University Park, Pa. — “Is there anybody out there?” High school teachers
interested in the search for life in the universe may now order a free
16-page guide to the science of astrobiology available from Penn State.

The guide, “Astrobiology: The Search for Life in the Universe,” is based
on last year’s Frontiers of Science lecture series organized by Penn
State’s Eberly College of Science and sponsored by the pharmaceutical
company Pfizer, Inc.

The articles in the guide cover the six lectures that took place from
Jan. 22 to Feb. 26, 2000, on the Penn State University Park campus.
Researchers from several universities explained the mystery of the
snowball Earth, the chemistry of the Earth’s primordial soup, how
phylogenetic trees and DNA clocks work, and the possibility of life on

Originally, the guide appeared as a special report in the January 2001
issue of Research/Penn State magazine. It was written by David Pacchioli,
associate editor of Research/Penn State, with help from undergraduate
science writing interns. Pfizer, Inc. and the NASA Astrobiology Institute
both contributed money to reprint an additional 20,000 copies of the

“It’s a perfect example of how partnerships can produce wonderful
products,” says Lisa Brown, acting director of the Pennsylvania Space
Grant Consortium (PSGC) and education and public outreach coordinator for
the Penn State Astrobiology Research Center (PSARC). PSGC organized the
reprint of the guide and is now working to distribute it to educators.
“These articles are a great way to introduce high school students and
teachers to the broad, interdisciplinary field of astrobiology,” Brown

Print copies are available to high school teachers who are interested in
bringing the world of astrobiology into their classroom. Please contact
Lisa Brown, or 814-863-7687, for more information. The
guide is also available on the Research/Penn State website:

[or as a PDF file (3.06MB) at]