BHLS21: Planetary Protection

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

Registration: Register on
Planetary protection


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.

Silvio Sinibaldi

Silvio Sinibaldi is a planetary protection expert at Airbus Defence and Space in Stevenage. He is currently working as the Planetary Protection, Cleanliness & Contamination Officer on the ExoMars Rover Project, which is the international program led by the European Space Agency and Russian Roscosmos which aims to find sign of past or extant life on the red planet. He is also leading the planetary protection activities for the Sample Fetch Rover, part of the Mars Sample Return missions led by ESA & NASA.

Silvio has a Material Science degree from the University of Perugia in Italy and Masters in Nanotechnology from University of Alicante in Spain, followed by a period working as a researcher of nanomaterials.

Silvio is now a part-time PhD student at the Open University and the title of his study is “planetary protection: a new era”.

  • 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