New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

NASA Astrobiology Institute Director to Lecture, Asking Would Leonardo Make a Good Astrobiologist?

July 25, 2018


(Albuquerque, New Mexico) – Asking, “Would Leonardo make a good Astrobiologist?”, eminent scientist and nationally recognized director of NASA’s National Astrobiology Institute, Penelope J. Boston, Ph.D. is the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science next guest lecturer in the Da Vinci –the Genius series. The popular world class exhibition Da Vinci—The Genius has been extended through August 29. Dr. Boston will speak Friday, August 24, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Museum Dynatheater.

Leonardo da Vinci was a polymath across the arts, sciences, and engineering.  If he lived today, how would he relate to the highly interdisciplinary field of Astrobiology?  Would he be one of our greatest astrobiologists ever?  How can today’s astrobiologists and interested citizens be "Leonardo-like" as we contemplate the question of whether there are other lifeforms in our own Solar System and beyond on the myriad of exoplanets around our neighboring stars?

Dr. Boston explores art along with the interdisciplinary aspects of astrobiology. She studies extremophiles (extreme microbial lifeforms) on Earth and the possibilities of similar life on other planets. Prior to her appointment with NASA she was founder and director of the Cave and Karst Studies Program, and faculty member at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro. She has been featured in many science documentaries shown on PBS, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. She has a B.S. in microbiology, geology, and psychology, and an M.S. in microbiology and atmospheric chemistry. Boston earned her Ph.D. from University of Colorado Boulder.

This lecture is sponsored by the New Mexico Academy of Science in partnership with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science. This is a free event.  Seating is limited, and this talk is expected to be very popular, so preregistration is encouraged.  If any seats are still available on the evening of the event, they may be claimed at the door until the capacity of the theater is reached. Go to


About the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science: Established in 1986, the mission of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science is to preserve and interpret the distinctive natural and scientific heritage of our state through extraordinary collections, research, exhibits, and programs designed to ignite a passion for lifelong learning. The NMMNHS offers exhibitions, programs and workshops in Geoscience, including Paleontology and Mineralogy, Bioscience and Space Science. It is the Southwest’s largest repository for fossils and includes a Planetarium and a large format 3D DynaTheater. A division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, the Museum is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. 1801 Mountain Road NW, northeast of Historic Old Town Plaza, Albuquerque, NM 87104, (505) 841-2800.  Events, news releases and images about activities at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science and other divisions of the Department of Cultural Affairs can be accessed at

Related Photos

30-NMMNHS - Penelope Boston, Ph.D.
30-NMMNHS - Penelope Boston, Ph.D.
30-NMMNHS-Penelope Boston

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