Course: Basic questions about the Origin of Life

Erice, Sicily, October 2-6 2006



The purpose of the Course is to promote a discussion on certain critical questions about the Origin of Life by utilizing a novel meeting format. In fact the meeting is not based on standard talks - instead, the speakers will be asked to address pre-given statements/questions and each one will be debated by various speakers in an open panel. In this way, also questions which are usually not presented in standard talks will be addressed. You can find such questions in this document. Some statements/questions are presented in a provocative form just to foster a more lively discussion - they do not necessarily represent the thought of the meeting organizers. You can propose to be one Presenter by following the procedure indicated here. There will be no speakers other than the self-appointed Presenters.

1: prebiotic low mw compounds
2: astrobiology
3: macromolecular sequences
4: chirality
5: the RNA-world
6: the genetic code
7: early cells
8: theoretical models
9: artificial life

In the 5 days Course (which includes a free afternoon) we will discuss up to nine statements/questions (one in the morning and one in the afternoon). Each question will be dealt with a panel of three Presenters, plus three Panellists and one Chairman. Each Presenter’ max. allotted time will be 20 min. (total 3x20=60 min.), followed by a discussion among the Presenters (total 30 min.), plus the comments and criticism of the three Panellists (total 30 min.), and the concluding remarks of the Chairman (5-10 min.). There will be also the opportunity to collect contributions from the audience (ca 20 min.) - total about 2 and half hour per session.

Persons wishing to contribute to or attend the Course should download the APPLICATION FORM file

Course director


A. Zichichi, Director of the School

A. Zichichi
EMFCSC President and
 Director of the Centre
G. Bender - M. Gell-Mann - I. Pietronero
co-Directors of the School