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‘Aliens on Tap’: Professors to explore possibility of life somewhere out there

Meagan Mann and Allyn Smith

(Posted on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022)

When Austin Peay State University’s Science on Tap returns to Strawberry Alley Ale Works on Oct. 4, two professors will examine the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe.

In addition to that centuries-old question, Dr. Meagan Mann, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, and Dr. Allyn Smith, a professor in the Department of Physics, Engineering and Astronomy, will address some of the common misconceptions about astrobiology, what we know about water, carbon-based molecules and other precursors to life, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life on our own planet.

“From crop circles to the great pyramids, from UFO sightings to alien abductions, stories of aliens making contact are pervasive in our culture,” Mann and Smith said in a description of the presentation. “We have many depictions of aliens in the media and they are almost always humanoid, many times they are hostile, and they are generally carbon-based life.”

During the presentation, they’ll discuss the size and scope of the universe, the biological and chemical needs to establish life, how aliens are depicted in the media and alien-like creatures already on Earth. They’ll also talk about the scientific questions raised by the Fermi paradox and the Drake equation.

The presentation – titled “Aliens on Tap” – will start at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at Upstairs at Strawberry Alley.

Science on Tap meets at 5:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month during the academic year, bringing together two great things: science and local brews.

Science on Tap is hosted by Austin Peay’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

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