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Life on Mars? A Short History of 19th-Century Exploration of the Red Planet

Fri 1 October, 2021
8:30 pm
- 10:00 pm BST

Hybrid Hybrid Event
Hybrid Hybrid Event
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You can watch this event live at Queen Square or online – please select the relevant tickets when booking.

Humans have long been intrigued by the possibility that Mars might harbour life. Planetary scientists nowadays continue to hunt for evidence of it, and space technologists even advocate settling ourselves there permanently. These are bold projects, and this talk looks back before it looks forward, to consider how humans studied and thought about Mars before the Space Age.

Investigating 19th century arguments over whether the red planet was teeming with intelligent life, and exploring fantastical stories about what that life might do to us, reveals important lessons for how we understand the next century of Martian exploration.

Dr Joshua Nall, Curator of Modern Sciences at the University of Cambridge’s Whipple Museum of the History of Science

Image (c) Whipple Museum, University of Cambridge (Wh. 6211)