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A multi-discipline international scientific meeting to accommodate roughly 120 delegates of all career stages is planned for the week commencing November 7th 2022. Early-career scientists are encouraged to attend and contribute their work. This four or five day event, offering the possibility of hybrid online delivery, will provide a forum for the exchange of new interdisciplinary findings and ideas in relation to two principle themes:

The origins of habitable bodies in and beyond our home Solar System

This theme will accommodate the presentation of new findings arising from meteoritical, experimental / analogue / computational modelling, and space mission studies. Contributions that integrate chemical and other findings for meteorites with models of celestial mechanics are strongly encouraged. A session to allow for astronomical planet-hunting findings to be disseminated and discussed will be included. What are the priorities in our investigations / searches, what do we each need to know from one another, and what new efforts do we need to undertake together?

The motivation for and current status of priorities for space exploration and its governance

This portion of the proposed meeting will take place over the latter one and half or two days of the event and will bring the community together to facilitate discourse across a wide range of disciplines. The purpose of this theme is to highlight key observations that have implications for how we explore other worlds. What do space missions need to look for, and where? Do we have concerns about the future modes of space exploration and if so what are these? How can we make sure that our scientific understanding is widely known and used to help inform the regulation of international space exploration?

The deadline for the submission of abstracts and completion of early-bird registration is April 15th 2022.

  • To provide a forum for the publication of high-quality original research of broad importance, a Special Issue to result from this meeting, with a working title of “Tracing Planetary Formation and Evolution, and the Dynamics of the Early Solar System”, has been provisionally agreed with Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.

Works to be submitted for consideration for inclusion in this Special Issue must meet GCA’s established standards of rigour and significance (fuller information will follow). Opportunities are associated with the assembly of the Guest Editorial team to comprise a mix of existing GCA Associate Editors and selected community members.

  • In addition, a further thematic academic book – in part – arising from this meeting, entitled “[The Early Solar System and] the Building of Planets”, is provisionally agreed with the Space Science Series of Arizona University Press (this book project will be a subject of discussion at the meeting).

Meeting’s Keynote Speakers (1)
Dirk Schulze-Makuch, Author and
Professor of Planetary Habitability and Astrobiology
Technical University Berlin


Meeting’s Keynote Speakers (2)
 To be confirmed: With Meteoritical Research Focus

1 question mark

Featured Speaker of the Public Showcase
Distinguished Professor, Author, and recent Associate Dean
Chris Impey, University of Arizona
(Chris’ personal website)
To give a talk loosely based on his accessible book
“Beyond: Our Future In Space”
At the beginning of his career, Chris gained his Ph.D at the University of Edinburgh.

Impey Cropped

Meeting’s Invited Speakers
A diverse set of seven prominent contributors tbc here soon

7 question marks

Interest has been expressed such that a two to three day short-course retreat that addresses approaches to sustaining funding is offered. This optional extra will help to foster new international partnerships. The retreat will also feature a workshop for researchers to explore potential career pathways through informal discussions and presentations with diverse leaders in the planetary sciences. As the charitable trust of Gartmore House is the intended destination for this all-inclusive and constructive retreat, night skies shall be distant from city lights for those interested in stargazing.

location scenery

Retreat’s Featured Speaker
To be confirmed.

1 question mark

Meeting’s Chair
Amy Riches

Amy Riches

Meeting’s Organising Committee
Comprised of roughly six advising scholars; a few more to be confirmed soon.

Kristina Tamane
Space Business Development Executive and the University’s SPRINT lead
(SPRINT = SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology).
School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh.

Kristina Tamane

Christina MacLeod
Trained in Engineering, representing Edinburgh Women in Space for which she serves as Founding Member and Chair.

Christina MacLeod

As the convening team are busy scientists, the meeting will only be feasible with society sponsorship and a full conference service package of support; administrative contact points and other information will be provided as soon as able.

No field trip is foreseen for this meeting, but an optional and short local walking tour / activity may occur.

Overall, this event and aligned activities have two agendas:
a) to serve excellence with respect to the identified scholarly themes.
b) to proactively address inclusivity and matters of diversity.

The latter goal will not only be achieved through a possible short-course / retreat (above), but via a range of networking formats that some may consider outside of standard conventions and that will demonstrate cultural sensitivity while subtly helping to assure protected dignities among all types of people.  This approach will incorporate friendly breakfasts, an ice-breaker potentially taking the form of an inclusive curry night, no meeting-supported / free alcohol, yet still including relaxed activities and dancing with the main meal / banquet.  To the greatest degree that is pragmatic, ways will be found to support those with children (e.g., sponsored child care funds / day care centre vouchers, a ‘play / tv room’ set-up for colouring in / board games or similar activities, and within / adjacent to any evening poster session). In addition, the organising team will seek to provide for scholars of current asylum seeking or refugee status, those with caring responsibilities or health challenges (including mental health), as well as those from lower-middle and low income countries (scroll down for list), and those receiving low incomes during 2022 / 2023.

The intention is to recruit a number of attending students and early-stage post-doctoral scholars / other sector staff as session conveners and judges of student talks / posters. This approach will support efforts to create a friendly atmosphere, places emerging researchers in beneficial positions of prominence, and encourages them to responsibly manage prize assessments, time and scientific discussions at this relatively small-scale meeting.

Because rapid climate and ecological change is of present day concern, modest incentives will be offered to delegates who travel to the meeting via the proven use of public transport, other low-carbon transport, and / or who use a carbon offsetting compromise where alternative transport may be challenging to access.

Further information will follow in due course.  Details to follow will also address specifics of supporting sponsors / societies, and the titles of scientific and cross-disciplinary sessions. In addition, provisions for competitive travel funding that may be available, as well as registration fees, travel and location / accommodation information will be available here soon.

Thank you.

To be sure to be included in a few informative announcements in future, those interested in knowing more and attending this event can register their expressions of interest below. The receipt of EoI’s at this stage will be very much appreciated because this information is anticipated to be useful to event planning.