NAI and SMBE Satellite Workshop on the Origin of Life

21-24 January 2013Princeton University Center for Theoretical Science

Organizers: Laura Landweber and Aaron Goldman
The last few decades have witnessed the burgeoning of many highly productive lines of investigation into abiogenesis and the early emergence of biological complexity.  Planetary sciences and geochemistry have produced a short-list of well-studied settings where prebiotic chemistry may have led to the transition from non-living to living matter.  Major advances in abiotic syntheses of important biomolecules have resulted in an improved understanding of the relative availabilities of proto-biomolecules.  The continuing growth of bioinformatics databases has given computational biologists an unprecedented ability to reconstruct the properties of early organisms and ancient evolutionary histories.  Synthetic biology now allows investigators to examine the boundaries of life’s genetic systems and minimal life in the laboratory.  In general, the advance of astrobiology has expanded our understanding of habitability and life as cosmological phenomena.  This workshop will integrate these themes, foster new local, national and international collaborations, and actively encourage scientists from within and outside the Princeton community to pursue studies of life’s origins.  The workshop program will bring together researchers in these disparate subjects and subfields to address the questions of life’s origins in the astronomical, chemical, genetic, evolutionary, and information-theoretic contexts.


Registration is free, but space is limited.  The Nassau Inn is the only hotel in walking distance from the venue.  Please make hotel reservations ASAP to guarantee a room at the Nassau Inn, 609-921-7500,, group name “Origins of Life-PCTS”.  The cost is a total of $151.20 per night (tax included).  Cancellations or changes to reservations must be made in writing by 3 pm, 24 hours prior to the day of arrival to avoid being charged for any unused nights.


Information about lecture webcasts will also be made available on the website.