2010: An Astrobiology Odyssey

Arthur C. Clarke’s “2010: Odyssey Two” is the sequel to “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and was made into a movie in 1984.
Image credit: Granda Publishing

In Arthur C. Clarke’s novel “2010: Odyssey Two”, astronauts investigate what happened to David Bowman, HAL, and the mysterious monolith made famous in Clarke’s classic “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Published in 1982, the astronauts of “2010” make their epic journey toward Jupiter on a Soviet spaceship.

Now that 2010 has finally come around, many things about our society have changed since Clarke wrote his novel, and human space travel is not as advanced as Clarke had depicted it would be. Astronauts will not be traveling to Jupiter anytime soon. But scientists and students who investigate the living universe will be making an odyssey of another sort, to attend two upcoming conferences where the mysteries of astrobiology will be discussed. In April, NASA’s Astrobiology Science Conference will take place in League City, Texas. AbSciCon, held every two years, is the largest astrobiology meeting in the world. In June, the Astrobiology Graduate Conference (AbGradCon) will be held for the first time in Europe, and will highlight research by up-and-coming student scientists. Those wishing to attend the conferences can visit the links provided below for details and deadlines:

The Astrobiology Science Conference 2010 (AbSciCon 2010)

When: April 24-29, 2010

Where: League City, Texas

The theme for AbSciCon 2010 is “Evolution and Life: Surviving Catastrophes and Extremes on Earth and Beyond.” The conference will address, among other things, how environmental, chemical, biological, physical, and even social stresses, ranging in scale from the infinitesimal to the catastrophic, affect the pace and course of evolutionary change.

Conference website:
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/abscicon2010/abscicon20102nd.shtml

The Astrobiology Graduate Conference 2010 (AbGradCon 2010)

When: June 14-18, 2010

Where: Tällberg, Sweden

Graduate students and early-career postdocs from all over the world will come together to present their research and learn of the latest developments in astrobiology. The meeting will have oral and poster presentations, half-day workshops and a one-day field trip to geologically instructive sites in the astrobiologically-interesting Siljan impact crater.

Conference website: http://www.abgradcon2010.org

To get an idea of the type and breadth of research presented at the Astrobiology Science Conference, check out our overview of AbSciCon 2008:
http://www.astrobio.net/index.php?option=com_retrospection&task=detail&id=2698