First EU-funded Planetology Network congress to be held in Berlin

Europlanet
13 September 2006

This month, planetary scientists from Europe and all over the world will meet to discuss results gleaned in the past years. Organised by EuroPlaNet, the EU-funded Planetology Network, the Berlin meeting - taking place from 18 to 22 September - will address all fields of planetary sciences.

The first European Planetary Science Congress (ESPC 1) is intended to provide a platform to exchange and present results, develop new ideas and to network the planetary science community. ESPC 1 will cover a broad area of science topics related to planetary science and planetary missions. It will have a distinctively interactive style, with a mix of talks, workshops, panels and posters, intended to provide a stimulating environment for the community to meet.

"ESPC 1 provides the opportunity to pull together all planetary sciences resources coming from space missions, ground-based observations, laboratory data and computer modelling" says J-P.Lebreton, Huygens Project Scientist and one of the EuroPlaNet coordinators.

EPSC 1 takes place in close collaboration with the European Geosciences Union (EGU). Manuel Grande, President of the EGU Division on Planetary and Solar System Sciences and joint EuroPlaNet Meetings Coordinator, says: "The idea is that whereas EGU provides a theatre, EPSC will be much more interactive. We hope it will be more like a forum, where European Planetary scientists come to share their data, and discuss their next steps in this voyage of exploration."

"We are leaving a golden age in terms of richness of the data being returned by our missions," adds Michel Blanc, co-chair of the ESPC 1 science programme committee and EuroPlaNet Project Scientist, "and now we should turn gold into platinum."

The main objective of EuroPlaNet, launched on 1 January 2005, is to achieve a long term integration of Planetary Sciences in Europe through the networking of the European research groups involved in this field. During four years, EuroPlaNet will develop and coordinate synergies between space observations, Earth-based observations, laboratory research, numerical simulations and databases development through six networking activities in addition to the overall project Management. It is funded by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Programme.

Special event: ESA-EU evening

With the recent success of space missions such as ESA's Mars Express, Venus Express, Smart-1 and Cassini-Huygens, planetary science has become a major field of European science. This remarkable situation is due to the joint efforts of ESA, national space agencies, national research institutions, and of the scientific community at large.

With the EU joining in the effort, as it does through EuroPlaNet, the scientific return from planetary missions can be enhanced and broadened, as well as its impact on society and education. This will eventually occur if all actors of planetary science elaborate a common vision and play complementary roles.

On Tuesday 19 September, the 'ESA-EU evening' will feature a panel discussion on these subjects with representatives of ESA, of the European Union Framework Programme, and of the scientific community.

More information including the conference programme

http://www.europlanet-eu.org and http://meetings.copernicus.org/epsc2006.

The conference programme book can also be downloaded here

Conference venue
Estrel Convention Centre
Sonnenallee 225
12057 Berlin
Germany
www.estrel.de

Press accreditation
Tel: +49 55 5691099
E-mail: meetings @ copernicus.org

Media & Press Office (from 18 to 21 September)
Tel: +49 30 6831 10002
Fax: +49 30 6831 10012
Email: epsc1 @ rssd.esa.int

For additional information

Ralf Srama, EuroPlaNet Meetings Coordinator
Email: ralf.srama @ mpi-hd.mpg.de

Jean-Pierre Lebreton, ESA Huygens Project Scientist and EuroPlaNet Outreach Strategy Coordinator
Email : jean-pierre.lebreton @ esa.int

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