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.

  • 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

    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.