This is a conversation with Professor David Rothery.
David is a professor of planetary geosciences at the Open University where he chairs a level 2 module Planetary Science and the Search for Life. He serves on the Open University’s Senate.
David worked on the Beagle2 project and in 2006 he was appointed U.K. lead scientist for the MIXS (Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer) on the joint European Space Agency/JAXA mission to Mercury named BepiColombo. He has been a guest several times on The Sky at Night, and has authored numerous science books.
In this episode I asked David to give his views and vision on where we might find basic or complex extra-terrestrial life in the galaxy. If we found it, how would we know if it was a second genesis or formed from the same starting point as life on earth. We talked about potential life on icy moons, mars, venus and exoplanets. This conversation covered almost every part of the search for life in space and it was quite stunning to share this time with Professor Rothery, whom I consider to be a learned and informed voice on this subject matter.