- Press Release
- Sep 27, 2022
First European Workshop on Exo/Astrobiology 21-24 May 2001
21-24 May 2001
ESRIN, Frascati (near Rome), Italy
Background and Purpose
The multidisciplinary area of Exo/Astrobiology has recently experienced a
tremendous surge of interest within the wide scientific community involving
both space and non-space disciplines. This includes such diverse fields as
the chemical origin of life on Earth, the persistence of life in extreme
conditions, interplanetary transport mechanisms and search for life
strategies in the Solar System and beyond.
The European Exobiology Network is an association of European scientists
active in this field and dedicated to bringing together and strengthening
European scientific and intellectual resources to ensure a leading role for
Europe in this field.
Since the 1980’s the ESA microgravity life sciences activities have involved
exobiology research concentrated on the effects of low Earth space
conditions such as solar and cosmic radiation and low gravity on organic and
life forms. The programme intends to extend these activities to search for
life strategies in the Solar System.
Recently the activities of the ESA Space Science programme have been
extended to include exo/astrobiology as a cross-fertilised discipline which
can benefit from a number of ESA missions such as Huygens-Cassini, Mars
Express, Rosetta, Eddington and IRSI-Darwin.
Jointly these two programmes aim to work together to promote an integrated
and coordinated European approach in order to optimise the use of
space-related resources and ensure a lead role for European Science in this
important, emerging field.
This is the first of an intended series of workshops aimed at bringing
together European scientists to review the status of the field and develop
future plans and perspectives.
Objectives of the Workshop
Based on interactive dynamic discussions, the workshop aims to:
- identify the European potential in Exo/Astrobiology
- foster European cooperation through joint projects in Exo/Astrobiolgy
- strengthen the European Network in Exo/Astrobiology
- encourage young scientists to participate in exo/astrobiological
research in Europe
- promote a constructive research interface between exobiological
expertise in Europe and the rest of the World for the benefit of the
discipline and the planet
- develop a perspective for longer term Exobiology research, especially
in relation to human missions to Mars
Topics to be covered by the Workshop
- Initial conditions and environment for the emergence of Life on Earth
(evolution of planets and their satellites, atmosphere and hydrosphere,
conditions necessary for life)
- Chemistry of the origin of life on Earth (ingredients, extraterrestrial
organic chemistry, theories of the origin of life, prebiotic chemical
evolution, early life, last common ancestor)
- Life in the extremes and terrestrial analogues for extraterrestrial
habitats. Signatures of microbial life
- Prospects for life beyond the Earth (planets/moons of the Solar System,
extrasolar planets, extra solar life)
- Strategy for search of life with emphasis on “in situ” analysis vs
sample return, respective roles of humans and robots
- Societal aspects
European Exobiology Network
European Space Agency
- Andrè BRACK (chairman) France
- Paul CLANCY ESA
- Marcello CORADINI ESA
- Malcolm FRIDLUND ESA
- Marc HEPPENER ESA
- Beda HOFMANN Switzerland
- Gerda HORNECK Germany
- Juan PEREZ-MERCADER Spain
- David WYNN-WILLIAMS United Kingdom
- Paul CLANCY ESA
Science Advisory Committee:
- Ricardo AMILS Spain
- Herrick BALTSCHEFFSKY Sweden
- Clas BLOMBERG Sweden
- Christiano COSMOVICI Italy
- Don COWAN United Kingdom
- Pascale EHRENFREUND The Netherlands
- David FIELD Denmark
- Nils HOLM Sweden
- Jean-Luc JOSSET Switzerland
- G¸nter KIEDROWSKI Germany
- Helmut LAMMER Austria
- Gian-Gabriele ORI Italy
- Roland PAEPE Belgium
- Alan PENNY United Kingdom
- FranÁois RAULIN France
- Didier SCHMITT ESA
- Alan SCHWARTZ The Netherlands
- Gerhard SCHWEHM ESA
- Helga STAN-LOTTER Austria
- Karl STETTER Germany
- Sergio VOLONT… ESA
- Ray WOLSTENCROFT United Kingdom
- Herrick BALTSCHEFFSKY Sweden
Location of the Workshop
ESA’s European Space Research Institute, known as ESRIN, is based in
Frascati, a small historic town 20 km South of Rome (see
For information on ESRIN’s main functions, activities and how it works
Mail: ESA/ESRIN, Via Galileo Galilei, Casella Postale 64, 00044 Frascati
Organisation of the Workshop
The workshop will offer four distinct events:
- Plenary Sessions highlighting the exo/astrobiological achievements
reached by the different groups in Europe
- Group discussions on hot topics :
o How did life start on Earth?
o What was the chemistry of the origin of life on Earth?
o How does life adapt to the extremes?
o Are we alone in the Universe?
o How can we search for life in the Solar System?
- Poster sessions with the purpose to give background details for the
more general presentations in plenary sessions or discussion groups
- Network sessions
to foster the European Network in Exo/Astrobiology
ESA will publish the Proceedings of the Workshop as an ESA Special
Publication (ESA SP).
Submission of abstracts
Abstracts will be accepted on the basis of 600-800 words and may be
submitted preferably by using the on-line web form or as an e-mail
attachment (in MS-Word or pdf) to email@example.com
Authors are requested to indicate in which of the events they inten to
present their paper :
- plenary session (one abstract per group)
- discussion groups
Abstracts sent by e-mail should also contain the following information:
- Title of workshop
- Topic (see list)
- Title of paper (centered)
- Author(s) name(s) and affiliations
The full address of the contact (and/or presenter), including tel./fax.
Numbers and e-mail address should be given separately.
The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 15 March 2001.
Registration, Registration Fees and Hotel Reservations
[Registration/Hotel Reservation Form]
No registration fees will be collected in order to allow a maximum of
scientists to attend the Workshop.
A limited number of rooms have been blocked at several local hotels. We
advise you to book your hotel via the conference local support. Please
return the attached hotel reservation form by fax to the conference local
support before 14 April 2001. After this date the hotel block booking will
be released, and availability of any hotel room can no longer be guaranteed.
Please complete the attached form even if you prefer a different category of
hotel and our conference local support will endeavour to satisfy your
Should you not require hotel accommodation, you should still confirm your
attendance by fax to the conference local support so that you will be
officially registered for the meeting and be able to gain access to the
Lunch is available in the ESRIN canteen and is payable in cash. The canteen
has a wide variety of dishes including vegetarian.
Directions from Airport
Road directions from Rome Fiumicino airport to the Frascati area will be
provided upon request.
Please note that the hotel confirmations will be sent out during the week of
17 April 2001.
Booking of Hotel Rooms and Airport Taxis **
Cancellations should be made in writing to the ESRIN Travel Office – fax no.
0039 06 9418 0242
No show hotel and taxi bookings will be charged to the requestor’s credit
Daily bus transportation will be arranged between the pre-booked hotels,
ESRIN and any social events.
A welcome package of documentation including meeting logistics, courtesy bus
timetable and social event details will be provided at the hotel check in.
Requests for Financial support
Limited amounts of funds will be available for students and others with
limited funding. Applicants should preferably be authors or co-authors of
abstracts submitted for presentation at the Workshop. In all cases, a
justification for claims on grounds of research commitment will be needed.
The deadline is 15 March 2001 for receipt of applications. Requests to be
sent to both Drs. P. CLANCY and M. CORADINI at the following E-mails:
Paul.Clancy@ESA.int and Marcello.Coradini@ESA.int
Deadlines to remember:
for abstracts: 15 March, 2001
for financial support requests, 15 March , 2001
for registration (first come approach)