One of the most exciting scientific challenges of this century is the search of habitable worlds around other stars, and the characterization of their atmospheres with the goal of detecting signs of biological activity. This is a long-term, interdisciplinary endeavor, engaging astrophysicists, biologists, planetary scientists, and instrument scientists.
Pathways is dedicated to identifying the steps needed to address those questions. Its aim is to help integrate the prospective efforts in Europe and in the US, build a community around this theme, and bring together several pathways towards that final goal.
The conference will be structured around key questions such as :
Is the habitable zone a well defined concept ?
Is the Sun-Earth pair a good paradigm for an inhabited system ?
How do we define meaningful biomarkers ?
What can we learn from solar system synergies ?
How do we build synergies between ground and space ?
What can we expect from approved projects ?
What future capacity is needed ?
Each question will be introduced by an invited speaker, or more if several viewpoints are deemed necessary. Contributed talks and posters will add material to the debate. Ample time will be left for discussion, while a synthesis will be proposed on the last day.
The main session will occur in the morning and late afternoon, while the early afternoon will be left open for poster viewing and satellite meetings which can be proposed by the members of the community.