Origins and evolution of life on Earth and in the Universe (ORIGINS):

The main objective of the COST action ORIGINS (TD 1308) is to address, using an interdisciplinary approach, three great questions about the origin, evolution and distribution of life:

Where, when and how did life emerge and evolve on Earth?

What are the conditions under which life can exist?

Does life exist elsewhere in the Universe and, if it does, how can it be detected and identified?  

Today, for the first time it is possible to develop a robust scientific programme to explore these fundamental questions, thanks to a transdisciplinary alliance drawing on:
    – Astronomers investigating the formation and evolution of stellar systems hosting potentially habitable planets,
    – Astrochemists studying the formation of complex molecules of prebiotic interest in extraterrestrial environments,
    – Planetologists investigating the habitability of planets and their moons,
    – Geologists studying how the early Earth formed and evolved into a habitable planet,
    – Paleontologists investigating the first traces of life,
    – Chemists studying the transition from abiotic organic chemistry to biochemistry,
    – Biologists investigating the extent and limits of biological diversity on Earth and how life emerged, evolved and diversified in early times,
    – Space scientists and engineers preparing missions to solar system planets and developing technology for remote sensing of biomarkers on exoplanets,
    – Philosophers and historians of science exploring the origins of life to answer the central question : «what is life»?
    – Engineers assisting by developing to tools to perform research.

This action started in may 2014 for a 4 years duration.

30 European Countries are part of it , as well as 5 non european ones (Canada, USA, South Africa, Australia, Russian Fedeartion) and the European Space Agency (ESA) :

Scientific contact: Muriel Gargaud

Dates : 2014- 2018