Exobiologie et Astrobiologie

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The French Astrobiology Society – La Société Française d’Exobiologie (SFE)

The emergence of life on Earth as the result of natural processes presumably followed a deterministic set of laws leading to a specifically organised form of matter called the living state. This hypothesis therefore forms a logical basis for investigation into whether similar processes can or could have had similar consequences on other bodies in the Universe. Despite the fact that we have no evidence yet that life is a universal phenomenon, the scientific approach considers how the life can emerge from the non-living state, initially at the molecular level and then, as it further develops, on Earth or elsewhere. This vast interdisciplinary field is called Astrobiology and covers:

  • the origin and evolution of life on Earth, its diversity and the consequence of life on local and global scale,
  • the study of the primitive Earth and the environmental conditions when life emerged,
  • the formation of organic matter in the Universe,
  • self-organisation processes of organic matter, or any other independent path, that lead to features specific to the living state,
  • the limits of life in extreme conditions,
  • the detection and study of related processes in exoplanetary systems,
  • and the philosophical, historical and ethical issues associated with the origin of life and the possibility of its presence elsewhere in the Universe

Different strategies have been followed, from laboratory experiments, models, ground-based observatories, to remote sensing and in situ space missions, aimed at studying related chemical processes occurring on Solar System bodies.

The French Astrobiology Society aims at federating French research in Astrobiology and strengthening collaboration, thus contributing to national and international initiatives, fostering interest for this discipline among young scientists coming from different fields, and at diffusing information on Astrobiology to the general public.

 

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