Did you wave at Cassini when it took this picture of Earth?
For the first time in history we, humankind, can take action to ensure our survival as species and protect our planet. At the same time, the advent of technology and, in recent times, accessibility to information, has increased the speed at which changes occur in our society and environment. Global emerging risks now shape the face of Earth in unprecedented ways.
The awareness we aspire toward can only be achieved through scientific education, essential to understand the key questions: ‘What is life?’, but most importantly ‘What is life worth to us?’
Looking back through time to understand how humans co-evolved with the Earth has made me believe that culture is only a set of instructions pertaining to certain geographical conditions. Culture, which has kept us alive for millennia, is now the reason for a fractured geopolitical environment. And rather than using it as a pretense for wars, I believe that we should understand it as a journey that has brought us so far. If we want to survive, the culture of the future must be based on trust, communication, and science, with a global perspective. We are in this boat together; there are no boundaries from space.
I want my species to survive and thrive. Instead of looking at ways to reduce the population of Earth or keep it under control, we need to look at ways to expand ourselves; space is one of these journeys. Astrobiology is to me a key discipline which can inspire and engage people to wish to find the answer to the questions above. I am a risk analyst, used to looking back through time at lessons learned but that inspired me to be a future teller. I am also a science communicator inspired by space and astronomy. Lately, I have been very inspired by life.
The more people we can engage in this future, where we know what we are worth, the better chances of success it will have.
We would all love to see Astrobiology taking shape in the near future here in India. This is a win-win scenario where both astrobiology as a discipline and India as a community can only benefit.