PSW: The [chemical] origin of life

The Paleontological Society of Washington

Wednesday, September 16, 7:00 pm, in the Cooper room (E-207A), National Museum of Natural History, Constitutional Ave. entrance

The [chemical] origin of life

Henderson Cleaves

Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington D.C. 20059

With the discovery of hundreds of extra-solar planets, scientists have been able to much more accurately fill in many previously unknown numbers of the Drake equation, which estimates the number of communicative civilizations which may exist in the Milky Way. Presently, the “bottleneck” unknown quantity is the number of planets on which life actually does arise, which is a reflection of how common conditions for the origin of life occur, and how easily the transition from non-living to living matter can take place. A brief history of the study of the origin of life and some current chemical perspectives on the problem will be presented.

Non-Smithsonian visitors will be escorted to the Cooper Room at 6:45 and 6:55 p.m. Society members will host the speaker for dinner at the Elephant & Castle (1201 Pennsylvania Ave.) prior to the meeting. Members may meet at the restaurant or inside the Constitutional Ave. entrance of the NMNH at 5:00 and walk to the restaurant as a group.

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