We are organizing an international scientific conference, to be held on 14-18 September 2009. The venue is the CosmoCaixa science museum in Barcelona, Spain.

One of the most important scientific challenges for the 21st century is the search of habitable worlds around other stars, and the characterization of their atmospheres with the goal of detecting signs of biological activity.  This is a long-term, interdisciplinary endeavor, engaging astrophysicists, biologists, planetary scientists, and instrument scientists. Eventually, space missions will address those questions, however today we need to start making intermediate steps. The aim of this conference is to help integrate the prospective efforts in Europe and in the US, build a community around this theme, and bring together several pathways towards that final goal.

The conference will include introductory lectures, invited talks, contributed talks and posters on the major scientific topics listed below, as well as public talks. The conference is sponsored in part by the Spanish CSIC, the Catalan IEEC, the NASA ExoPlanet Science Institute, and the Blue Dots initiative.

We encourage you to circulate the announcement among your colleagues, and to bookmark this website (http://www.pathways2009.net) as your primary source for the latest information on the Pathways conference.

Vincent Coudé du Foresto, on behalf of the Scientific Organizing Committee