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FutureLearn

The Future of Life

via FutureLearn

Overview

Will humans become multi-planet species one day?

On this three-week course, Dr Louisa Preston reflects on everything you’ve learned throughout this ExpertTrack to answer the question, what does all this mean for human life in the future?

Take a trip back through cosmic evolution

The Big Bang. The origin of life. The development of intelligence. These are all key points of our evolution in a cosmic context and understanding these moments can help us to unlock the secrets of the universe.

You’ll start this course by examining where we came from evolutionarily and how this knowledge helps us to understand our place in the universe; how our past and present can help us to contemplate our future.

Go beyond Earth to build a space colony among the stars

As we make huge technological advances, it’s only natural that humankind would start to look outside our atmosphere towards the prospect of colonising other planets and moons.

This course will take you through some of the reasons and justifications for our move to other planets, considering both a partial migration and an entire switching of planets. You’ll then look at the practical considerations and steps required to move humankind to the moon, before taking the leap to create a strategy for colonising Mars.

Explore climate change and why space exploration is vital to civilisation’s survival

Human civilisation currently faces many threats such as climate change, disease, overpopulation, and even asteroids.

You’ll finish this course by looking at the challenges that humankind needs to overcome and the mistakes that have caused some of these threats.

Then you’ll have everything you need to consider what the future of life looks like? And is the colonisation of other worlds essential to the continued survival of humans?

This course is designed for anyone interested in the fundamentals of astrobiology, particularly the future of life on Earth and beyond.

It will be especially useful to university applicants looking to identify areas that they’d like to specialise in and STEM teachers looking to bring science to life for their students.

Taught by

Louisa Preston

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