The #BigQuestions

To mark the launch of Mosaic we’re on a quest to identify the most important question science has yet to answer about life.

We’ve been asking leading figures from around the world to participate by sending in their questions. We received more than 75 questions (check them all out below) relating to everything from aliens to the brain, intelligence and consciousness to ageing and curing disease to sustainability and climate change.

All these questions have been themed together to form a definitive top 25 #BigQuestions on our Facebook page that we hope will spark a national conversation to determine THE one everyone believes most needs solving. We want to get as many people as possible voting through likes, comments and shares and the top question will become the theme for a live discussion, broadcast on our Youtube and Google+ pages in early April.

Help us start the conversation by following the link where you can vote for as many of the questions as you’d like: If you’d like to spread the word, please share the Facebook album once you’ve voted or Tweet about it by using the text below:

What are life’s #BigQuestions science needs to answer? Vote here to help @mosaicscience find out: 

The questions

John Lloyd - Writer, creative director
Why has human nature failed to evolve?

Deborah Bull – Writer, creative director
If children are our future, as the song goes, what kind of upbringing do children need in order to ensure that that future is sustainable?

Charles Jenks – Landscape architect
Does life exist on other planets, and if it does what are the implications for philosophy and the universe

Alice Roberts – Presenter and author
Can we look forward to sustainably supporting a stable human population on this planet, and how can we protect biodiversity at the same time?

Ben Goldacre - Researcher and author
How can we put evidence into practice perfectly, in medicine: harnessing all the data we have on our patients, and meshing it with all the research data, for the best care?

Ben Miller - Comedian
Is biology as universal as chemistry and physics?

Helen Czerski – Physicist, oceanographer, broadcaster
Bats can live for 42 years, way beyond the expected lifespan for something their size.  How do they manage it?

Jim Al-Khaleeli – Theoretical physicist, author and broadcaster
To what extent does life down at the molecular level make use of the weirder aspects and trickery of quantum mechanics?

Liz Bonnin - Broadcaster
Why haven't we discovered a cure for cancer yet?

Mark Miodownik – Engineer, broadcaster, writer
How are bodies able to repair themselves?

Russell G Foster – Professor at University of Oxford
Where does consciousness reside within the brain?

Mark Lythgoe – Director, Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging at UCL
Can we expand our imagination and cognition?

Vivienne Parry – Science journalist, author, broadcaster
How can we quickly and cheaply diagnose what type of dementia people have so we can treat them appropriately?

Claudia Hammond – Broadcaster, writer, lecturer
Is ageing inevitable?

Paul Broks – Neuropsychologist, writer
What is consciousness?

Pete Etchells – Lecturer in Biological Psychology at Bath Spa, blogger
Will we ever be able to truly understand the mind of another person?

Alan Rusbridger – Editor-in-chief, The Guardian
Why have humans evolved music?

Arianna Huffington – Author, columnist, president at Huffington Post Media Group
Does the universe have purpose and meaning?

Brooke Magnanti - Research scientist, blogger, writer
How do chemical exposures affect cancer risk?

Gabriel Weston - Surgeon and author
Definitively, what are the innate biological differences, intellectual and emotional, between men and women?

Hans Rosling - Doctor, public health expert
What question has not yet been formulated by anyone?

Kevin Fong – Doctor, broadcaster, author
What are the limits of human life and physiology?

Marek Kohn – Author and journalist
In the universal tendency for humans to sort themselves into in-groups and out-groups, 'us' and 'them': Does sympathy for "us" inevitably mean antipathy towards "them"?

Naomi Alderman - Novelist
Is there life on other planets?

Oliver Burkeman – Journalist, author
How does the physical stuff of the brain give rise to the experience of first-person conscious awareness?

Sean Carroll - Molecular biologist and author
Is there life elsewhere in the Universe?

Simon Armitage - Poet
Which will come first: contact with life on other planets, or human extinction?

Steven Pinker – Cognitive scientist and author
How does the genome allow a brain to develop that has inborn talents and tendencies – if we have an inborn fear of say, snakes, how does that get wired up in a brain?

Tim Harford – Economist and author
Will we ever be able to predict the future of economic, political and other social systems?

Alexei Sayle – Comedian, author, actor
Is there a cheap and easy way to bring down or neutralise a drone, possibly by affecting the uplink?

Anthony Horowitz - Author
To what extent does the planet have a consciousness?

Antony Beevor – Historian, author
Can science deliver a better means of distributing electricity than through overhead power lines?

Isabel Allende - Writer
Can science prove the existence of the soul?

Jane Goodall – Primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist
What happens when you die?

Srinath Perur - Author
How is the sense of self-constructed? What constitutes the idea of me and mine.

Aleks Krotoski – Broadcaster, journalist
What makes us "human", and will we ever find out?

Alice Bell – Blogger
How can life science better understand itself; how to deal with bias and problems of administration?

Alom Shaha – Teacher and author
How do we learn?

Ananyo Bhattacharya – Science journalist
Is there life in our Solar System?

Angela Saini – Science journalist
What is intelligence?

Aarathi Prasad – Biologist, writer, broadcaster
Can science find a way of circumventing the physiological processes that gave us a survival edge but are now killing us?

Connie St Louis – Broadcaster, journalist, Director of Science Journalism MA at City University.
Why do we die?

Daniel Glaser – Neuroscientist, Director of Science Gallery at King's College London
Can we combine neuroscience and the humanities to generate an integrated account of mental life?

David Bradley – Science and tech journalist
Will we ever reconcile the nature versus nurture debate?

Dean Burnett – Neuroscientist, writer, comedian
Is it possible to alter the behaviour of specific cells or cell-types?

Gareth Mitchell – Tech journalist, lecturer at Imperial College London
Does all life have to be carbon-based?

Hannah Devlin – Science editor, The Times
Can we build a thinking robot?

Helen Arney – Comedian, presenter
How many Earth-like planets are there our in space?

Helen Thomson - Reporter, New Scientist
Will it ever be possible to have a brain/full body transplant?

Imran Khan – Chief Executive, British Science Association
Is there a limit to how smart individuals and communities can be?

James Randerson – Assistant national news editor, The Guardian
How does the brain work and can we fix it when it goes wrong?

Jon Fildes – Managing editor, features –
What happens when the antibiotics stop working?

Karen James – Scientist, blogger
Can humans achieve environmental sustainability before it's too late?

Khalid Cassimally – Blogger
How do we mitigate climate change?

Michael Kenward – Science writer
What is science for?

Mo Costandi - Writer
How does the brain generate consciousness?

Roger Highfield – Science writer, Director of External Affairs at The Science Museum Group
What is life?

Stephen Curry – Professor Structural Biology at Imperial College
Can science save humanity from itself by solving global warming?

Tom Whipple – Science correspondent at The Times
How does the brain work?

Tracey Brown – Director, Sense About Science
What are the possibilities for improving photosynthetic efficiency?

Frank Swain – Science writer
Is suspended animation possible for humans?

Dawn Foster - Journalist
What can science do to combat inequality and poverty

Ruth Francis - Presenter
What are the possibilities for lab-grown fish and could this provide a counter to our overexploitation of the oceans?

Vaughan Bell – Clinical psychologist
Can we replace damaged brain parts with computational devices?' (i.e. computers)

Andrew Ridgway – Editor, Science Uncovered
What's the next planet the human race might call home?

Denis Campbell – Health correspondent, The Guardian
Given the pressures on the healthcare budget, should older people near the end of their lives receive as many tests and treatment as at present, and necessarily be kept alive for as long as possible, especially when they are near death anyway, just because medical science can now prolong their lives?

Mark Thompson - Astronomer
Is life on Earth unique in the Universe or do we live in a Cosmos that is teeming with life?

Val McDermid – Author
Will further space exploration help resolve the problems that threaten our continued existence on this planet?

Chemistry World
How did life begin on Earth and could the same chemical alchemy occur on other planets?

Annabel Bentley – Consumer health expert
What are the cures for the world's biggest health problems, like cancer, heart disease and dementia?

Philip Plait – Astronomer, writer, blogger
"Are we alone?" Is there life in space, and if so, how is it similar or different than life here on Earth?

Richard Wiseman – Psychologist and author
What matters most, understanding our brains or understanding our minds?

Rory Cellan-Jones - Journalist
Can science ever uncover the secrets of human consciousness and emotions and replicate them in a robot? (Perhaps we should hope not...)

Steve Mould – Broadcaster with the BBC
Will we find a cure for aging and how will we cope with people living indefinitely?

Amol Rajan – Editor, The Independent
Will 21st century advances in neuroscience make it reasonable to argue, in a British court of law, that “My brain made me do it”?

Jessica Bland – Technology futures research analyst
"How do we move from our imperfect intuition about our bodies to better use of data to improve our health?"

Henry Nicholls – Journalist, author, broadcaster
Can I use stem cells to grow rhino horn?

Frank Cottrell Boyce – Screenwriter, novelist, author
Is evolution itself a series of freakish accidents or does it have a direction?

Guillaume Vandame – Visitor Services Assistant, Wellcome Collection
Is sexuality genetic?