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April 4, 2002

Kathleen Burton

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

Phone: 650/604-1731 or 604-9000


NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: You are invited to attend the second Astrobiology Science Conference, a five-day meeting to be held April 7-11 in historic Hangar One and at the Moffett Training and Conference Center (Bldg. 3) at NASA Ames Research Center. Astrobiology experts from around the world will gather to discuss exploration strategies, research targets and current missions planned to further the search for life in the universe. To reach Ames, take the Moffett Field exit off Highway 101 and drive east to the main gate. Members of the media will be required to show a driver’s license or other government-issued photo I.D. at the NASA Ames main gate, where they will be directed to Hangar One.


NASA Ames Research Center and the NASA Astrobiology Institute will host the second biennial Astrobiology Science Conference April 7-11. The conference will be held in Hangar One and at the Moffett Training and Conference Center (Bldg. 3) at NASA Ames in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley.

Over 400 preeminent international researchers will converge on Ames to discuss the rapidly emerging, interdisciplinary field of astrobiology -- the search for the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life in the universe. NASA Astrobiology Institute Director Dr. Baruch Blumberg will offer welcoming remarks at 8:30 a.m. PDT on April 8. The meeting will include over 50 invited talks and oral presentations and 5 days of poster sessions.

"This important conference will provide a unique forum for the interchange of innovative ideas, ranging from the potential biomedical applications of astrobiology to the newest techniques used to search for planetary systems around other stars," said NASA Ames Center Director Dr. Henry McDonald. "We are confident we can build upon the tremendous success and productive collaborations that emerged from the first Astrobiology Science Conference held at NASA Ames in April 2000." McDonald will deliver remarks to Conference attendees on Wednesday, April 10 at 8:30 a.m.

A special time has been set aside on April 8, from 10 to 11 a.m. PDT, for media representatives to interview organizers and participants. Those available for interviews in the Macon room (Bldg. 3) will include Blumberg; Dr. Lynn Rothschild, chairperson of the science organizing committee; Dr. Paul Davies, physicist, author and professor at McQuarie University in Sydney, Australia; and Dr. Chris Chyba, MacArthur Award winner and holder of the Carl Sagan chair at the SETI Institute. Additional media interviews will be available throughout the conference.

Meeting highlights will include:

• A day-long event, open to the public, teachers and the media, on April 7, featuring brief, accessible lectures about astrobiology

• The Klein Lecture, open to the public, featuring Dr. Alexander Rich, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on April 7 at 5:30 p.m. PDT.

• Back-to-back oral presentations by Drs. William Schopf, University of California, Los Angeles and Martin Brasier, Oxford University, on April 9 at 3:45 and 4:00 p.m. PDT, respectively. They will discuss their recent papers in Nature (March 7, 2002) on the topic: ‘When did life first appear on Earth?’

• A ‘SciFi Night’ lecture by Dr. Paul Davies on ‘How to Build a Time Machine’ on April 10 at 7 p.m. PDT

• Biomedical presentations including ‘Viruses and Astrobiology’ by Blumberg on April 9 at 12:10 p.m. PDT, and ‘Why Astrobiology Is Important to Biomedical Research,’ by Dr. Steve Benner, University of Florida, on April 11 at 2 p.m. PDT.

A complete meeting agenda is posted on the Web at:

Media representatives planning to attend should pre-register by contacting Kathleen Burton in the Ames Media and Community Relations Office/Public Affairs Office.

NASA Ames is the agency’s lead center for astrobiology and the location of the central offices of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, an international research consortium. Information about NASA’s astrobiology programs may be obtained at: and


Astrobiology Science Conference Poster
(PDF Format)


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