Hans Olofsson is professor of radio astronomy and director of the Onsala Space Observatory, the Swedish National Facility for Radio Astronomy, at Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg. His main fields of research are the distribution, kinematics, and physical/chemical structure of the star-forming gas on galactic scales, and the final evolution of solar-type stars. Both these aspects of the life cycle of stars have an astrobiological bearing. The former establishes the large-scale boundary conditions for the origin of life. The latter has a direct bearing on any existing life through the evolution of the central star, and, as the star approaches its death, an indirect effect through the production of heavier elements and complex (in an astronomical sense) molecules.