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GSI Seminar: Emma Johanna Puranen, St Leonards' Interdisciplinary Doctoral Scholar, University of St Andrews

Through a Mirror, Earthly: Solaris, Gaia and the Search for Habitable Worlds

Event details

Stanishaw Lem's 1961 science fiction novel Solaris tells of a team of scientists struggling to understand and communicate with a planetwide consciousness that takes the form of a living ocean on an exoplanet. Writing during the Space Race, Lem taps into humanity's growing awareness of the Earth as a planet, and advocates for a Gaia-esque interdisciplinarity and interconnectedness to overcome some of the perils of Earth-centrism in science. The planetary view espoused by both Solaris and Gaia encourages an interdisciplinary understanding of Earth and all its systems, to include human ones. This vision is being played out in modern exoplanet science, with its frequent study of the Earth as an analog in preparation for more data on distant exoplanets, and its ongoing awareness of the sample size problem in the search for universal biology.

This seminar is organised jointly between Exeter's GSI and Astrophysics Group.

The talk will be recorded and available to watch on the GSI's Youtube page after the event.

Please register to attend here


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