Origins 705: Astrobiology Research Seminar and Journal Club

(open for Jan. 2013)

This biweekly seminar is focused on readings and presentations from the current literature in Astrobiology as well as on research projects of participants. Students will review important papers in the Astrobiology literature through seminar presentations. The seminar/journal club also will involve distinguished Astrobiology speakers from the Origins Institute colloquium series to participate in the seminar, as opportunities arise (at least 1/4 of OI speakers are in or closely associated with Astrobiology).

Students will participate in this seminar throughout their entire involvement in the program. This will be a very important if not primary tool to help build a truly interdisciplinary atmosphere among students and faculty. Faculty participation is very important.


The flow of topics will loosely follow the three basic areas covered in Origins 701. The course will meet for one hour every two weeks throughout the Fall and Winter terms. It typically will be scheduled for a lunch hour slot.


Students will be assessed on a Pass/Fail basis. They must do the regular readings and participate in the seminar discussion. They will typically make one presentation of a paper or research, per term while the program is small. As enrolment grows, this may be reduced to one presentation.

The week to week schedule of presentations will be organized and run by a small group of student organizers following a model that has been developed very successfully for the Astrophysics Program (for nearly 20 years). These students will consult with a faculty advisor from the program.