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Session Proposals

Session submissions are now closed

Session conveners will be notified in early November. Session proposers who have already been accepted will have a chance to modify their sessions in 2021. More details will be shared in 2021.  

Who can submit?

AbSciCon is committed to developing a diverse and equitable meeting and an inclusive program that enriches our science and society. We encourage sessions with diverse groups of conveners who can work together to broaden participation.

Session Proposal Guidelines

We recommend that you prepare your proposal outside of the online submission system to avoid losing any content in case of technical issues. Please refer to the AbSciCon guidelines for proposals for additional questions.

All proposals must meet these standards to be considered and will be reviewed by the AbSciCon scientific organizing committee.

Before submitting your proposal, please take the time to carefully examine the list of session proposals already submitted to ensure your proposed session does not significantly overlap with over sessions.

Each proposal must have between two and five conveners, including the primary convener. We encourage a diverse set of conveners; please consider including an early career scientist in your proposal.

At least one of the conveners must be designated as a ‘primary liaison’ and be available for discussions with the Program Committee regarding the session proposal during late August/early September and late January/mid-February. The full name, affiliation, and email address of each convener is required. All individuals listed as a convener must have agreed to serve as a convener before submitting the proposal.

Please note: sessions with similar scope may be merged and merged sessions still are only allowed have one primary convener and four co-conveners. To ease the merging process it is recommended to only include two conveners at the time of submission. Conveners can be updated after acceptance if needed.

There is no limit on the number of proposals submitted by an individual convener, however, the AbSciCon scientific organizing committee reserves the right to reject or merge multiple proposals submitted by the same convener(s) on related topics or across thematic areas. The scientific organizing committee may also move sessions to another or more appropriate topic area than the one to which it was submitted, request conveners revise the session title and/or description, or merge proposals on similar topics.

Session proposals must include an informative title, a maximum of 300 characters not including spaces, and be in title case (e.g., Mark the Dates for AbSciCon on Your Calendar).

The session description is limited to 150 words and should concisely describe the session's scientific and topical relevance. Sessions can focus on scientific results, their applications, or the impact of astrobiology on society.

The description will be used during the review process. Prior to acceptance, the scientific organizing committee may request that conveners revise the session title and/or description or merge proposals on similar topics. Session descriptions will be posted during the abstract submission phase to assist submitters in identifying an appropriate session and will be published in the final program.

Session proposals that are deemed to be primarily advertisements of commercial products and services will not be considered.

Session proposals must be based on scientific value and not have a focus other than scientific results and/or their applications; thus, sessions that are celebratory or in hone will not be considered. Sessions cannot be in tribute of a specific person or contain the name of a scientist in the session title or description.

Session proposals will be publicly available throughout the submission period. Potential conveners should carefully examine the list of submitted session proposals to ensure their proposed session does not significantly overlap with other sessions.

Session conveners may propose sessions in other formats than the traditional oral or poster sessions. More information on these formats is available within the Session Formats section below.

Session Conveners will be asked to select descriptive keywords from a pre-defined list of Index Terms that best describes the session. These keywords are used as a tool for authors to facilitate searches during abstract submission and in the final online program.

Session themes

Session conveners must select a primary theme for the session proposal. Themes for AbSciCon 2022 are

  • Alternate and agnostic biosignatures
  • Characterizing habitable zone exoplanet
  • Energy sources and metabolic pathways in the environment
  • Evidence for early life on Earth
  • Evolution and diversification of life: OoL to LUCA to Eukaryogenesis
  • Mission to Mars: Life detection and habitability
  • Ocean worlds near and far
  • Philosophy, history, education and community development
  • Star-planet-planetary system interactions and habitability
  • Subsurface habitability and life
  • Transition to prebiotic chemistry to biology
  • Understanding early Earth environments

Session Formats

Traditional oral and poster session formats, panels sessions, eLightning sessions, and other innovative session formats, including virtual sessions are welcome. AbSciCon 2022 will have a strong virtual program so please consider this as you develop your session proposal. Proposals for specific session formats will be reviewed and are not guaranteed. Selecting a specific session format does not increase chances of receiving an oral session.

Panels are formal discussions in an oral session setting. Panels will be approved by the scientific organizing committee prior to abstract submissions opening in November. Sessions allocated an oral session in February may also schedule their session as a panel if they wish.

eLightning sessions are three-minute oral presentations, paired with digital, interactive, poster presentations. View the AbSciCon 2019 eLightning gallery for examples.

Innovative sessions are formats that differ from traditional sessions. We want your creativity. These sessions can integrate virtual participation, showcase a theme of interest to the entire community, encompass diverse presenters, and more. Share your idea with the scientific organizing committee during your submission.

Session review process

The AbSciCon scientific organizing committee will review all session proposals in late September. The evaluation process may include decisions to merge several proposals to ensure ample interest in each session and to avoid duplicate sessions on similar topics.

At least one of the conveners must be designated as a 'liaison' and be available for any discussions with the scientific organizing committee regarding the session proposal in late September. The scientific organizing committee will notify conveners if sessions need to be merged or have their descriptions revised. Conveners will receive an email regarding the status of their proposal in early November 2020.