Professor Fred Watson
‘Welcome to Mars – our Planet B?’
February 15th 2020
Mars is the most Earth-like world of the Solar System, characterised by uncanny similarities to our own planet, as well as stark differences – most of which can be understood by its smaller size. There is much talk today about the possible role of Mars as a lifeboat for our own planet. Aspirations among some of the world’s most innovative space entrepreneurs vie in the public imagination with now-discredited plans for wholesale one-way colonisation, with so-called terra-forming of Mars at the far end of the unreality spectrum. This talk argues that while human exploration of the planet is highly desirable, wholesale colonisation is not only unnecessary and impractical, but also unethical.