Simons Foundation Lectures are free public colloquia related to basic science and mathematics. These high-level talks are intended for professors, students, postdocs and business professionals, but interested people from the metropolitan area are welcome as well.
In this lecture, Dimitar Sasselov will review recent discoveries of exoplanets — planets outside of our solar system — and new estimates of how common potentially habitable worlds appear to be. He will describe new, comprehensive efforts to hone the search for signatures of life on exoplanets. Central to the success of that search is a deeper understanding of the nature of life and its origins. Sasselov will review recent progress from laboratory studies that connects astronomical exploration and the question of life’s origins.