Exoplanetary science is on the verge of an unprecedented revolution. With at least four space missions and numerous large ground-based facilities scheduled to become operational in the next decade, the new era promises unprecedented observations of exoplanets - both in their detection as well as in detailed characterization of their atmospheres, interiors, and formation conditions. Concomitant major developments are also expected in all aspects of exoplanetary theory and data interpretation. It is becoming increasingly clear already that new interdisciplinary approaches are required to make holistic advances in the field. Additionally, as new scientific questions and areas emerge at increasingly fast pace in the field there is a need for a focused forum where emerging questions in frontier areas of the field can be discussed in an interdisciplinary and stimulating environment.
Thanks to support from The Kavli Foundation we are starting a new Exoplanet Symposium series focused on addressing pressing questions in forefront areas of exoplanetary science. The event will bring together experts from diverse areas of the field to deliberate and discuss in a focused setting on issues which are important to make rapid and fundamental advances in a chosen area each year. One emerging area/theme in exoplanetary science will be chosen each year based on its critical importance to the advancement of the field, relevance to existing/imminent observational facilities, need for an interdisciplinary approach, and/or scope for fundamental breakthroughs.
About 30 experts in the field globally will be invited to Cambridge, UK, with all expenses paid, for a two-day symposium in the form of a round-table discussion on the chosen area each year. The expert group will discuss outstanding questions, new pathways, interdisciplinary synergies, and strategic actions that could benefit the community in that area.
The inaugural symposium "ExoFrontiers 2016" will be held this year on September 5-6, 2016. The goal of this first symposium is to bring together experts from different areas of exoplanetary science to share their visions about the most pressing questions and future outlook of their respective areas. These visions will help provide both a broad outlook of the field as well as guidance for future symposia.