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Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery

1280 Main Street West

MDCL 1110

Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1

Canada

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LIFE IN SEVEN NUMBERS: THE DRAKE EQUATION REVEALED presented by Dr. Kaitlin Rasmussen

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Frank Drake’s famous equation tells us how many civilizations—that humans could talk to at this very moment—are out there in the Milky Way. But even today, the precise values of its seven variables are a mystery that remains largely unsolved. What makes a planet habitable? What makes a civilization technological? What are the tools that we need to find out? In this talk, I will take the audience on a tour through the cosmic elements which define the likelihood of meeting our galactic neighbors. From the rate at which stars are born to the rate at which civilizations die, I will discuss the seven variables of the Drake Equation in clear and accessible language. Finally, I will end with a vision of the coming era of science, and a call for the curious, young and old, to join the search for life.

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