Edinburgh City

Forming and Exploring Habitable Worlds
International Meeting

Edinburgh, UK
07-13 November 2022
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The Meeting

A Week of Exciting Talks and an Optional Retreat

Opening for registration and abstract submission
during February 2022.

Those in-person participants requiring travel visas for which letters proving participation in the event should contact the Chair as soon as they are able.

Forming and Exploring Habitable Worlds is a multi-discipline four to five day international scientific meeting taking place in Edinburgh, UK, in November 2022. This event is to accommodate up to 120 in-person delegates of all career stages based in a range of relevant employment sectors. A hybrid model is envisaged to be delivered so as to broaden participation by accommodating virtual attendance of additional delegates.

The welcoming atmosphere of this modest-sized event will foster friendly scientific exchange and shall help to promote networking beneficial to early, mid, and senior career scientists, space lawyers, educators, and space technology / mission innovators.  Students and those in their early-careers are encouraged to attend and contribute their work in this friendly, relatively unintimidating, and specialist gathering.

The inaugural Forming and Exploring Habitable Worlds event will provide a forum for the exchange of new interdisciplinary findings and ideas in relation to two principal themes:

The origins of habitable bodies in and beyond our home Solar System

This theme will accommodate the presentation of new findings arising from meteoritical, experimental / analogue / computational modelling, and space mission studies. Contributions that integrate chemical and other findings for meteorites with models of celestial mechanics are strongly encouraged. A session for astronomical planet-hunting findings to be disseminated and discussed will be included. What are the priorities in our investigations / searches, what do we each need to know from one another, and what new efforts do we need to undertake together?

The motivation for and current status of priorities for space exploration and its governance

This portion of the proposed meeting will take place over the latter one and half or two days of the event and will bring the community together to facilitate discourse across a wide range of disciplines. The purpose of this theme is to highlight key observations that have implications for how we explore other worlds. What do space missions need to look for, and where? Do we have concerns about the future modes of space exploration and if so what are these? How can we make sure that our scientific understanding is widely known and used to help inform the regulation of international space exploration?

Additional Activities and Opportunities

Accompanying this meeting are projects that will provide for:

  • a competitive selection process supporting the publication of original high-quality research by attending delegates (+/- community members); 

  • significant community efforts in realising timely high-level reviews;

  • the sharing of science with the public, and;

  • opportunities for interested experienced researchers of good conduct and objectivity to gain guest editorial experience. 


At the conclusion of the main event, an optional retreat over two to three days at Gartmore House, Stirlingshire, is offered. This retreat is limited to approximately 45 people and includes a short-course on maintaining funding plus a half-day outing. A further half-day is provided for researchers to explore potential career pathways through informal discussions and presentations with diverse leaders in the planetary sciences.

Combined, the contributions arising from this event are intended to help summarise current knowledge, foster cross-pollination of understanding and ideas across traditional disciplines, and identify opportunities that shall shape future directions in research and space exploration at international levels.

See also:

This meeting in Edinburgh follows the July 2022 Goldschmidt Conference in Hawaii and the August 2022 Geoanalysis Conference5th International Workshop on Highly Siderophile Element Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry in Freiberg, Germany, while sandwiched between the earlier 53rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) and the 54th LPSC occurring in March 2023, Houston, USA, and meetings of the EuroPlanet Scince Congress series. The Forming and Exploring Habitable Worlds event also complements and builds on the fully virtual Habitats Beyond workshop to be hosted soon by the University of St Andrews, and the now 2022 Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society in Glasgow.


The series of meetings in the region - along with the recent and well-received virtual event led by students of the Edinburgh Women in Space group, the SPERO initiative, and the Scottish Space Leadership Council’s Sustainable Space Challenges meeting - accelerates excitement for- and strategic growth of space and planetary science across Scotland, including within its education system. In addition, key aspects of this meeting relate to the interests and ongoing development of the UK Cosmochemical Analysis Network and the Distributed Planetary Laboratory Facilities of the Europlanet Society.

This event is hosted by the University of Edinburgh’s  large and well-equipped School of Geosciences, and potential delegates should be aware that this institution is also home to a range of specialist cooperative clusters such as SPRINT, the UK Centre for Astrobiology, the Centre for Exoplanetary Science, the Bayes Centre, the Royal Observatory, and UK Astronomy Technology Centre that hosts the Higgs Centre for Innovation.

This international meeting aligns with the University of Edinburgh's
Interdisciplinary Building Worlds theme

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Topical Sessions


Presenting Authors


Potential sponsors are sought for this event, and /or key aspects thereof, can elect to support a range of defined packages or may discuss with the meeting's Chair, Amy Riches, if alternate provisions are offered.