Microbiologists’ Perceptions of Planetary Protection
15 Pages Posted: 26 May 2012
Date Written: February 4, 2001
As society enters the 21st century, NASA and its international partners are planning to conduct numerous new and exciting missions within the solar system. Many of these missions are motivated by scientific questions in Astrobiology that focus on the origin and evolution of life in the universe. These explorations will involve the search for evidence of life beyond Earth and the return of geological and atmospheric samples to Earth for analysis. In a society that places ever-increasing importance on the role of public involvement in science and technology policy, questions about the possible risks of biological contamination from sample return missions will be examined and debated in the media. These perceptions will, over time, form an important input to the development of risk management policies and strategies concerning sample return missions. Studies on risk perception that we conduct today form a baseline of information against which we can observe changes in public risk attitudes.
Keywords: planetary protection, perception of risk
JEL Classification: D81
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation