Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? Are we alone?

These questions have always fascinated humanity and for more than 50
years, physicists, biologists, chemists, cosmologists, astronomers and
other scientists have worked tirelessly to answer these fundamental

And now this November via webcast, all the world will have the opportunity
to see and hear the latest news on extraterrestrial life from the most
prestigious research centers and how for the past three months, European
students have had the chance to jump into the scientists’ shoes and
explore these questions for themselves.

The event is being sponsored by the European Organisation for Nuclear
Research (CERN), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern
Observatory (ESO), in cooperation with the European Molecular Biology
Laboratory (EMBL) and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF)
and the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE). “Life in the
Universe” is being mounted in collaboration with the Research
Directorate-General of the European Commission for the European Week of
Science and Technology in November 2001.

“Life in the Universe” competitions are already underway in 23 European
countries to find the best projects from school students between 14 and 18.
Two winning teams from each country will be invited to a final event at
CERN in Geneva on 8-11 November 2001 to present their projects and discuss
them with a panel of International Experts at a special three-day event.
They will also compete for the “Super Prize” — a free visit to ESA’s and
ESO’s research and technology facilities at Kourou and Paranal in South

Students participating in the programme are encouraged to present their
views on extraterrestrial life creatively. The only requirement is that the
views be based upon scientific evidence. Many projects are being submitted
just now — among them are scientific essays, pieces of art, theatrical
performance and CD-Roms. The best of these will be presented worldwide
during the

“Life in the Universe” webcast

live from CERN on November 10th at 7 pm CET (18 UT).

The webcast — during which the “Super Prizes” for the two best works will
be announced — will also feature interviews, video clips and animations on
the latest scientific findings on the subject of extraterrestrial life.

The webcast is truly an around-the-world event that will actively engage
even geographically distant audiences. During the webcast, anyone on the
planet can send questions via e-mail to the real experts with live
connections in European laboratories who will answer live during the
broadcast. Tuning in is easy too. All people have to do is enter

into their browser and they will get full instructions on how to connect up.

The home base of “Life in the Universe” —
is a vibrant web space where details of the programme can be found. It has
a wealth of information and links to the national websites, where all
entries will be posted.

Is there other life in the Universe? We do not know — but the search is on
and you’ll know much more about it by just following the webcast!

“Life in the Universe” webpage at ESO

More information and related links may also be found on the dedicated “Life
in the Universe
“-webpage at the ESO Outreach website.