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Aliens? Why not, says Canadian student presenter

Astrophysics student tours Danish high schools with talk of life on other planets

Reality may be more far out than the most spacey science fiction.

This is if you follow Mitch Campbell, a student at the Niels Bohr Institute, whose interest is astrobiology, the study of the origin and future of life in the universe. He has been making the rounds of Danish high schools (gymnasiums, ed.) with a popular presentation of the evidence for, and against, life on other planets.

See the invitation to his new presentation here.

»The consensus in our field is, that there is no absolute proof or evidence of life out there – but that there are definitely environments where there could be life. For example if there is liquid water,« Mitch Campbell says.

Like nothing we have seen

Researchers hypothesize that there may be liquid water on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons.

Mitch Campbell quotes science writer Carl Sagan: »If there is nothing up there – it would be an awful waste of space.«

While there is no proof that life exists outside our planet, if it does, it will most likely look like nothing we have seen before, Mitch Campbell says.

Stuck on a freezing glacier

Before coming to the Niels Bohr Institute, Mitch Campbell had taught at high school in Canada and – following his Danish wife to Denmark – at the Copenhagen International School.

Mitch has recently found the time to start his own tutoring company, and attempted a climb of the notoriously difficult Mount McKinley in Alaska.

»I was on a freezing glacier for three weeks in – 45 degree temperatures! My wife and friends thought I was crazy, but I had been dreaming of this for years,« he says.

Latest theories

Since then, his supervisor at the Niels Bohr Institute Anja Andersen, and the rest of his department, have been delighted to have him promoting the subject to potential new students at Danish high schools.

Mitch is now offering his presentation at the Niels Bohr Institute to all interested University of Copenhagen students.

»No prior knowledge of science is needed. I’ll be explaining the latest theories and developments in the search for extraterrestrial life,« he says.

miy@adm.ku.dk

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