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Education and Outreach: August 2010


The AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science, established in 2010, recognizes early-career scientists and engineers who demonstrate excellence in their contribution to public engagement with science activities. A monetary prize of $5,000, a commemorative plaque, complimentary registration to the AAAS Annual Meeting, and reimbursement for reasonable hotel and travel expenses to attend the AAAS Annual Meeting to receive the prize are given to the recipient.

For the purposes of this award, public engagement activities are defined as the individual's active participation in efforts to engage with the public on science- and technology-related issues and promote meaningful dialogue between science and society.

The award will be given at the AAAS Annual Meeting.

For more information: http://www.aaas.org/aboutaaas/awards/public_engagement/

Source: NAI Newsletter

Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS), UMR 8617

Studies on organic matter with a potentially prebiotic interest : from the Interstellar Medium to the Solar Nebula and the Oceans on Primitive Earth

The goal of this thesis is to compare the soluble organic phase from various meteorites and compare their compositions with our organic residues from the laboratory. Thus traditional contamination problems arising from weathering and poor manipulations will be greatly reduced. The main goal can be divided into three items (1) to analyze the soluble organic matter of meteorites according to their classification, (2) to evaluate once and for all if ice photo and thermo chemistry is important not only in ISM objects but also in the ecosphere of the Solar Nebula and on primitive telluric planets and finally (3) to propose to more specialized chemists a more realistic prebiotic "soup" possibly leading to the first autocatalytic molecules. Emphasis will be given to scenarios that are relevant to our knowledge of primitive Solar System and planetary evolution as IAS has an important scientific activity in these fields.

This subject is thus largely interdisciplinary (chemistry, physical-chemistry and astrophysics). The candidate (M/F), must be in possession of a MsC in any domain related to this interdisciplinary activity. Special attention will be given to experience in physical-chemistry and/or analytical chemistry. In any case, the candidate should have an experimentalist profile, ready to devote much time in the laboratory. IAS is an institute of fundamental research with application to space instrumentation, running and exploiting space instruments. About 200 people work there (around 80 scientists), an average of 15 Ph.D. students and 15 post-docs. The scientific environment within the laboratory and the Orsay Campus, not far from Paris, is truly exceptional.

For more information, please contact:

Louis d'Hendecourt
Equipe " Astrochimie et Origines "
Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale
Campus Universitaire d'Orsay
Bat 121 - 91405 Orsay Cedex
Tel : +33(0)1 69 85 86 40/+33(0)6 13 16 25 38
E-mail : Louis.DHendecourt@ias.u-psud.fr

or

Donia Baklouti
Equipe " Astrochimie et Origines "
Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale
Campus Universitaire d'Orsay
Bat 121 - 91405 Orsay Cedex
Tel : +33(0)1 69 85 87 88
E-mail : donia.baklouti@ias.u-psud.fr

Source: NAI Newsletter

AbGradCon 2010 a Success

The 2010 Astrobiology Graduate Student Conference (AbGradCon) was held from June 14-18 this year in Taellberg, Sweden. Eighty-eight participants from 29 different countries attended the meeting, which brought together early-career scientists in the field of astrobiology. The conference schedule included oral sessions on exoplanets, astronomy and life, habitability, weird life, biosignatures and Mars, all of which were video streamed live via the web. There were also participant-led, discussion-oriented workshops on various topics within the field of astrobiology, covering topics ranging from future missions to rocky planets, to habitability, to the origin of life. The third day of the event included an excursion into the Siljan crater area, a known impact crater structure located close by. Participants traveled to various sites of geological interest within the impact structure to study the effects of impacts, and had the opportunity to observe strata that had been distorted by the impact, as well as to search for fossils in outcrops near the crater boundary. The AbGradCon tradition will be carried on in 2011, where it is currently planned to take place in Bozeman, Montana. For more information: http://www.abgradcon2010.org/

Source: NAI Newsletter