Astrobiological Themes for Integrative Undergraduate General Science Education
Astrobiology, or exobiology, is defined by NASA as “the study of the origins, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe.” The subject has an aura of the mysterious and the unknown. It is, however, a valid field of scientific investigation. The absence of extraterrestrial life is a falsifiable hypothesis, and astrobiology is much more than looking for extraterrestrial life. Its practicing front represents the pinnacle of multidisciplinary research and engages experts from fields as diverse as microbiology and physical geology, and the study of astrobiology encompasses endeavors ranging from cosmological modeling to genetic analysis. The subject of astrobiology is broad and transcends research boundaries. As such, astrobiology is ideally suited as a platform for an integrative approach to undergraduate general sciences education, with non-science majors as the target audience.
Tang, B. L. 2005, Astronomy Education Review, 4(2), p.110–114