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Last Updated on Thursday, 06 May 2010 19:47
Published on Thursday, 24 February 2005 00:00

The search for intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe is one of the most exciting areas of investigation for modern science.  
As part of European Science and Technology Week, the Royal Astronomical Society, supported by the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, will be presenting an evening devoted to ‘Life In The Universe’ at the National Space Centre, Exploration Drive, Leicester, LE4 5NS.

The event, which is open to the general public, has been timed to coincide  with an award evening at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, where the overall  winners of the European ‘Life In The Universe’ competition will be announced.

Cost of admission for the public (inc light refreshments) is £6 (no concessions).  Telephone bookings should be made on: 0116 258 2111.

Members of the media are welcome to attend free of charge, although prior  notice of attendance to Peter Bond or Alan Pickwick would be welcome.

The RAS evening will feature two lectures by leading UK scientists, followed  by a wide-ranging debate on the fascinating subject of life beyond Earth, when  there will be an opportunity for questions from the audience.


16:00 Dr Serena Viti, University College London - The Search for Planets  Beyond our Solar System.

16:30 Planetarium Show - 'BIG'

17:00 Dr Helen Walker, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory - Conditions for  Life and Extremophiles (organisms that can survive in extreme temperatures,  acidity etc.)

18:00 Debate on Life in the Universe, led by Dr. Monica Grady, Curator of  Meteorites at the Natural History Museum and Dr. Barrie Jones of the Open University

19:00 Light Refreshments and a chance to continue the debate informally.  View the Space Centre Galleries


This competition was organised by the European Organisation for Nuclear  Research (CERN), the European Space Agency and the European Southern  Observatory, in collaboration with the European Association for Astronomy  Education.

Students aged 14 to 19 years from 22 European countries entered projects  representing their ideas of Life in the Universe. These projects could be  scientific or artistic, e.g. a talk, web pages, a newspaper, a theatre play,  film or sculpture.

The winning teams from each country have been invited to a conference at  CERN in Geneva (7-10 November), culminating in a special award evening  on 10 November. At this event they will present their ideas to the world's  experts and the overall winners will be announced. The award evening in  CERN will be web-cast live around the world on

The overall European winners will be awarded the ‘Super Contest Prizes’:

* An invitation to attend an Ariane rocket launch at the ESA Kourou Spaceport (French Guyana, South America).  * A visit to the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Cerro Paranal (Chile, SouthAmerica).

The UK winners of the 2001 ‘Life in the Universe’ Competition, who will be  going to CERN for the final event are:

St Cuthbert's High School, Gretna Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE15 7PX  Essay (1 Pupil, 1 Teacher)

Ysgol Y Gwendraeth, Drefach, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, SA14 7AB  Web Site (3 Pupils, 1 Teacher)

Oundle School, Oundle, PE8 4AT  Essay (2 Pupils, 1 Teacher)

The entries from the winners and runners up may be seen on the Web page in the Competition Section.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Alan Pickwick,  UK National Steering Committee Organiser,  19 Edale Grove,  Sale,  Cheshire M33 4RG  Tel: +44 (0)161 973 6796 


European ‘Life in The Universe’ project site:

UK ‘Life In The Universe’ project site:

National Space Centre:


Issued by:
Peter Bond, RAS Press Officer (Space Science).
10 Harrier Close, Cranleigh,
Surrey, GU6 7BS, United Kingdom.
Phone: +44 (0)1483-268672 Fax: +44 (0)1483-274047
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