun and see it evolve. We just don't have that kind of time.
But because we find Suns like our star at different ages, we can piece together how a star evolves. And even so this is in very far future, as you were asking why-- what is important, it's like it might be the first potential glimpse in the future on our own planet.
And even if you don't care if there's life, this exploration of a variety of worlds-- so what comes after this one Earth that we found-- it's going to be the only way that I see right now to actually have a first glimpse and a potential future coming up for us.
STEVE SQUYRES: Anybody else on this one.
DIDIER QUELOZ: Yeah.
STEVE SQUYRES: Go ahead.
DIDIER QUELOZ: I can say something also because it's a question I get very often when I do public talk. I mean my usual classic answer is the following, is, well, look, it took the human species about 10,000 years to spread [INAUDIBLE] with Earth. With the only power of food, practically
Well, I came here. It took me eight hours by plane, to the Atlantic Ocean. And, well, what do you think in 1,000 year we'll be doing? It doesn't seem so crazy to imagine that we will send probes to this nearby planets. There is no fundamental limitation at the time.
But with a little bit of speed, even if there is some limitation with the speed we can get, it's just a matter of time. Well, maybe we'll need a hundred years, maybe we need 1,000 years. But it's nothing compared to the real scale of what we have achieved so far, already on Earth.
NATALIE BATALHA: I wonder if we, as a species, are capable of doing multigenerational missions? We really kind of are instant-gratification species. So to do this will require multigenerational thinking. And that requires a lot of self-sacrifice.
ANN DRUYAN: But everyone you heard today, and this Institute, is a multigenerational project. And as I said this morning, only 75 years or 80 years ago, the notion that there were other worlds circling their suns, except in the rarest instances, was scientifically not even a respectable position to take. And here we are, engaged, you are, in this multigenerational project.
DIDIER QUELOZ: Well, I think we have plenty of good example of multigenerational project. And aside the science, which is a multigeneration project by itself. But let's look at the cathedrals.
I mean people building a cathedral, most of them, they didn't know they would see the end. They didn't have any drawing. They were doing what they could, without having a picture of the end, by knowing they will never see the end.
So I think we are building cathedrals. It's just a modern cathedral. Science is a new way to express it. I understand the challenges. But we have done that. And I think as a species, we used to be together, and to work together, and to team together. It's on our genes to do that. We're not a lone species, practically.
STEVE SQUYRES: Yeah. I got to say, if somebody finds a real Earth-like planet within a few tens of light years, my reaction is let's start building the spacecraft. Let's go on to our next questioner.
AUDIENCE: Paul Mason from New Mexico State University. Lynn spoke up about Copernican Revolution-like events that have happened. This is a major difficulty in science, to try to break through this sort of bias.
And there's been a lot of talk about the Earth and how different the Earth could be. And I would like to ask physicists to talk about the Sun and can you speculate on if there can be better environments than the Sun, but different stars?
LISA KALTENEGGER: So I'll just take a first stab at the question. But one of the things that Dimitar showed in his graph was, you change the Sun, what does that actually do to the radiation on the surface of you planet? Does it change, does it not?
And what we found was very interesting, actually. So one of our grad student was doing that, [? Sara Rookhammer. ?] But basically what we found is that there is an interesting-- I wouldn't call it sweet spot, but if you make the sun much brighter, you get more ozone, like when you go later in the time of the evolution of the planet, so you have less UV on the ground. And then if you make the star cooler, you also have less UV on the ground because it just doesn't make that much UV. Does that mean anything? Is it better or worse for life? Because we think life developed under an ocean initially anyway, and subsurface, I think, a better place is a kind of interesting idea.
I think what we're probably going to be able to tell is which one is seriously a worse place, like really flarey star where we cannot figure out how you would keep an atmosphere alive. But I don't know. I like this way that we somehow got away with calling these big planets super Earths, because everybody thinks they're better. We really don't know. They're bigger, yeah, but super kind of has a very interesting connotation to it.
So the star is an incredibly important part of this equation, and I think we've just taken the first steps at what it actually means. Is UV better, worse at a certain level?
AUDIENCE: I guess I'm just kind of looking for speculation on that, because it is really hard-- as you say, there is this sweet spot. Yet there's also this bias. And so you know when you keep looking and saying, well, it's just got to be just like the Sun.
LISA KALTENEGGER: I think just before I pass this to Dave. I would say some of the sweet spot is because the models we run were developed for the Sun and the Earth, and therefore the physics that's in it works best for the Earth and the Sun. And so you have to be more and more careful the more you make this a different environment. And so I think some of the first data results we get, you always have to take with a grain of salt.
DAVE: I don't think we should get so hung up on looking for something exactly like the Earth around a star exactly like the Sun. I'd rather take a more holistic approach, a broader view. And always look for the easiest way. So instead of looking for a planet exactly like the Earth, let's look for those that are enough like the Earth, but easier to study. So bigger-- they make bigger signals. And have a surface. OK, that's probably important. Don't want to get too far away from the Earth. And have the right temperature for your organic chemistry.
Well, they better have the right kind of atmosphere. It can't be a great big extended hydrogen and helium envelope. It ought to be a nice compact atmosphere of all the building blocks, molecular building blocks. So I'm always looking for the easiest way to make progress. And that's what I call a Super Earth. It's a super opportunity to look at something enough like the Earth that you can learn about the Earth.
LYNN ROTHSCHILD: If I could mention brown dwarfs, which had the beauty that they're very numerous. I have no right talking astronomy in front of all these people, but there has been thoughts certainly about the potential for life on planets around them. And obviously we're not talking much about life on moons around planets, which throws the whole thing into another level. So I think it would be very constrained only looking for an Earth around a star like our Sun. I think that there are lots and lots of other possibilities. But to me what's non-negotiable is organic carbon, and that's going to set a hard limit.
NATALIE BATALHA: I was just going to add one observational constraint. You made me remember when I was a graduate student there were people that were studying stars like our Sun, and they were saying that our Sun seems to be anomalously stable in its light output. And that made me think that the Sun was somehow very special, that life arose here because we have this other constraint or because we do happen to live around a very stable star.
It turns out, Kepler did observations of the light output with very high precision. And it turns out what they were observing was noise, systematic noise, from ground based observations. So we're kind of on the fence. It does look like maybe the Sun might be a little more stable than other stars, but I would say that it's kind of-- there are a lot of examples of stars that are perfectly as stable as the Sun. So I think that concern has dropped away. So that's one observational thing that we can say about stars. Yeah.
STEVE SQUYRES: All right, we've got a long line up, so let's move on. Go ahead.
AUDIENCE: So we've been discussing and celebrating a lot of very new ideas today. And as a teacher of children, I had a question in mind. If you could pick any idea that people would grow up knowing-- so let's say the next generation-- the way that they know that liquids take the shape of the container that they're in, or something very basic and fundamental, what would you hope that people will grow up knowing that maybe has come out of this kind of research?
STEVE SQUYRES: That's a good one.
LISA KALTENEGGER: I think I'll take the first one, because that's the easy answer. Everybody else has to think about a difficult one. I think the one thing that I'm trying when I give talks to kids that I'm trying to make sure they know is that we already know there are other planets. They never lived in a time where we didn't know that. And when they look up at the star, they can just point and that one or that one has another planet. Because what that does, at least when I give the talks, and then I say, like what do you think? Is there life out there, or are the plants very different? They say, well, I'm about to go and figure that out. And that's what I'm trying to do have them think.
SPEAKER 1: My favorite is a little bit of Lynn's talk. I think the kids who are being born today will probably grow up knowing synthetic biology the way that 20-year-olds know Facebook.
NATALIE BATALHA: I was going to say the children today, I think, are feeling a little hopeless because of the mess we've made of things. And I would like children-- you know, one of the implications to finding life out there for me, if I find one example of life, to me that says that we can survive to the future. Right? Because one of the turns in the Drake Equation is how long can a species, once it develops intelligence, how long can it survive? So just finding one other example of life out there to me gives hope. It says that we can survive to the future, and I think that the children need hope. Yeah.
STEVE SQUYRES: Right. Next.
LYNN ROTHSCHILD: I'll just add something that would be true, really, of any age. And that is to get back to what I said at the end-- the awe of the natural world. I have a sister who worked for Nickelodeon online for a while, and she started looking at some of the stuff we were doing in the lab. She said, this is so much more amazing than anything we're making up in cartoon characters. It's not science fiction. It's not Nickelodeon. It's not-- the natural world is more amazing than any of us could possibly imagine.
AUDIENCE: Yes. As an amateur educator in planetary science and space science, I would like to say that I'm very lucky to be here. And that I'd rather be nowhere else than here this weekend. But that being said, I want to put on the hat one of my teenage students and I ask a very simple question. Which is, what is our best, most general definition of life?
STEVE SQUYRES: Simple, huh? OK. Who's got a good answer to that simple question? And it can't be, I know it when I see it.
LYNN ROTHSCHILD: See, this is the second time I've done this in 20 hours. OK. I think the best way to summarize is that I think when you look at definitions of life, most people are trying to make a laundry list of what they see as the commonality of the characteristics of life on the Earth. And so they start with a membrane bound system, and DNA, and all this checklists. And that really to me is a checklist of what we happen to have here and the commonality. And that doesn't define life.
So you can start to get into the anti-entropy operations, like Schrodinger. And I think there's probably a lot there. But I would like to very quickly default to Carol Cleland, who's a philosopher of science at the University of Colorado. There's this great thing, usually quote, where Da Vinci was asked to define water. And he said it's sometimes salty, and sometimes sweet, and sometimes bitter, and sometimes not. And sometimes it's cold, and sometimes it's hot, and sometimes colors and opaque. And so on.
If I asked anyone in this room how to define water, it's very simple-- H2O. The question is, will we ever get to a point where we can define life with an H2O sort of answer? And I'm not convinced that we can. And so it may be a moot point.
SPEAKER 1: So I agree with Lynn. We don't have a definition that we all agree. Some people have proposed definitions. I think some scientists have made the point that we don't need a definition in order to work on the issue of the origins of life and trying to understand what its nature is, or certainly search for it. And that's what motivates our work in that, is that we can forge ahead without having agreed upon a definition.
We have already put some constraints, and some of them come from astrophysics, which is my background. And what we know so far about the observable universe is that it consists of three components, only one of them, the smallest one, is ordinary matter. Or as physicists would call it, baryonic matter. And only that component engages in chemical bonding and chemical reactions. So one of the constraints is that we cannot conceive currently of a life which does not involve chemistry. So we call it a chemical system.
Beyond that, though, it becomes very difficult. We also see that it's self-sustaining. But then that doesn't say much. And the rest is exactly that difficult area where what is the role of Darwinian evolution in that system? And everything else. But again, we go ahead in this without the definition, and people have done this in the past in science and have succeeded, just like with water. And hopefully sometime soon, we'll be able to maybe not have the H2O of life, but something close to that.
STEVE SQUYRES: Anybody else? All right. Let's go on to the next one.
AUDIENCE: Hi. My name is Christo Downs, and I have a question for my new friend Annie. This is more about history and legacy. But when you were working on humanity's greatest mixtape, how in the world did you start that process with all the information that was available? How did you begin that process with Carl? And at what point did you realize, that's enough?
ANN DRUYAN: Well, thank you, Christo. It's not that we realized that that was enough. It's just that there were spatial limitations, and temporal limitations. We had to load the message, the record, onto the spacecraft. And I believe it was sometime during the summer for a launch on August 20th. And so I think it had to be on the spacecraft six weeks before we began the process at the end of December in 1976. So we only had six months.
And the process, as many of you know, coincided with the great discovery of how much we loved each other. And so here we were, suffused with these oxytocins of the greatest joy that life has to offer. And it was-- everything we looked at was new. And we had magnificent collaborators. And we wanted to reflect what Lynn was talking about-- the magnificence of the natural world, of the joy of life on Earth. What it was like to be alive at that moment. Of all the world's musical traditions. Of just how vibrant life is.
And it was at a moment when the world was infested with some 60,000 nuclear weapons. And we were also beginning to understand something of the burden of greenhouse gases, and the environmental catastrophes that we were creating for ourselves. And we knew that it would last for a thousand million years.
Now, the Voyager engineers built this ship, these two ships, to really to function for 10 years. And still we're still in touch with them. They've been teaching us for nearly 40 years about the glorious solar system that we inhabit, about the shape of the solar system as it moves through the galaxy. Voyager is still teaching us.
And so if they thought the spacecraft was only going to really function for something like 10 years once it reached the planets and moons that is giving us our first pictures of, then maybe even a thousand million years is a conservative estimate. I've wondered about that. Most of all, everyone who was involved-- the six principles, and then all the other people who worked with us-- we wanted to testify to the glory of being alive. And that's pretty much what was the value at the heart of the selection process.
STEVE SQUYRES: All right.
Good questions, great answer. Next one.
AUDIENCE: Hi. I'm an outreach astronomer, and so I have two goals when I try to show people the night sky. One goal and two outcomes. The goal is to kind of provoke people to a scientific awareness of the universe. The first goal in that is to find new scientists out there who will someday be up on a stage like this, talking about a lot more planets in the universe. And the second goal is to give everybody, or try to give everybody, a basic scientific understanding so that when our scientists tell us that we need to change our actions because we're changing the climate of the planet in major ways, that we all listen.
So my question is what provoked all of you to a scientific awareness? For me, it was my first view of the night sky, and that's why I'm a public outreach astronomer. Some of you have answered this question in your talk, but for the rest of you, what was that thing? Was it hearing Sputnik on a radio? Or was it the pale blue dot photograph? Or was it a book, or a person? That's something that I'm very curious about.
ANN DRUYAN: May I just say that I'm so lucky. The person who first awakened in me a sense of a scientific awareness is my father, who's here today. And Dad, if you would stand up, it'd be so great.
And it was just like this. I was a child in Queens sitting on the front step, waiting for my father to come home from work in the city, in Manhattan. And it was a beautiful night. And I was sitting on the steps. My father came home with the newspaper under his arm and just the wonderful feeling of seeing him and being embraced. And we were looking at the stars. And he said, you know, some of those stars aren't really there anymore.
And he began to explain to me about light. And I was not a good science student. I didn't enjoy science in school. But that flicker of mystery and fascination began then. And then of course, that was very unlikely to have a 20 year tutorial, with perhaps one of the greatest teachers our species has ever known.
STEVE SQUYRES: All right, now recognizing that none of you has a chance of topping that answer.
Does anybody else want to even try? Go ahead, Jonathan. Yeah.
JONATHAN LUNINE: I actually do want to follow up, because as Ann knows, that greatest teacher of science that you were blessed to have 20 years with, also inspired me. And so to answer the question, I was always interested in astronomy. Lived very close to the Hayden Planetarium in New York, and I managed to get someone to take me there a lot. I didn't really understand how and whether I could become an astronomer. And so when The Cosmic Connection came out in 1973, Carl Sagan's second book. I bought it. It was reviewed in Sky and Telescope, I went out and bought it. I read it.
I was so thrilled about it that I was an absolute pain around the house. I mean, I was reading paragraphs of chapter after chapter. So my mother finally said, why don't you just write to Professor Sagan? And my first reaction was, there's no way he's going to write back. He's a famous professor. He's not going to pay attention to a junior high school student. She was very insistent, so I took out lined paper and I wrote this letter. And I asked Professor Sagan how I could become an astronomer.
And he wrote back a two page letter, which was very, very detailed, including reprints of Mariner 9 images that he had worked on, studies of Phobos and Deimos. But it was the letter itself. And that letter connected me to the world of astronomy in a way that no planetarium or TV show ever could. And Carl did that for so many students. Ann mentioned, of course, Neil deGrasse Tyson. He actually bought him a bus ticket and brought him up there.
But another colleague who lives in Greece, who grew up in Greece. She wrote to Carl Sagan, and he wrote back to her as well. And it's that kind of effort that he made year after year that inspired so many people to become scientists.
LYNN ROTHSCHILD: I'm actually sort of surprised that no one's mentioned looking through a telescope. I often find myself at astronomy meetings and having to justify the fact that I'm not an astronomer. So I suspect that I have a lot of colleagues here who had the flip-side. When I was in third grade, we had three days with a microscope. And the first day we looked at human hair. And the second day was onion skin cells. And the third day was an amoeba. And I was hooked by that third day.
And I should say, I think it actually is not unlike being an astronomer, because when you look through a microscope you are part of this world that is somewhere between the imagination and reality. It's a different, it's a private-- it's not a fantasy world, but it's a fantasy world. You're part of your own private universe. And I feel the same way when I look through a telescope. And again, I don't want to speak for anyone else, but I would imagine that's true of a lot of people who have that experience with a telescope when they're young, it's just that I happened to have a microscope.
SPEAKER 2: In fact you've described very much my situation. There was a Boy Scout club. We went into the forest, they had a telescope there. You can see the planets glowing in the sky. You could see-- sometimes you could see the Aurora, but just seeing the stars. This was a night without the moon. And you walked back to your camp along this black road, with trees on both sides. The only illumination you saw was a strip of sky that illuminated your world. And so that was really special.
And of course, you speculated what might be out there? What might be on these planets? And that speculation drove me to find what really is out there.
STEVE SQUYRES: Anybody else? Go ahead.
NATALIE BATALHA: Are you sure? I've already kind of told my story, I think, a little bit.
STEVE SQUYRES: Go ahead. We can work on down the line if you want.
DIDIER QUELOZ: I think everybody has to go through this. So it's not an easy question, because it's a lot of soft touch that brings you, I think, to be a scientist. I think there is a couple of recipes. And it has to be emotional at some point. So you have to get the connections. And my emotional connection is a part of my family is Greek, and I used to spend quite a lot of time in Greece every summer. And Greece, in the late '70s, is quite another country. I mean, it was maybe like the US 100 years ago, kind of. I guess. No light, no water. And that's what I experienced. I loved it as a kid.
And of course it's very warm at night. So what you do, you sleep outside. So for a long time of my life, when I was younger, I've been sleeping under the night sky. And I remember dreaming, seeing this-- I remember this perfectly. So I had this emotional connection to the night sky, and I think I was fortunate because it's not easy if you're born in the city to see the really deep sky. You really don't see it. It's just too much light to do that. So that's the emotional connections.
I think you have to be a bit gifted, so I think I'm born with a genome for scientists. Always be curious. And my mother keeps telling me that any things that I would find, I would try to understand how it was working. And I was a true catastrophe at home, because a lot of the equipment got destroyed, of course, because once it's broken apart to understand the way it works, it's not that much fun to bring it back. So that's how I understood I was not an engineer, but a scientist.
And then I think you need to have the intellectual connections. And I think, as I said in my talk, an internal connection is just the way you make sense into this. And as to the books, and there have been a couple of key books. And one of them I mentioned, and discussed this clearly, that I think brought me to the astrophysics more than the other field. So it's a bit of a history element, I believe, that made me who I am right now.
SPEAKER 1: So for me, it was quite a bit like Ann's-- my parents. I also grew up in a small town in the seaside, so I got hooked up on the stars. My father was the one who taught me the constellations. But really, in the end, what really got me really hooked was getting birthday presents, a very tiny microscope. I mean, really tiny microscope. But it was still a microscope. And also a pretty small telescope, even by kids standards.
But do create this universe for you. I mean, both the microscope and the telescope, where you have unlimited opportunity to explore and to live somewhere else just because the eyepiece opens up a window. So that's what I remember hooked me up eventually. And I guess the telescope was more powerful than the microscope. It kind of goes back in that direction.
STEVE SQUYRES: Lisa.
LISA KALTENEGGER: I think it's going to be pretty hard to top any story. What I wanted to add to this is that when you see small kids-- and I have an 11 month old at home right now. And yes, she does break everything apart that she can get her hands on. But this curiosity seems to be an inherent trait. And the one thing when you're doing scientific and public outreach, and bring kids in, I don't understand-- and we are trying our hardest at home to let her break things, to let her open things, to make noise within reason.
But I think to re-ignite that spark, if it all came with a mystery of these stars might not be there anymore. Or by just letting kids ask the same question over and over and over again. I think that is one of the things that, hopefully, will keep our little one curious. And as you said, I think we were all very fortunate enough that we grew up in an environment like that, where our parents let us break things and let us ask questions again and again and again. And somehow we then decided to either look at the stars, because it was like a dark night, or to look at the small world around us. I think once you get somebody hooked, it's really hard whatever you do, to get them unhooked.
So showing them the stars, I think, is a great way to do this.
STEVE SQUYRES: Your turn.
DAVE: My decision was a little more practical. In 1961, when I was a senior at MIT, my good wife-- we've been married 54 years-- finally worked up her courage one February evening at dinner and said, now, what are we going to do next year? She still had another year at Boston University, and I said, well, we probably ought to stick around here. How about I go to graduate school? Yeah, why don't you do that?
So the next day I took the T up to Byerly Hall to the admissions office at Harvard and said, can I see your forms? And oh my God, they were due that day. So I got as far as Astronomy.
I wrote out my essays in longhand, and handed them in. And damned if they didn't accept me.
STEVE SQUYRES: That went all the way down the line, so I'm going to give my answer, too. When I was eight years old-- when I was eight years old, my parents gave me my first telescope. It was wintertime, and I remember going out about four nights in a row observing Jupiter, which was in the sky at the time. And the thing that was cool was that for the first time in my life, I could see not just Jupiter, but Jupiter's moons, the four moons. And they would be-- that's right. They would be in a different position every night.
And I would go out there, and I would draw what I saw. I would draw Jupiter, and I'd draw the different moons. And it was like this magical dance that they did. And I couldn't-- the thing that was driving me crazy was I couldn't figure out which one was which. Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto-- OK, they're moving around, but I couldn't-- you know, I was just looking at them once a night and they were moving too fast.
So I took this to my dad. My dad was a computer programmer, he was really good at this kind of stuff. He said, look, let me take this into work, because you didn't have computers at home in those days. Let me take this into work and see if I can write a computer program that can figure this out. OK? So he did. He took it into work, and there were a couple of cloudy nights. And then he brought it home and he said, OK. I think I got it. I think this one's Io, and this one's Europa, and this one's Ganymede, and this one's Callisto. I thought, wow, that's really cool.
But then he said this-- he said, and if I'm right, this is what it should look like tonight. And we went out, and we set up the telescope. I still remember this. And they were right where they were supposed to be. And it taught me that if you understand something well enough, you can predict the future. And that was my first taste of the power of science that I'll never forget.
AUDIENCE: Hi. I'm Art Samplaski, and I'm one of the volunteers who runs the [INAUDIBLE] Fuertes Observatory. And Professor Rothschild, or anybody else who wants to come by, we'll be open tonight. You can look through our telescope. But thank you to Professor Kaltenegger for what you just said about getting the curiosity in your child, because it saved me from having to ask a really nuts and bolts question.
Because what the young woman from the science center talked about-- how do you inspire young people getting curiosity? And also talking about we're making cathedrals. We have to think multi-generation. How do we get past the, we don't see past the next quarter's balance sheet? And also the not only the political and economic shortsightedness, but then also the huge currents of fanaticism? How can we as humanists and scientists get past this and get people to really say, look, at the wonder of this?
Whether-- and this is not we have to attack religion-- but how do we get them to see this, to be able to think multigenerationally? Thank you.
STEVE SQUYRES: Wow. Tough one.
LISA KALTENEGGER: I would say that Ann is actually trying to do that.
ANN DRUYAN: That's the greatest challenge we face. How do you pierce the denial and the delusion, and get people not to think of science as simply a collection of neat facts or as the thing underlying the technology of our civilization? But to take science to heart. I mean, that's the power of the pale blue dot. Is it's that nexus where all of our intellectual capabilities and our abilities to do science, as well as the challenge to our ethos, to our ability to really care and feel it.
I think what Natalie was talking about when she was saying, you know, can you get human beings to do multigenerational tasks like traveling to another world light years away? She was talking about the balance sheet. She was talking about the difficulty that Bill was talking about earlier, of pushing that rock up the mountain to get that mission OKed, to get the money for that mission. Which of course, as we all know, is but a fraction of what we are squandering every minute on ways to kill each other.
It's really-- we have we have a serious problem. We have a serious deficiency. And the only way that I know is to spread the word of science, and to make it available to every single person so that each of us feels not only the wonder of the universe, but in dreams begin responsibilities. And the responsibility that's incumbent on each and every one of us to waken us from our stupor, and make us protect the pale blue dot.
NATALIE BATALHA: That was beautiful, Ann. Thank you. I just wanted to add one thought to that. I recognize that I am extremely privileged. And I think every single one of us in this room is very privileged that we have just the space and the time to even contemplate what's out there in the universe. There is a huge number of human beings on this planet whose brains are occupied with survival, basic survival, every single day, every single moment of every single day.
So I worry about us, you know, being overly critical or judgmental, and saying people need to wake up. You need to do this, you need to do that. No, they can't. There's just not enough freedom to contemplate. What I think is that the universe is so beautiful, our insatiable curiosity is there in each one of us. When you see something new for the first time that nobody else has ever seen, that feeling of discovery is so compelling and addicting, like Lisa said, that any human being is going to just be captured by that.
But not if every moment of their life is occupied with worrying about survival. So the onus is on us to create a global economy and life that gives prosperity to all, you know? And education and opportunity. That's the big challenge today, because not only is it going to elevate everybody, it will also protect our planet and allow us to have this long term thinking. So it's circular.
LYNN ROTHSCHILD: I'll take a little different tack. I mean, how many people are going to wait more than five minutes for a stale peanut butter sandwich? On the other hand, if you have an opportunity to eat at a five star Michelin restaurant, you're going to wait a lot longer. And you know, we talk about this multigenerational cathedral building-- well, it was for a big reward, again. It was for the greater glory of God. And for us to engage in a multigenerational mission, we have to see this as something that's really worth it. And I think it is. But that's what it takes is putting that value on it that it's really worth the fact that you participate, even if you're not going to personally reap the rewards.
STEVE SQUYRES: OK. Next question.
AUDIENCE: Hi. I'm a science journalist helping, hopefully, spread the word about science. My question is the following. So you guys have been doing quite a decent good job at communicating the cosmic mediocrity of what we are. And yet to me, if anything, the billions and billions of planets out there reinforce the Fermi paradox, right? So how do you personally resolve this, that A, we're not that special snowflake that we used to think we were. And B, SETI has been telling us for 40 years that there are no new messages. How do you not get anxious about this, then?
LISA KALTENEGGER: I think I might take a first stab at this, and this is a very personal view. I would turn it into a question. You find a planet out there that is further evolved than you are, with a civilization that can travel to stars. You find another one out there that just got out of the caves. Which one would you like to, if you can, contact?
So the whole idea about why isn't anybody here shaking our hands and saying, hey. We haven't even made it to Mars on a manned ship. That's one of the next steps. So I'm really not at all anxious or worried. And I think the problem, like Natalie was touching on this-- sometimes it gets portrayed as this, oh my God, that means civilization really don't survive that long. I just think, personally, I would say there's a lot of distance between the stars. And for me to make it worth it to communicate or to get somewhere, they better be more interesting than the person I can talk to next door on my own planet.
NATALIE BATALHA: Are you going to talk about SETI? No, I was going to push Jonathan to answer the question about SETI. We have the seeming perception that SETI has done a complete survey, but I don't think that that's true.
JONATHAN LUNINE: Well, that wasn't what I was going to answer. But anyway, no. I think first of all two things about SETI. One is exactly what Natalie said. It's not a complete survey by any means, either in terms of frequency space or spatial space. And the other thing about SETI is we all recognize that it's not a scientific experiment in the sense of having a control, right? And so we do SETI with the knowledge that a positive result will be earth shattering. But a negative result is going to be very difficult to interpret.
And in fact, the first reaction I had to your question was that you were, with all due respect, putting the cart before the horse. That here we are having now discovered that planets are as common as stars in the galaxy. And we've also been able now to gain the capabilities to field instruments across almost every object in our solar system. So now's the time to begin to look for life, and to see if in fact we are just one of an endless number of examples of life springing up on planets elsewhere in the cosmos. We don't know that yet. We don't even know that in the solar system, as far as microbial life. So I think your question motivates an answer that is, let's go out and see. And we don't know yet.
STEVE SQUYRES: Anybody else?
LISA KALTENEGGER: Actually, maybe, a little tiny thing to add to that. Planets are so diverse out there. And what we are looking for, if you're looking for technology signals, we're looking for what we know we did. And that's a fraction, if you have this. We don't know how long-- let's say it's millions of years more, billions of years if you want. But that technology, we moved from radio to Bluetooth, right? Right now we are incredibly hard to pick up on radio because we know how to conserve our energy. So I actually don't worry at all that we haven't found anything in the SETI searches, because I think our-- we don't know what signals we could be using in the future.
And yeah, the other personal thing is like I don't think we're that interesting yet.
STEVE SQUYRES: OK. Next question.
AUDIENCE: Thank you. So I've heard a lot of great discussion about looking for life on other worlds, and there's also been a lot of discussion about our own life going to other planets as well. And of course, when we do that there's the risk that we could contaminate those other worlds, which may prevent us from finding life that was there or prevent us from studying it that is there. And so I'm just wondering if some of the panel members could comment on the current idea of planetary protection. And if you think the current level is appropriate, or if it's too stringent, or if it's too relaxed?
LYNN ROTHSCHILD: Thank you, Johnathan. The way you asked the question makes me think you do know that we have a planetary protection officer at NASA. All the planets, all the time is her motto. Cassie Conley. What a great job. And there are people, of course, representatives of other countries too that sign on to some of our treaties, and so on.
And so that being said, the moon is not considered a big problem because the assumption is with the UV flux that it would be self sterilizing, because any organic molecules can absorb UV. So I keep harping on organic carbon, that should kill any life. Mars gets to be a big issue for exactly the reason you said. I think that would be an enormous tragedy if we destroyed or contaminated the one closest chance we have of finding another life form. And so there certainly are lots of protocols in place. But not every country has signed on to that, and certainly not every individual has. And we've already sent, or-- can you imagine the engineer's face when you tell them you want to autoclave their entire spaceship? So we have sent things already. The trick is to know the difference. And asteroids, I've been told, send me a postcard, Lynn, when you contaminate one. So you know, there are lots of them. So there are different protocols on different places.
But that being said, I could quite easily kill nearly anything in my lab without too much trouble. So what we're doing is taking the extreme. Yes, we know that we have been able to push this one organism once at this level of radiation, but in practice it's going to be much more difficult, I think, to contaminate someplace like Mars than it is in theory.
JONATHAN LUNINE: So Enceladus Life Finder got a category 2 plus on that, so we're in good shape as far as that goes. Because we're not going to land on Enceladus or do anything like that. But it is a serious problem. And it leads, for example, to decisions such as, well, should we fly through the plume of Enceladus and return samples to the Earth where we can actually analyze them much better than we can with a remote sensing spacecraft? So you know, it's a tough thing to do.
But there are other-- there are reverse contamination issues there as well. And you know, we can't forget that the Genesis spacecraft landed in the Utah desert in a way that was not designed. It broke open and mixed with the soil. So I think for that reason, the Enceladus Life Finder is the right way to do that mission. I would also add that in the case of Titan, the hydrocarbon seas are so different chemically from aqueous solutions that we can go and sample those as we like and not really worry about either forward or back contamination.
LYNN ROTHSCHILD: Thank you, Jonathan. I agree with everything you said. That I'm not too concerned about back contamination, because you're dealing with having to have the same operating system. And those words were chosen very specifically. Even a computer virus on a PC will not necessarily infect a Mac. And our operating system, the evolved life we have on Earth, even if we're cousins to a life form on Mars or whatever, would be so distant that I think any contamination would be extremely unlikely.
That doesn't mean we shouldn't be concerned about it, but I'm not staying up at night worrying about an Andromeda strain.
STEVE SQUYRES: OK. Next question.
AUDIENCE: My question is, what is a good way to convey the scientific message to the public without coming across as threatening? Or ways that we can give it to them, hey, this is going to actually help you, not hinder your life?
LISA KALTENEGGER: But I think maybe, for what it's worth, I have not yet encountered any hostility when somebody was asking what do you do? I'm like, well, we are looking for planets like ours, but around another sun. And the reaction that I get-- and this is like on airplanes, in any place-- is like, wow. We really can do that?
And I think maybe, as Ann is doing in Cosmos, in the new series, as well, phrasing the question as something that inquires, or like that that sparks curiosity, will be one of the things that gets a foot in the door, if you want? And then if somebody thinks about these stars are not there anymore, or there are other planets out there, maybe that is the first way in. Like so if they can find this, and if they can predict where the moon is going to end up tomorrow, then probably the other thing that I really don't want in my life that I should actually take responsibility for something-- maybe this whole, be careful of the climate change-- maybe it's the same part of the package. But starting with this big question that interests everybody so far that I've met, is the first step to get people to actually pay attention.
STEVE SQUYRES: OK. We're getting close to the end, so I'm going to wrap things up here by asking my own question. And I don't expect all of you to answer this, but I want to encourage at least a few of you to take a swing at it. So this picture of Carl that we have behind us here, I'm guessing-- Ann, help me. This probably was taken about 35 years ago. I would guess. Yeah, 35 years ago. OK.
So we're going to do the following thought experiment, everybody. I'm going to give each of you an envelope, each of you a piece of paper, and each of you a pen. And then sitting here on the stage next to me is a safe. And I'm going to encourage you to each write something down, put it in the envelope. Seal it, put your name on it. Give me the envelope, we're going to put it in the safe. We're going to then let the clock go forward another 35 years, and I will give it each of you the opportunity, if you wish, to take out your envelope, read what you wrote, and say, see? I told you so.
OK? You get a chance to say that if you want. So who would like to say what they would write on their piece of paper?
JONATHAN LUNINE: If everyone did that, and give them no more than 10 seconds a piece.
STEVE SQUYRES: OK. 10 seconds each. Jonathan. And you could pass if you want.
JONATHAN LUNINE: There are three places in the solar system where life began independently.
STEVE SQUYRES: Wow. Bold.
LYNN ROTHSCHILD: We've made life.
STEVE SQUYRES: Wow. OK.
SPEAKER 2: I guess all four places started life independently.
NATALIE BATALHA: There are 10 pale blue dots within 50 light years.
STEVE SQUYRES: Is somebody getting all, this by the way?
Go ahead, Ann.
ANN DRUYAN: Prophesy is a lost art.
STEVE SQUYRES: Well done. See, I told you so. Go ahead.
DIDIER QUELOZ: Well, amongst the 15 nearby stars, there will be a star system like our own, for sure. A couple of them.
STEVE SQUYRES: OK.
SPEAKER 1: We started building a space probe to Alpha Centauri just before you read this.
LISA KALTENEGGER: I think mine would probably say, see? I told you there would be fascinating discoveries you couldn't even imagine when you wrote [INAUDIBLE].
STEVE SQUYRES: That's a safe one. OK. Go ahead.
DAVE: Damn, I made it to 110.
LISA KALTENEGGER: I think at this point in time, as you are the person who's still running Rover up on Mars, what is your answer?
STEVE SQUYRES: Is this ever going to end?
All right. Listen. We're going to wrap this up now. First of all, I'm sure everybody realizes this, but an event like today's does not happen without a lot of hard work by a lot of people. Mary Mulvanerton, Bez Thomas. And I'm sure there were a lot of people, a lot of names I don't know. But to the people who made this possible, thank you so much. This has really been wonderful.
And finally-- yeah. There we go. To our speakers-- to Lisa.
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Steve Squyres, the James A. Weeks Professor of Physical Sciences, moderates the closing panel at the inauguration of the Carl Sagan Institute, May 9, 2015. The inauguration event, "(un)Discovered Worlds," featured a day of public talks given by leading scientists and renowned astronomy pioneers.