Programme

Kavli-IAU Symposium 2024 – Programme

Day Time Title Speakers
Sun, Apr 14 18:00 – 20:00 Reception
(Venue: Collingwood College)
Mon, Apr 15 What do we know about “life”? – Uncertainty: Low
  09:00 – 09:10 Welcome Vice-Chancellor and Warden
Durham University, UK
09:10 – 09:30 Introduction Lucas Mix
Durham University, UK
  09:30 – 10:30 Life out there, expectations and reality Frances Westall
CNRS, France
  COFFEE BREAK  
  11:00 – 11:20 Emergence of life: Importance of formation of organic molecules of life Sohan Jheeta
NoRCEL, UK
  11:20 – 11:40 From laboratory simulation facilities to the search for life beyond Earth Eva Mateo-Martí
Centro de Astrobiologia, Spain
  11:40 – 12:00 Surviving the cosmos: Biomolecule stability beyond the Earth Pallavi Kajrekar
University of Edinburgh, UK
  12:00 – 12:20 Using linguistics and information theory to assess the diversity, complexity and decoding of interstellar messages Saeed Jafari
Space Generation Advisory Council, Iran
  LUNCH BREAK  
  14:00 – 15:00 Exoplanet atmospheres in the era of JWST and ARIEL Giovanna Tinetti
University College London, UK
  15:00 – 15:20 Venus Phosphine: Updates and lessons learned David Clements
Imperial College London, UK
  15:20 – 15:40 Extending the habitable zone due to subglacial water Amri Wandel
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  15:40 – 16:00 Just when have we discovered life beyond Earth? Peter Vickers
Durham University, UK
  COFFEE BREAK  
  16:30 – 16:45 Communicating the (uncertainty in the) known David Whitehouse
Science writer, UK
16:45 – 17:30 Discussion: Our definition of "life" and its impact on the evidence

Chair:
Nigel Mason
University of Kent, UK

Panellists:
Sohan Jheeta
NoRCEL, UK
Juan Pérez-Mercader
Harvard University, USA
Dirk Schulze-Makuch
TU Berlin, Germany
Terence Kee
University of Leeds, UK

Tue, Apr 16 Can we detect “life” beyond Earth? – Uncertainty: Medium
  09:00 – 09:45 The Great Silence reconsidered: Reexamining the Fermi Paradox in the age of discovery Stephen Webb
Science writer, UK
09:45 – 10:30 Life as we do not know it (yet) Arik Kershenbaum
University of Cambridge, UK
  COFFEE BREAK  
  11:00 – 11:20 How weird is "weird" life? Philipp Spillmann
University of Cambridge, UK
  11:20 – 11:40 Equivocal encounters: ’Oumuamua and the prospects for disagreement about artifacts Anthony Milligan
King’s College London, UK
  11:40 – 12:00 What are we actually looking for as evidence of life on Mars? Armando Azua-Bustos
Centro de Astrobiologia, Spain
  12:00 – 12:45 Planetary protection John Rummel
Friday Harbor Partners LLC, USA
  LUNCH BREAK  
  14:00 – 14:20 Making habitable worlds: Planets versus megastructures Raghav Narasimha Ponnaganti
Indian Institute of Astrophysics
  14:20 – 14:40 Searching for intelligent life in gravitational wave signals Luke Sellers
UCLA, USA
  14:40 – 15:00 Simulating the characteristics of extra-terrestrial civilizations that encounter Earth Kevin Knuth
University of Albany, USA
  15:00 – 15:20 Searching for false negatives: On the necessity of extraterrestrial participation for human recognition and beyond Niklas Döbler
University of Bamberg, Germany
  15:20 – 15:40 Escaping the Great Filter: The future of civilisation and the search for technosignatures Jacob Haqq Misra
Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, USA
  15:40 – 16:00 How probable is Gaia? Arwen Nicholson
University of Exeter, UK
  COFFEE BREAK  
  16:30 – 16:45 Communicating the gaps and closing them David Whitehouse
Science writer, UK
16:45 – 17:30 Discussion: The Great Filter

Chair:
Richard Wilman
Durham University, UK

Panellists:
Arwen Nicholson
University of Exeter, UK
Jacob Haqq Misra
Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, USA

Wed, Apr 17 Are we prepared for the societal implications of a detection or null result? – Uncertainty: High
  09:00 – 09:45 The Problem/s of Preparation: On ambiguity, proliferating possibilities, Eureka’s ahadows, and unspectacular pragmatism Kathryn Denning
York University, Canada
09:45 – 10:30 The challenging implications for theology and ethics Jacques Arnould
French Space Agency
  COFFEE BREAK  
  11:00 – 11:45 International Space Law Les Tennen
Law Offices of Sterns and Tennen, USA
11:45 – 12:30 Anticipating the Alien: Creating visionary science fiction Stephen Baxter
Science fiction writer, UK
  LUNCH BREAK  
  14:00 – 15:30 Discussion:
Life as a Cosmic Phenomenon (in Science, Anthropology, Theology, Law, Ethics and Art)

Chairs:
Martin Dominik
University of St. Andrews, UK
Istvan Praet
Durham University, UK
Mazlan Othman
Academy of Sciences Malaysia

Panellists:
Ricky Lee
University of Notre Dame, Australia
Olli-Pekka Vainio
University of Helsinki, Finland
Shoaib Malik
Independent researcher, UAE
Erik Persson
Lund University, Sweden
Perig Pitrou
CNRS, France
Daniela De Paulis
SETI Institute, USA

  COFFEE BREAK  
  16:00 – 17:30 Workshop: Futures I – Resilience and flexibility George Profitiliotis
TU Delft, The Netherlands
  19:00 – 21:00 Public lecture: Life in the Universe
(Venue: Teaching and Learning Centre)
Dirk Schulze-Makuch
TU Berlin, Germany
Thu, Apr 18 Preparing for post-detection
  09:00 – 10:00 Preparing for the discovery of extra-terrestrial life – The SETI Post Detection Hub John Elliott
University of St. Andrews, UK
  10:00 – 10:30 Finding intelligent life and first contact scenarios: Towards public awareness and engagement and the impact of discovery

Shirin Shater Zadeh Yazdi
Shahid Beheshti University, Iran

  COFFEE BREAK  
  11:00 – 12:30 Workshop: Futures II – What are we missing? George Profitiliotis
TU Delft, The Netherlands
Carol Oliver
UNSW, Australia
Andreas Schwarz
TU Illmenau, Germany
  LUNCH BREAK  
  13:00 – 17:00 Excursion to Hadrian’s Wall  
  18:30 – 21:00 Symposium dinner  
Fri, Apr 19 The future
  09:00 – 10:00 The future of SETI Steve Croft
UC Berkeley, USA
10:00 – 10:30 Extraterrestrial intelligent life: What the public believes Chris Impey
University of Arizona, USA
  COFFEE BREAK  
  11:00 – 11:30 The media: friend and/or foe? Exploring the cosmic narrative, from a science journalist’s perspective Nadia Drake
Science journalist, USA
11:30 – 12:00 Future tools for communication and engagement David Whitehouse
Science writer, UK
12:00 – 12:30 Mini-Workshop: Communicating our conclusions Carol Oliver
UNSW, Australia
  LUNCH BREAK  
  14:00 – 14:30 Teaching by imagining Life Beyond Us: Science fiction for outreach and education Julie Nekola Nováková
Charles University, Czech Republic
14:30 – 15:30 Discussion: The future is our future

Chairs:
Hermine Landt
Durham University, UK
Federica Bianco
University of Delaware, USA

Panellists:
David Grinspoon
NASA, USA
Mike Edmunds
Royal Astronomical Society, UK
Eleni Chatzichristou
European Research Council, Belgium
James Davenport
University of Washington, USA

  COFFEE BREAK  
  16:00 – 16:20 Uncharted Territories: Distilling insights and outcomes from IAUS 387 Life Beyond Earth Andjelka Kovačević
University of Belgrade, Serbia