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In May - June 2016, the CEH and IATL invited submissions to "Concepts of Habitability", a competition exploring concepts of habitability both on our and other worlds.

The competition was open to all students, both postgraduate and undergraduate. Submissions could be in any medium, including photographs, posters (technical or otherwise), short fiction and artistic work, but had to fit within an A1 display area. Digital submissions were also allowed. Some ideas and inspirational suggestions are given below.

Entries were judged by a panel of representatives from across the University, including the departments of Physics, Philosophy, Film Studies, Life Sciences, Chemistry and IATL. The panel also included one undergraduate, and one postgraduate student.

The winning entry was awarded prize money (in Amazon vouchers) of £100, with extra prizes awarded in additional subcategories.

Please contact d.j.armstrong (at) with any queries about the contest.

Starting points
  • What might other habitable worlds be? What makes them habitable?
  • Is there any distinction or value in the distinction between life and habitability?
  • Does the word habitable have a strong connection to the Earth and humanity?
  • Is our own world habitable? How long might it remain so?
  • Do we have a responsibility towards the Earth's habitability?
  • Should we preserve the conditions on other planets than our own?
  • What does habitable mean to different people in different contexts? What does it mean to you?


Most Earth-like planet uninhabitable due to radiation, new research suggests

Symphony of Science

Habitable Moon and gas giant gouache painting by Dmytro Ivashchenko

Astrobiology Award - NExSS Poster. By NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.