The origin of life on Earth, and its possible existence elsewhere in the universe, offer some of science’s greatest unsolved problems. Likewise, life’s early evolution and interplay with the developing planet are shrouded in mystery. Fortunately, interdisciplinary observational and experimental approaches may shed light on these problems. The 2012 Gordon Research Conference on the Origin of Life will feature recent and cutting-edge results from chemistry, biology, astronomy, geology, and other fields that illuminate our understanding of these problem areas. A variety of perspectives will be presented, and sessions will address attempts to fabricate life or life-like systems in the laboratory, the search for extra-solar Earth like planets, recent developments in our understanding of the early history of Earth, Mars, and Titan, prebiotic and organic chemistry on the early Earth and elsewhere in the solar system, and reconstruction of early life forms and genomes, among other exciting topics.
Together, the sessions will provide a dynamic state-of-the-art summary of the field. The Conference will bring together a collection of investigators who are at the forefront of their fields, and will provide opportunities for junior scientists and graduate students to present their work in poster format and exchange ideas with the presenters. As is customary for GRC conferences, there will be no events scheduled in the afternoon, allowing ample time for additional formal and informal discussions and presentations.