Summer course "Life on Earth and Beyond - The History and Philosophy of the Origin of Life"

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Island of Ven, 4 - 6 May 2015

The aim of the course is to give participants a thorough overview of the historical, philosophical and ethical questions arising in this field. It is co-organised by the Nordic Network of Astrobiology and the EU COST Action "Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth and in the Universe". It will, amongst others deal with the following themes:

  • Definition of life in a historical and philosophical context
  • Biochemical evolution
  • The tree of biological evolution
  • Search for life outside Earth
  • Philosophical, ethical and political questions arising with the quest for life on other celestial bodies

This summer school is open for students and scientists in humanities, natural, social and political sciences, in addition to all members of the COST TD1308. Topics covered include: Definition of life in a historical and philosophical context, Biochemical evolution, The tree of evolution, Search for life outside Earth, Philosophical, ethical and political questions arising with the quest for life on other celestial bodies.

A multitude of highly merited researchers have agreed to teach at the course: (see the course website for details). The deadline for application is 15 January 2015 23:59:00 UTC

Bursaries for students and early career scientists (up to 8 years after their Ph. D.) from countries  taking part in the COST Action TD1308 (see homepage for details) are available.


Event Date: 
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 09:00 to Friday, March 6, 2015 - 17:00
Event Location: 
Island of Ven, 4 - 6 May 2015
Nordic Network of Astrobiology & EU COST Action "ORIGINS"
Event Category: 
Training schools

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CSO Approval date: 14/11/2013
Starting date: 15/05/2014
Ending date: 14/05/2018

Action Chair:
Dr. Muriel GARGAUD (FR)

Vice chair:
Prof. Wolf GEPPERT (SE)

STSM Manager:
Prof. Nigel MASON (UK)

Web Manager:



Grant Holder Financial Representative:

Mrs Annick Caperan

Science Officer:
Dr. Mafalda QUINTAS

Administrative Officer:
Ms Ange Marie Ina Uwase



A Trans-Domain Action supported by COST.

COST is supported by the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020



Involved countries

View the Interactive Map
of Member Countries

Participating Countries
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

COST International Partner Countries
Canada (UQAM), South Africa (Univ. of Johanesburgh), Russian Federation (Institute of Geology, Petrozavodsk), Australia (University of Sydney), United States of America (University of Hawai)

Specific Organisations
European Space Agency (ESA)

Short Term Scientific Missions (STSMs)

Aiming at fostering collaboration, sharing new techniques, and infrastructure that may not be available in other participants' institutions or laboratories. STSMs are intended especially for young PhD researchers, but they are open to senior researchers as well. View the documents at this link.

 It should be explicitely noted that Master students are not eligible for STSMs which are for PhD students and more experienced researchers.

The life-Origins COST Project

Life-ORIGINS (TD1308) is a Trans Domain European COST Action dedicated to the scientific investigation of the origins and evolution of life on Earth and habitability of other planets.

The Action has specifically excluded the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life in its portfolio. Creationist theorems are also outside the Action’s remit.

Individuals are not allowed to use the name of the Action, its logo or any corporate identity of COST TD1308 in any communication without prior approval of the Management Committee.

All publications referencing the support of the Action should be sent to the appropriate Working Group chair at the time of submission.