The Astrobiology Science Conference 2017 (AbSciCon 2017) will be held April 24–28, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona at the Mesa Convention Center (263 N Center Street, Mesa, AZ 85201) and the Phoenix Marriott Mesa (200 North Centennial Way, Mesa, Arizona 85201).

Purpose and Scope

AbSciCon 2017 is the next in a series of conferences organized by the astrobiology community.

The theme for AbSciCon 2017 is “Diverse Life and its Detection on Different Worlds.” Mars and icy worlds in our solar system are increasingly recognized as habitable, even as increasing numbers of exoplanets in their stars’ habitable zones have been discovered. The focus is shifting from identification of habitable worlds, to detection of life on them.

Among other topics, the conference will address:

  • Setting the Stage for Geochemistry
  • Setting the Stage for Biochemistry
  • Biomarkers of Life in Anaerobic Ecosystems and Different Evolutionary Stages
  • Biomarkers of Anaerobic Ecosystems
  • Biogeochemical Cycles on Water Worlds Near and Far
  • Biosignatures on Exoplanets
  • Preparing for Life Detection:  Astrobiology Education and Public Outreach

Questions —

  • What interstellar and protoplanetary disk processes determine the chemistry of a planet? What prebiotic chemistry sets the stage for life?
  • Is a one-pot approach to prebiotic polymer chemistry possible? What are future applications of origins chemistry?
  • Do habitable conditions exist on Europa, Enceladus, or other icy worlds? If so, for how long, and how continuously have they existed?
  • Are extreme environments on Earth valid analogs to sites on Mars or icy satellites?
  • What are the metabolisms utilized by life in different evolutionary stages, and in extreme environments?
  • How can molecular studies and the sequencing revolution help us understand the evolution of the three domains of life, including such evolutionary innovations as multicellularity and photosynthesis?

What is the evolution of biogeochemical cycles and environment on Earth and other planets?

  • Are nominally habitable “water world” exoplanets good places to look for signatures of life?

AbSciCon 2017 will provide a forum for reporting on new discoveries, sharing data and insights, advancing collaborative efforts and initiating new ones, planning new projects, and educating the next generation of astrobiologists. The conference will feature plenary sessions on current and thought-provoking topics, topical sessions, evening programs, and public and educational events.



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