Extraterrestrial Life- Beyond Our Expectations?


I’m looking forward to traveling to Vienna next week to present at what looks to be a great interdiesciplinary conference, as follows:

Vienna, Austria, May 21-22, 2012

Monday, May 21
08.30 Registration
09.10 Welcome
09.30 Introduction: Extraterrestrial Life – Beyond our Expectations?
Maria Firneis (University of Vienna, Austria)

Session 1: External Influences on Extra-Solar Planetary Habitability
Chair: Maria Firneis (University of Vienna, Austria)
10.00 Keynote: Pathways to Earth-Like Nitrogen Atmospheres: Implications for the Search for Exo-Earth
Helmut Lammer (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria)
10.35 Coffee break
10.55 The Role of Stellar Plasma Interaction in the Evolution of Earth-Like Habitats
Kristina Kislyakova (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria)
11.15 On the Habitability of the Earth in Jupiter-Saturn Like Configurations
Elke Pilat-Lohinger (University of Vienna, Austria)
11.35 On Classical Habitable Zones in Binary Systems
Siegfried Eggl (University of Vienna, Austria)
11.55 Lunch

Session 2: The Limits of Classical Habitability and Life
Chair: Helmut Lammer (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria)
13.20 Keynote: Assessing Planetary Habitability: Don’t Forget Exotic Life!
Dirk Schulze-Makuch (Washington State University, USA)
13.55 Invited talk: Microscopic Liquid Subsurface Water in Cold Planetary Surfaces
Diedrich Möhlmann (DLR, Germany)
14.15 What is Life? Phenomenology versus Essentialism
Jean Schneider (Paris Observatory, France)
14.35 How Can We Detect Life When We Cannot Define It in a General Way?
Johannes Leitner (University of Vienna, Austria)
14.55 The Life Supporting Zone of Kepler-22b and the Kepler Planetary Candidates: KOI268.01, KOI701.03, KOI854.01 and KOI1026.01
David Neubauer (University of Vienna, Austria)
15.15 Compartmentalisation Strategies for Hydrocarbon-based Biota on Titan
Lucy Norman (University College London, UK)
15.35 Possible Signs of Life on Venus
Leonid Ksanfomality (Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia)
15.55 Coffee break and poster session

Session 3: Actual Topics in Astrobiology
Chair: Dirk Schulze-Makuch (Washington State University, USA)
16.25 Keynote: Panspermia Revisited
Gerda Horneck (DLR, Germany)
17.00 Photosynthetic Activity and Adaption Capacities of Lichens and Cyanobacteria to Martian Surface Conditions
Jean-Pierre de Vera (DLR, Germany)
17.20 Results From a Crewed Mars Exploration Simulation at the Rio Tinto Analogue Site
Reinhard Tlustos (Austrian Space Forum, Austria)
17.40 On the Role of Pressure in the Origin of Life
Richard Schwarz (University of Vienna, Austria)
18.00 End of the first day
18.30 Workshop Dinner

Flare Activity and UV Habitability in Extrasolar Planets
Ximena Abrevaya (Institute of Astronomy and Space Physics, Argentinia)
Ultraviolet and Liquid Water Habitable Zones of Planetary Systems
Vera Dobos (Eötvös University, Hungary)
Influence of Viscosity on Magnetic Field Generation in Super-Earths
Manfred Gold (University of Vienna, Austria)
Information Fluxes as Concept for Categorizations of Life
Michael Hausmann (Kirchhoff Institute for Physics, Germany)
Nebula-based Primordial Atmospheres of Planets Around Solar-Like Stars Revised
Manuel Scherf (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria)
Probing the Habitability of Exo-Moons of Gas Giants in Orbits Within the Habitable Zone
Sonja Schiefer (University of Graz, Austria)
Subsurface Oceans on Icy Solar System Bodies and their Impacts on Astrobiology
Ruth-Sophie Taubner (University of Vienna, Austria)

Tuesday, May 22
Session 4: Extra-solar Planets and Biosignatures
Chair: Gerda Horneck (DLR, Germany)
09.00 Keynote: Superearths and Life – Characterizing a Habitable Exoplanet
Lisa Kaltenegger (MPI Astronomy, Germany)
09.35 The Earth as a Benchmark: Spectropolarimetry Unveils Strong Bio-Signatures
Michael Sterzik (ESO/Paranal Observatory, Chile)
09.55 NASA’s Kepler Mission and the Quest for Other Earth
Michael Endl (McDonald Observatory, University of Houston, USA)

10.15 Coffee break

10.35 Detection of the Water Maser Line at 1.35 cm in Exoplanetary Systems
Christiano Cosmovici (IFSI/INAF, Italy)
10.55 From Satellite Remote Sensing of the Earth to Non-Invasive Diagnostics of Skin Cancer
Knut Stamnes (Stevens Institute of Technology, USA)
11.15 Taxonomy of the Extra-Solar Planets
Eva Plavalova (Comenius University, Slovakia)

11.35 Lunch

Session 5: The Influence of Potential Extraterrestrial Life on Religion and Philosophical/Sociological Aspects of Astrobiology
Chair: Lisa Kaltenegger (MPI Astronomy, Germany)
13.00 Keynote: Theological Consequences of the Potential Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life
Jose Funes (Vatican Observatory, Vatican)
13.35 The Implications of the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life for Religion and Theology
Ted Peters (Graduate Theological Union, USA)
13.55 Impacts of Philosophy and Theology on the Discussions Concerning the Existence of ExoLife and Vice Versa
Ludwik Kostro (University of Gdansk, Poland)
14.15 The Ethical Implications for Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life
Jill Stuart (London School of Economics, UK)
14.35 History of Women in Astrobiology
Michele Montgomery (University of Central Florida, USA)
14.55 Coffee break

Session 6: Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence and Communication
Chair: Jose Funes (Vatican Observatory, Vatican)
15.15 Modelling Evolution and SETI Mathematically
Claudio Maccone (International Academy of Astronautics, Italy)
15.35 Science from Beyond: NASA’s Pioneer Plaque and the History of Interstellar
Communication, 1957-1972
William Macauley (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany)
15.55 The Evolutionary Epistemics of Contact
Claudio Flores Martinez (University of Heidelberg, Germany)
16.15 End of the workshop
16.45 Possibility for a guided tour through the Museum for Astronomy at the Institute for Astronomy, University of Vienna

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Dr Jill Stuart is an academic based at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is an expert in the politics, ethics and law of outer space exploration and exploitation. She is a frequent presence in the global media (print, radio, television, documentary) and regularly gives lectures around the world. From 2013-2017 she was Editor in Chief of the Elsevier journal Space Policy where she remains on the Editorial Board. She is also on the Board of Advisors of METI International, conducting scientific research into messaging potential extraterrestrial intelligence. She is one of an elite number of people to be endorsed by the UK Home Office as an Exceptional Talent Migrant/ World Leader in her Field. In 2015 she was awarded the prestigious Margaret Mead Award Lecture by the British Science Association in recognition of her cutting edge research. She is trained in both domestic and international mediation and has done consultancy work for the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice. She has a sub-specialism in women, peace and security and gender based violence. She is a Trustee of Luton All Women’s Centre.


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