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2016-10-26 : MUMBAI hosts astrobiology conference on life in space

India’s first Astrobiology Conference Life in Space – was organised in the city of MUMBAI by the Indian Astrobiology Research Centre and IARC Centre for United Nations in collaboration with Nehru Science Centre.

The conference was a huge success attended by Astrobiology students from across India. 

Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe from Churchill College, Cambridge University, UK delivered the first Arthur C Clarke memorial lecture, based on his four decades long quest for extraterrestrial life.

In particular his lecture reviewed his lifelong efforts to test the Panspermia Theory. In 2016 this remains the most likely hypothesis for the spreading of life across the galaxy.

As humans review the wonderful data from the recent ESA visit to Comet 67P, and as we prepare to visit Mars and moons of Jupiter and Saturn, evidence converges to Panspermia as still the most likely explanation on the spread of viruses, bacteria, algae etc across the Milky Way.

Sir Arthur C. Clarke entertains Chandra at his home in Sri Lanka.
Sir Arthur C. Clarke entertains Chandra at his home in Sri Lanka.

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Sir Arthur C. Clarke bronze at the historic Galle Face Hotel in Colombo where CW stayed en route to Mumbai. ACC wrote most of the novel 2001 A Space Odyssey whilst he stayed at this same hotel!

The theory of panspermia hypothesizes that life did not originate on Earth but was delivered to Earth from some other part of the galaxy or even from another part of the universe.

On this occasion, a new fund called, “Chandra Wickramasinghe Fund for Panspermia Research” was announced. This fund will encourage astrobiology research amongst students in India.

 

Jan 24, 2014 : His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse, President of the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka

24th January 2014

Chandra Wickramasinghe had an audience with His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse, President of the Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka. He appraised the President of the latest findings regarding the Aralaganwila meteorite and urged His Excellency to declare the location of the 29th December 2012 meteorite fall as a site of national heritage. In the fullness of time the events of this day that took place in Sri Lanka could be regarded as having established beyond doubt that life is a truly cosmic phenomenon. President Rajapakse gave assent to this proposal and immediately set in train the protocol that would ensure its implementation.