The ELSI Origins Network project, EON for short, aims to build a cohesive and lasting global network of researchers working to address questions relating to the origins of life. We support research across a wide range of disciplines that contributes to the following questions:
- How did life arise on Earth?
- How common is life in the Universe?
- What fundamental principles explain the emergence of life?
EON was created to form a world-wide and interdisciplinary network, centered at ELSI, for research into the Origin of Life. Its goal is to bring together existing ideas from different sciences to shape each other’s development, and to create a collaborative research community with global vision, which can recognize and ask the next generation of questions. EON is designed to support ELSI’s goal to be a worldwide destination for leading-edge research in all aspects of the Origin of Life, and to internationalize research and higher education in Japan.
The Origins Network itself has its origin at ELSI, the Earth-Life Science Institute at Tokyo Tech University. This is located in the Ookayama campus just south of the central Tokyo area, close to Shinagawa, a major transportation hub in Tokyo with easy access to both Narita airport and Haneda airports, as well as the high-speed shinkansen (“bullet”) train. ELSI is well set up to serve as a hub, with its own building dedicated to origins of life research, and about a dozen faculty members and several dozen postdoctoral researchers working in areas from astrophysics to geophysics, to chemistry and biology, as well as the physics of complex systems and aspects of computational science and high-performance computing.
The ELSI Origins Network has been launched on July 1st, 2015. Funding for EON is provided by the John Templeton Foundation during its first phase, through April 1st, 2018.
EON activities include workshops, postdoctoral fellowships, research grants and long-term hosted visitorships to ELSI. EON will support nine workshops on integrative themes, in the period between July 1st, 2015 and April 1st, 2018. Workshops may be proposed by researchers anywhere in the world and should concern core questions or methodological approaches to the origin and nature of life. The EON web portal will also announce workshops by our sister project Modeling the Origin of Life (MOL), and various Origins-related events at ELSI.
EON-supported research includes the work of all EON members, at ELSI and at our affiliated centers. EON will award 8 Seed Grants of maximum USD50k each to interdisciplinary and preferably international collaborations to support innovative projects in the Origin of Life. Supported researchers may come from, and may be working in, any country.
Content: ELSI is a World Premier International research center located in Tokyo on the campus of the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology in Japan (MEXT), ELSIs scientific charter is to understand the origin of the Earth and the Origin of Life as coupled problems within a larger context of planetary science. The scientific staff of ELSI includes about a dozen faculty members and several dozen postdoctoral researchers working in areas of astronomy, planetary science, earth science, chemistry, biology, and the physics of complex systems as well as computational science and high-performance computing.