Origins 2021

Conference, January 26-28, 2021 - Egmond aan Zee, the Netherlands

Welcome to the website of Origins 2021, the second Origins Center conference, which will be held at Hotel Zuiderduin in Egmond aan Zee.

The origin and nature of life, as well as its presence beyond the Earth, are questions that fascinate the general public, and inspire scientists from many disciplines. In the Netherlands, research in this area is being coordinated by the Origins Center ( At this conference, a widely interdisciplinary group of scientists (among them geoscientists, evolutionary biologists, ecologists, chemists, physicists, and astronomers) will update each other about recent developments in their fields. The goal is mutual inspiration and the start of exciting new interdisciplinary collaborations.

The topics of the meeting – aligned with the main research goals of the Origins Center – are:

  1. The origin of habitable planets and life
  2. Predicting the evolution of life
  3. Building and steering life
  4. Finding extraterrestrial life
  5. Life as an emergent phenomenon

In addition to invited and contributed talks, the program will have a poster session, including pitches and a speed date session to create new, potentially interdisciplinary, connections. Also, the Research Fellows appointed by the Origins Center will present their results.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the organisers may decide at short notice to postpone the meeting or to opt for an online variant. Please keep an eye on the indicated webpages.


Key note speakers:

Ewine van Dishoeck – Leiden Observatory
Nick Lane – University College London


Confirmed invited speakers:

Marileen Dogterom – Delft University of Technology
Thijs Ettema – Wageningen University and Research
Emmanuelle Javaux – Université de Liège
Dirk Schulze-Makuch – Technical University Berlin
Alessandro Morbidelli – Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur
Erik van Nimwegen – University of Basel
Paul Rainey – Max Planck Institute Plön
Ignas Snellen – Leiden Observatory
Ricard Solé – Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Nobuto Takeuchi – University of Auckland


Important dates:

Registration and abstract submission open: September 10, 2020

Abstract deadline: early October 2020


Scientific Organizing Committee:

Floris van der Tak (Co-chair) – SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research
Inge Loes ten Kate (Co-chair) – Utrecht University
Astrid Groot – University of Amsterdam
Dennis Höning – VU University
Inga Kamp – Groningen University
Nathalie Katsonis – University of Twente
Alexander Kros – Leiden University
Liedewij Laan – Delft University of Technology
Joyce Lebbink – Erasmus University Medical Center
Roeland Merks – Leiden University
Bob Planqué – VU University
Kees Storm – Eindhoven University of Technology
Marcel Visser – Wageningen University and Research
Renske Vroomans – University of Amsterdam
Wim van Westrenen – VU University

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