Life on Earth and Beyond
The History and Philosophy of the Origin of Life
Ven Island, Sweden, 30 May - 1 June 2022



The following lecturers will teach at the summer course "Life on Earth and Beyond":


Prof. David Dunér, Lund University, Sweden
David Dunér is Professor in history of science and ideas. His dissertation concerned the scientist and spirit seer Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), The World Machine. Emanuel Swedenborgs Natural Philosophy (2004). His research concerns: Emanuel Swedenborg, Christopher Polhem, Carl Linnaeus, history of entomology, and history of astrobiology. He is also affiliated to Centre for Cognitive Semiotics.


Dr. Jes Jǿrgensen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
My research focuses on the physical and chemical structure of the earliest stages of star-formation - including the evolution of protostars and the formation and early evolution of circumstellar (protoplanetary) disks. This effort is predominantly based on observations at infrared and (sub)millimeter wavelengths - where we utilize large ground-based facilities such as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, the Submillimeter Array and the IRAM Plateau de Bure Interferometer, the ESO telescopes as well as observations from space-based telescopes including the Herschel Space Observatory.


Dr. Erik Persson, Lund University, Sweden
Erik Persson has a PhD in philosophy from Lund University. He is particularly interested in the philosophical aspects of biology, environmental problems and space exploration, especially astrobiology. Within the philosophy of astrobiology he has published texts on a wide range of subjects, for instance regarding the moral status of alien life, the criteria for pronouncing a world lifeless, and the definition of life.


Prof. Kelly Smith, Clemson University, USA
Kelly Smith received his Masters degree in biology from Duke University in 1992, followed by a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1994. His research is wide-ranging and includes work on philosophical issues surrounding the search for life on other planets, the concept of genetic disease, the relationship between religious faith and scientific reasoning, ethical implications of new technologies, complex systems in developmental and evolutionary biology, and the origins and nature of life.


Dr. Stephane Tirard, University of Nantes, France
Stéphane Tirard is Professor in epistemology and history of biology at the University of Nantes (France). He is director of the Centre François Viéte d'épistemologie et d'histoire des sciences et des techniques in this university. His research activities are focused on topics on the limits of life (origins of life, latent life, cellular theories) and on history of botany during the XIXth century. He published many papers in journals and book, he co-directed 8 books and he is one of the editors of the Encyclopedia of Astrobiology (Gargaud M. Ed. chief, Springer 2011, 2nd edition in preparation). In 2010, he published: Histoire de la vie latente : des animaux ressuscitants du XVIIIême á la cryoconservation des embryons au XXême siècle, itinéraires d'une forme de vie (Vuibert- Adapt).


Dr. Douglas Vakoch, METI, USA
Douglas Vakoch, Ph.D., is President of METI, a nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to transmitting intentional signals to nearby stars, as well as fostering sustainability of human civilization on multigenerational timescales—a prerequisite for a project that could take centuries or millennia to succeed. He is an elected member of the International Institute for Space Law, and he serves as chair of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Study Group on Active SETI: Scientific, Technical, Societal, and Legal Dimensions. Prior to founding METI, for sixteen years Dr. Vakoch worked at the SETI Institute, where he was Director of Interstellar Message Composition.

Prof. Wolf Geppert, Stockholm University, Sweden
Wolf D. Geppert received his Ph. D. in Physical Chemistry at the University of York in 2000. Since then he has been working in the field of astrochemistry - mostly with experiments to investigate barrier-less reactions of importance for the synthesis of molecules in the interstellar medium and planetary ionospheres. After post-doctoral positions in Bordeaux, Helsinki and Stockholm he was promoted to Full Professor at Stockholm University in 2014. His work mainly concerns studying the formation of complex molecules in space through ion induced processes using experimental, observational and computational methods. Wolf Geppert is Chair of thE european astrobiology Institute, Coordinator of the Nordic Astrobiology Network of and Director of the Stockholm University Astrobiology Centre. He is also Vice Chair of the European Union COST Action "Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth and in the Universe" and the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership "European Astrobiology Campus". He also functions as also Handling Editor of the new journal "Molecular Astropysics".

Välkommen till Ven !

Backafallsbyn hotel Tycho Brahe's castle Uraniborg Kyrkbacken harbour