The EAI
2024 General Assembly

Frankfurt, Germany, 4 - 6 June 2024

About The General Assembly

The General Assembly will run under the heading “Astrobiology: Recent Highlights and Future Key questions. Our General Assembly will take place from 4th June 2024 in the morning to 6th June 2024 in the evening at Hessenpark Open Air Museum close to Frankfurt. Its main aim is to present past highlights of European Astrobiology and, especially detailed planning of the activities of our Working Groups. The General Assembly will be held as a hybrid event with possibility for on-line participation but in the pursuit to foster fruitful discussion about future projects and initiatives of the EAI we encourage physical presence. The venue is inexpensive easy to reach – there are many flights going to Frankfurt from lots of airports  We also have 2 smaller rooms at the venue for break-out sessions of groups and project teams, if necessary.  The venue is also very reasonably priced. Accompanying persons can visit the Open-Air Museum, the Saalburg Roman Fortress, and Frankfurt.

The General Assembly is open to all interested scientists and students. However, invitations for visa purposes are only issued for invited participants.  (up to 8 years from their first PhD. in a related field) from EAI institutions (see a list here) will be available. We are also working to get some fundings for studets and early career scientist from the US.

A limited number of bursaries for students and early career scientists (up to 8 years from their first PhD. in a related field) from EAI institutions (see a list here) will be available. Participants from EAI Institutions selected by the EAI for bursaries will be offered free conference  packages (lunches, Coffee breaks), and accommodation (2 – 7 June) in a single room at one of the  conference hotels (up to EUR 120, per night) during the conference. 

Every Core Organisation  has the right to send two delegates and every participating institution to send one delegate to the General Assembly. EAI will cover the meals and lodging for those delegates. This does not necessarily have to be the Local Coordinator! 

We will also provide a limited number of bursaries fur students and early career scientists covering single accommodation in the course venue or a hotel nearby and meals during the stay at the meeting. If you want to apply for a bursary please send in an abstract for a talk using the abstract form and inform us in the email that you apply for a bursary.  

Very important: In person participants have to book the accommodation directly at the hotel  they are staying. In person attendees have to pay the programme fee of Eur 89,- per day attended (directly to the conference hotel), but no further registration fee is charged for attending the General Assembly. So please inform the conference hotel about your itinerary even if you are not staying there.  

Programme

The different Working Groups have identified several key subjects inside its area which it should have a special focus on for the next 2-3 years. At the General Assembly those subjects will be discussed in detail. About half a day of the General Assembly will be devoted to each Working Group to discuss these themes in detail. These sessions will not  only contain scientific talks but also ample times for discussions.  The detailed layout is as follows:
  1. There will be one keynote speaker per session (35 minutes + 10 minutes for discussion) for giving an overview of the the-of the-art in the subject.
  2. These keynote speeches will be introduced by an introductory talk (25 minutes) with 20 minutes for discussion afterwards. 
  3. Furthermore there will be short talks  present past research highlights in the field of the Working Group (12 minutes plus 3 minutes discussion). We especially encourage students and early career scientists to submit abstracts. Also presenting a poster session is included. If you want to present a talk or a poster please submit an abstract.
  4. Each half day will be rounded off by a general discussion.
The following themes have been scheduled for the sessions devoted to the different Working groups (the list will be completed):
  • Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems and Detection of Habitable Worlds
    • Connection between a planetary system and its galactic environment: What kind of large-scale, astrophysical processes can influence habitability in planetary systems?
    • From gas and dust to a star and its planetary system.
    • Detection and characterization of exoplanets.
    • Geosciences for understanding habitability Planetary atmospheres and fundamental processes in climate dynamics.
    • Life and habitability in the Solar System: Assessing the present and past habitability potential of Solar System objects.
    • Case studies: from the interstellar environment to planetary systems.
  • The Pathway to Complexity: From Simple Molecules to First Life
    • Complex organic molecules in the ISM: From Molecular Clouds to Protoplanetary Disks
    • Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites: Inheritance, Reprocessing, Synthesis, and delivery of complex molecules
    • Chemistry on the early Earth, Mars, and other rocky bodies
    • Complex chemistry in outer solar system bodies
    • Coupling of compartment, metabolism, and heritable information in evolutionary systems
  • Planetary Environments and Habitability
    • Venus and Earth: divergent twins
    • Icy moons high priority targets for habitable environments
    • Mars Underground: the longest lived Martian habitable environment?
  • Evolution and Traces of Early Life and Life under Extreme Conditions
    • Origin, evolution, ecology and traces of subsurface life (including low energy life and dormancy, factors and limits of habitability, comparing different habitable environments on the Earth)
    • Origin, evolution, ecology and traces of subsurface life (including low energy life and dormancy, factors and limits of habitability, comparing different habitable environments on the Earth)
    • Traces of Early and Extinct Life
    • Molecular mechanisms of adaptation of extremophiles to extreme conditions
    • Evolution of photosynthesis
  • Biosignatures and Detection of extinct and extant life
    • Biosignatures and Detection of extinct and extant life
    • Mars-related biosignatures and their detection
    • Icy Moon/Icy Ocean worlds-related biosignatures and their detection
    • Biosignatures and Detection on Exoplanets
    • Planetary Protection and right ways for biosignature detection protocols as well as ethic and philosophical issues
  • Historical, Philosophical, Societal and Ethical Issues in Astrobiology
    • False positive and false negative evidence in astrobiology
    • Legal status of extraterrestrial life
The following speakers have agreed to give introductory and keynote talks (list will be completed) :

Didier Queloz, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Nathalie Carrasco,University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France
Giuseppe Murante, INAF, Italy
Teresa Fornaro, INAF, Italy
Julia Maia, German Aerospace Centre, Germany
Mickael Baque, German Aerospace Centre, Germany
Brooke Johnson, University of Liège, Belgium Keyron Hickman-Lewis, UK
Dimitry Semenov, MPIA, Germany
Alexey Potapov, University of Jena, Germany
Chaitanya Gokhale, University of Würzburg, Germany
Josep Maria Trigo Rodriguez, CSIC, Spain
Riccardo Urso, INAF, Italy
Olivier Mousis, Université Aix-Marseille, France
Adam Frank, Rochester University, USA
Sanjeev Gupta, Imperial College, UK
José Eduardo González-Pastor, Centro de Astrobiología, Spain
Alexandre Calvo, Stockholm University, Sweden
Erik Persson, Lund University, Sweden
Frances Westall, CNRS, France

The business meeting of the EAI will be scheduled on the evening of June 5th. There will also be time to discuss plans on public engagement, media work , training, industry liaisons etc. Also break-out sessions to discuss proposals (COST Actions, ERC Joint Projects. ISSI teams, ITN Networks) can be arranged.  

Venue

The venue will be at the Landhotel zum Hessenpark at the Hessenpark Open Air Museum. The address is:   

Landhotel Zum Hessenpark
Laubweg 1
61267 Neu-Anspach
Phone +49-(0) 6081 577 6280
Email landhotel@hepa-gastro.de

 

Presentations

Presentations will be held in the “Landgraf Ludwig” room on the first floor of the “Landhotel zum Hessenpark”.  

Rooms

All rooms, both double and single, as well as our handicapped accessible double room, our family room and the wedding room are equally equipped with:

  • contemporary box spring beds with pocket spring mattresses
  • a choice of pillows with Evolon protective covers
  • allergy-friendly bedding
  • free Wi-Fi
  • flat screen TV
  • Coffee machine
  • room safe and underfloor heating

The bathrooms are equipped with a floor-to-ceiling shower, hairdryer, vanity mirror and heated mirror.

The venue is located at the Hessenpark Open Air Museum. Reduced tickets for the museum can be bought at the front desk of the hotel.

Participants for the General Assembly must book the rooms for themselves. The price for a single room is EUR 119,- per person per night. The price for the daily conference attendance is EUR 89,- per day. This includes

  • two coffee breaks
  • two-course lunch with two main courses
  • mineral water and apple juice throughout the meeting

Please book the daily fee directly with the hotel via email or phone mentioning “EAI General Assembly” (see coordinates above) . Deadline for room booking is 15 April 2024. If you book later, then rooms cannot be guaranteed. You might be asked to give your credit card details, please do so only via phone. Please note that cancellation fees will be charged for cancellations  after 15th April both for rooms and conference packages. 

Unfortunately the conference hotel is fully booked. But we have two alternatives:

Delegates to the General Assembly, invited speakers and holders of bursaries for students and Early career scientists will be refunded for the accommodation costs (up to EUR 120,- per night betwen3rd and 7th June) and the daily fee.    

Please be informed that the number of rooms at the venue is limited so early room booking is advisable.

We also made block bookings at the B&B Bad Homburg close to the Bad Homburg Railway station. The price for a single room is EUR 79,- per night, breakfast not included. The coordinates of the hotel are

B&B HOTEL Bad Homburg
Horexstraße 26
D-61352 Bad Homburg
Germany
Tel.: +49 (0) 6172 5970-0
Fax: +49 (0) 6172 5970‑444
E‑Mail: bad-homburg@hotelbb.com

To book the hotel, please contact them by phone or e-mail until 15 April at the latest. Mention “EAI General Assembly” in your email to get the special rate.

Meals

Breakfasts are included in the room rate. Meals will be served at the Wirtshaus Zum Adler which is a beautiful historic inn serving rural Hessian cuisine, and like the Landhotel Zum Hessenpark, is part of the picturesque marketplace. Lunches are included. We will reserve a place for dinners (not included) for the conference attendees there. The restaurant is very cosy but not excessively expensive, a 3-course dinner with traditional Hessian meals /(see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hessian_cuisine) will set you back about EUR 35,-.

Museum

The museum is open from 09:00 to 18:00. There are reduced entrance tickets available at the front desk of the hotel.

Travel and Access

The venue is easy to reach. Please fill in your arrival time in the registration form. For late comers we can organise a taxi transportation if needed.  

The best possibility is to go to Frankfurt am Main airport (IATA code: FRA). It is one of the major hubs in Europe with plenty of direct flights to and from it.

For  public transport connections from Frankfurt Airport  use the travel information on the website of the German Railways. On this page, please fill in “FRA Frankfurt Airport” under “From” and “Anspach Hessenpark, Neu-Anspach” under “To”. Connections are frequent (once every half hour during the day).

At Frankfurt Airport, please go to the regional railway station and take one suburban S8 or S9 trains to the lower level of Frankfurt Main Station (Frankfurt(Main) Hauptbahnhof (tief)) or Frankfurt Hbf (tief)). Arriving there, take  the suburban  train S5 to Bad Homburg.  From there, take  the local train RB15 in the direction “Brandoberndorf”. Depending on your connection (check at www. bahn.de/en) exit at Wehrheim or Neu Anspach.  From Wehrheim to Neu- Anspach take Bus 63 to Anspach Hessenpark. Usually, those buses go between Neu-Anspach and Wehrheim via Hessenpark. Travel time is about 1hour 30 from the airport to Hessenpark.

Arriving at the bus stop, walk forward for 10 metres and turn sharp right into the museum. You do not have to pay entrance fee to get to the hotel, just walk on ignoring the ticket office. Walk down a cobbled road to a big marketplace. On the lower (northern) side of the marketplace  you see a Café “Marktplatz 11 on the left of a timber framed-style building block”. During opening hours you can access the hotel front desk through the café. At other times: Walk past the building block café to the left and walk through a gate to the back of the building block.  The hotel entrance is at the back of the building block.

Note: There is also another airport in Frankfurt, namely Frankfurt Hahn (IATA code: HHN). Cheap airlines fly there, but it is quite remote from Frankfurt, and travel involves a 2-hour bus ride to Frankfurt(Main) Railway Station.   Information about bus connections can be found here.

Also note: If you want to save time, take a taxi from Bad Homburg railway station to Hotel Hessenpark. Costs around EUR 35,-, see below for details  

Most connections will arrive at Frankfurt(Main) Railway station, in German “Frankfurt(Main) Hauptbahnhof” on schedules often abbreviated Frankfurt Hbf. At Frankfurt Main Station   go down to the suburban Railway station (marked by a green “S”) and named “Frankfurt Hbf (tief)”. Arriving there, take  the suburban  train S5 to Bad Homburg.  From there, take  the local train RB15 in the direction “Brandoberndorf”. Depending on your connection (check at www. bahn.de/en) exit at Wehrheim or Neu Anspach.  From Wehrheim to Neu- Anspach take Bus 63 to Anspach Hessenpark. Travel time about 1 hour from Frankfurt Main Railway Station to Hessenpark.

Arriving at the bus stop, walk forward for 10 metres and turn sharp right into the museum. You do not have to pay entrance fee to get to the hotel, just walk on ignoring the ticket office. Walk down a cobbled road to a big marketplace. On the lower (northern) side of the marketplace  you see a Café “Marktplatz 11 on the left of a timber framed-style building block”. During opening hours you can access the hotel front desk through the café. At other times: Walk past the building block café to the left and walk through a gate to the back of the building block.  The hotel entrance is at the back of the building block.

Taxi Bad Homburg offers good service. You can book online and they accept credit cards (MC, Visa)

Taxi Böber offers transfers between Frankfurt Flughafen or Main Railway Station for EUR 75,- (travel time about 40 minutes) or from Bad Homburg Railway Station for EUR 35,- (travel time 20 minutes). Might be an  option for people travelling in a group. If you want to pay by credit cards, please tell the vpompany in advance,

Contact: Phone: ++49-6081-8845
Mobile phone: ++49-171 6465464
e-Mail:  info@taxi-boeber.de

You can simply put in Landhotel “Zum Hessenpark” in Google Maps.

Registration

Please fill in the Google survey form completely until 15 April at the latest. You must also book the hotel (if you want to stay there) AND the conference packages directly with the hotel vie phone or email.  Please note that cancellation fees will be charged in case of cancellations after 15th April for the room and the conference package.

Please send an email to Wolf Geppert (wgeppert@fysik.su.se) until 15. April 2024 if you want to attend remotely.

Abstract Submission

If you have been invited or  want to give a  talk or present a poster please send in the abstract form available as a .doc file via e-mail to Wolf Geppert (wgeppert@fysik.su.se) until 15. April 2024 at the latest. If you want to apply for a bursary please mention it in the email. Recipients of bursaries which cover accommodation and meals will be notified in due course.

Contact

For all enquiries regarding the Scientific Programme and the Business Meeting please contact Wolf Geppert (wgeppert@fysik.su.se, phone ++46-8-723691155). For questions regarding the refunds for delegates contact Mariette Vandermersch from ESF (mvandermersch@esf.org). For booking of conference packages and accommodation contacr the venue (Phone: +49-(0)6081 577 6280, email: landhotel@hepa-gastro.de).