The 2014 Astrobiology Graduate Conference (AbGradCon; website http://abgradcon.org/) will be hosted by the New York Center for Astrobiology and held on the RPI campus July 27-31. The organizers are currently holding a competition to design a logo for the meeting. Plans are also in place for two additional events in association with AbGradCon: the fifth annual Astrobiology Research Focus Group (July 25-27, to be held at the Darrin Freshwater Institute on Lake George), and a regional heat of FameLab. Click here to visit the AbGradCon FaceBook group.
The primary role of AbGradCon is to stimulate the future of astrobiology research by bringing together, in a unique setting, graduate students and postdocs within 2 years of finishing their PhD. In so doing, it strives to create and strengthen interdisciplinary and international networks of early-career astrobiologists who will be leaders of the field in the years to come. The conference is unique in that it is an entirely student-led meeting, from the organization to the presentations. The pressures of typical scientific meetings are alleviated to provide an intellectually stimulating yet comfortable environment in which early-career astrobiologists meet, share research and exchange ideas. AbGradCon also helps to foster leadership skills in the next generation of scientists by giving them experience in organizing scientific meetings.