Aliens will be on the agenda when Great Barrier Island, population 939, brings the Pope’s astronomer and other top scientists to a quirky public event.
The one-day festival, called “Is There Life out There?”, follows a similar event last year that was organised by the island-based Awana Rural Women group and attracted around 12 per cent of Great Barrier’s residents.
But the coming summit, planned for mid-September, would be a stellar step up, with the speakers list including Brother Guy Consolmagno, director of the Vatican Observatory, top US planetary scientist Dr Faith Vilas, and Gino Acevedo, the Weta Digital creative art director behind such films as Avatar and King Kong.
Also on the bill is Auckland University of Technology microbiologist Professor Steve Pointing, who has worked with Nasa in researching extreme lifeforms that can survive in polar cold and desert heat.
The group’s president, Gendie Somerville-Ryan, chuckled when asked how these heavyweights had been pulled to such a remote spot.
“Well, it’s just never good luck is it?”
Aliens. Read more »