The ACA concentrates on planetary science, the origin and early evolution of life, and modern analogues for ancient life, as well as taking a role in understanding how to integrate these areas of science with science communication in the wider student and public community.
From the outset, the ACA has recognised the importance of integrating education and outreach into its research, and Carol Oliver has recently completed a major study of scientific literacy, using the field of astrobiology as an example. The results are consistent with those from the US and Europe, and indicate that there are systemic problems in the way science is taught in schools. We continue to address this issue.
Members of the ACA are world-class researchers deeply interested in understanding life’s origins from a chemical perspective. UNSW is home to some of the best facilities in the world for studying the behaviour of complex chemical systems thought to have been on early Earth.