Essay Contest Winners

This year’s topic asked essay writers to address the question: “How can human civilization develop a successful strategy for the sustained exploration of the inner solar system for the next 200 years?“. We are pleased to announce this year’s winning essay authors: Winner – Wojciech Gładysz (University of Warsaw) 1st Honorable Mention – Shayna Hume (University of Miami) 2nd Honorable Mention – Hanna Sandhu (Penn State University) Congratulations to our essay contest winner and honorable mentions, and thanks to all […]

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Podcast: Genomes, the Fossil Record and More

Our “BlueSciCon” podcast for September features a conversation with Dr. Betul Kacar titled “Genomes, the fossil record and more: Accessing the artifacts of Earth’s earliest evolutionary history“. Living organisms today can help us understand the fossil record, as the genetic sequences of life today provides a direct link to the past. Experimental evolutionary biologists like Dr. Kacar are able to study microorganisms through hundreds and thousands of generations to understand how evolutionary selection pressures are directly expressed in these populations. […]

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BlueSciCon Episode 43: Stars without wars – Institutionalization of space research and its role in the international security environment

Guest: Haritina Mogosanu
Questions to consider:
What factors allow an institution like NASA to enable both space research and international security?
What is meant by the institutionalization of space research?
What historical factors from the space race are still lingering today?
How should nations balance the sharing of space resources with security concerns?

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BlueSciCon Episode 42: Temperature oscillations near natural nuclear reactor cores and the potential for prebiotic oligomer synthesis

Dr. Zach Adam Listen: [mp3 download] Questions to consider: What are natural nuclear reactors? What planetary conditions allow natural nuclear reactors to occur? What is so special about natural nuclear reactors with respect to the origins of life? There are already lots of theories about geological/atmospheric settings for origins of life, why do we need another one and how is it different? How is the energy of a reactor different from the energy of, say, lightning bolts or UV radiation? […]

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BlueSciCon Episode 41: Genomes, the fossil record and more: Accessing the artifacts of Earth’s earliest evolutionary history

Dr. Betul Kacar Listen: [mp3 download] Questions to consider: What is experimental evolution? How do living microorganisms help us to better understand the fossil record? What is involved in “reconstructing” a genome? How do we understand the connection between protein functions and organism behavior? [ca_audio url=”″ width=”500″ height=”27″ css_class=”codeart-google-mp3-player”]

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Podcast: Astrobiology with Cosmic Rays

Our “BlueSciCon” podcast for July features a conversation with Dr. Dimitra Atri titled “Astrobiology with Cosmic Rays“. The sun provides the primary energy source for life on Earth, and biologists have also speculated that geothermal heat near oceanic vents may have also provided energy for early forms of life. But could life survive on other forms of energy? Galactic cosmic rays are charged particles with origins from outside our solar system, and Dr. Atri suggests that these cosmic rays could […]

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