PULLMAN, Wash. – Is there life on Mars, Europa, Titan and even Venus? Dirk Schulze-Makuch, professor in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Washington State University, will discuss extraterrestrial life in our solar system and beyond as guest speaker at the Common Reading Tuesdays lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18, in Smith CUE 203.
 
“Based on our knowledge of extremophilic life on Earth, we can only imagine how diverse life could be elsewhere, possibly using hydrocarbons as a universal solvent rather than water and utilizing different energy sources and building blocks,” said Schulze-Makuch.
 
He will discuss the possibility of life on exoplanets (those outside our solar system) and the implications of the Fermi Paradox on the existence of intelligent life beyond our solar system.
 
Schulze-Makuch’s research interests focus on the interaction of microbes with their natural geological environment in an aqueous medium, in particular the presence of liquid-rich environments on other planets and moons, and how these environments can serve as a potential habitat for microbial life.
 
Common Reading Tuesdays features presentations by faculty and other experts to students using a common reading book in one or more first-year classes.  The Common Reading Program is in its fifth year at WSU Pullman.
 
The book selected for use by freshmen in 2011-12 is “Physics for Future Presidents,” by UC-Berkeley Professor Richard A. Muller.  Muller visited campus in September to present the annual invited lecture by the common reading book author.
 
Source:
Karen Weathermon, Common Reading Program, University College, 509-335-5488, weathermon@wsu.edu
Media contact:
Beverly Makhani, University College, 509-335-6679, Makhani@wsu.edu