BHLS21: What is Astrobiology?

The first of a series of informal talks for GCSE and A Level students to learn about exciting science career paths in astrobiology.

What is astrobiology?


The Linnean Society is collaborating with the Royal Astronomical Society to present Burlington House Lunchtime Scientist: Astrobiology 2021 (BHLS21), a series of informal, one-hour online events, with a 30-40 minute talk and a 20-30 minute Q&A. We have asked our speakers to share their field of science and the path they took to get there tailored for GCSE and A Level science students. Most importantly, we want to make sure that we give students ample time to ask their questions.

Professor Karen Olsson-Francis

Karen is a microbiologist by training, and her research focuses on life at the limits!

She is interested in microorganisms that live in extreme environments here on Earth as well as the International Space Station.

Her work with environments on Earth help our understanding of extraterrestrial locations. Karen is the Director of AstrobiologyOU, a research group of over 50 staff, as well as the UK representative on the COSPAR Planetary Protection Panel.

  • This event will take place on Zoom and live-streamed to YouTube.
  • This event is free and open to all, with a preference for GCSE, A Level students and teachers.
  • Registration for the Zoom call will close 2 hours before the event, but you can always watch on YouTube live or at a later date.
  • Links to this event will be sent 2 days and 2 hours prior to the start of the event.

All upcoming BHLS21 talks

BHLS21 will happen every Thursday starting 6th May, which you can join live at 12pm or re-watch at your leisure. We are aiming to offer as many as we can up to the end of the school year.

Title Date Speaker Link
What is Astrobiology? 12pm, 6th May Professor Karen Olsson-Francis Click here
Life in the Solar System 12pm, 13th May Professor Lewis Dartnell Click here
Space Microbiology 12pm, 20th May Dr Rosa Santomartino Click here
Planetary Protection 12pm, 27th May Silvio Sinibaldi Click here