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Afterword

  • T. Milligan
  • K. A. Capova
  • D. Dunér
  • E. Persson
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Astronomy book series (BRIEFSASTRON)

Abstract

The White Paper has tried to avoid an artificial separation of space exploration and broader societal matters. It has also proposed the establishing of a European Astrobiology Institute within which a concern for societal issues and hard science would be combined. This final section briefly explores the timeliness and sustainability of the proposal. Specifically, it draws attention to three important considerations. First, the ongoing and sustained expansion of our human activities in space, driven by a range of stakeholders. Second, the existence of a strong international research community of scholars now working on astrobiology. Finally, our knowledge of where and how best to look for traces of life is far greater than in the past. Of these three, it may be the first two considerations that matter most. With or without any of the dramatic discovery of actual traces of life elsewhere, astrobiology already plays a crucial role in the dialogue that shapes our understanding of life here, on Earth. A strong European voice on astrobiology promises to be an important contributor to that dialogue.

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Milligan
    • 1
  • K. A. Capova
    • 2
  • D. Dunér
    • 3
  • E. Persson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Theology and Religious StudiesKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Durham UniversityDurhamUK
  3. 3.Lunds UniversitetLundSweden

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