Saturday June 23rd, 2012
Richard Quinn - Is the surface of Mars really sterile, or could there be still-undiscovered traces of life littering this hostile landscape? Chemist Richard Quinn focuses on understanding the reactive processes that take place on the surface of the Red Planet, and how these might give a better idea of the potential for habitable environments. As the Viking landers found three decades ago, there is an abundance of complex, photochemically driven oxidative processes on Mars. These are comprised of atmosphere, dust, and soil interactions. Richard says that the key to understanding martian carbon chemistry is to unravel the dominant reaction mechanisms and kinetics of soil reactivity and organic compound decomposition.
Mary Roach - Mary Roach has written best-selling books about such things as dead bodies, sex labs, and life in space. Her work is distinctive and engaging. Her first book, Stiff, was an offshoot of a column she wrote for Salon.com. Her other books include Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, and Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Though she mostly focuses on writing books, she also writes the occasional magazine piece. These have run in Outside, National Geographic, New Scientist, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine, as well as many others. A 1995 article of hers called "How to Win at Germ Warfare" was a National Magazine Award Finalist. Buy Mary Roach's SETIcon II Interview on DVD
Scott Hubbard - G. Scott Hubbard has over 25 years of experience making significant contributions to research, development and management of space science missions, with more than 10 of those years directly related to Mars missions. He has extensive experience as a project manager and technologist, with an outstanding record of success in formulating new concepts and developing bold space exploration initiatives.