Mark Brake Lectures at Cambridge University

The University’s irrepressible Professor Mark Brake, described recently by the Western Mail as one of Wales’ foremost scientists, spoke at Cambridge University this week on the subject of Are We Alone in the Universe? Sharing a platform with professors “Monica Grady”http://www.open.ac.uk/science/people/people-profile.php?staff_id=Monica%26%26Grady and Jack Cohen, and doctors Lewis Dartnell and Carolin Crawford

In a fascinating debate on the topic at The Triple Helix group, Prof addressed an audience of over 100 on the cultural and scientific aspects of the extraterrestrial life debate. Starting by informing listeners of the importance of the ship as a weapon of discovery for science, Prof went on to lucidly outline the role of the telescope and literature as great and lasting influences on the ET debate. Professing that the best position on the existence of ET is a sceptical one, the Prof suggested that the aliens are already among us, made flesh by our own creativity. And such has been the power of film and fiction in the C20th, we are rather loathe to doubt them. And fiction’s exploration of evolution in space has led to the investment of billions of dollars in the serious search for ET.

Prof’s appearance in Cambridge is the latest in a year of scoops for the University’s science communication team. In July, Dr Toby Murcott, scooped the front page of Nature, with a paper on science journalism. And throughout the year the Prof, Reverend Neil Hook, and science rapper Jon Chase, another member of the team, have headlined at public engagement events, including appearances at the Science Museum, and the Royal Institution.

Prof’s next book, Revolution in Science: How Galileo and Darwin Changed Our World is to be published by Palgrave in the United States.) He is working on a book, Alien Life Imagined: Communicating the Science and Culture of Astrobiology , for Cambridge University Press.



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