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Leverhulme Centre for Life in the Universe



Research within the Centre aims to develop a deeper understanding of life, its emergence, and its distribution in the Universe by addressing four questions:

  • What are the chemical pathways which led to the origins of life that are compatible with benign conditions for life in different planetary environments?
  • How do we characterise the environments on Earth and other planets that could act as the cradle of prebiotic chemistry and life?
  • What observational facilities and methods will allow investigation of bodies beyond the Solar System, the remote sensing of their atmospheres and the search for signatures of geological and biological evolution?
  • How can philosophical and mathematical concepts refine our understanding of what we mean by life, leading to new interdisciplinary collaborations and modes of scientific enquiry?

To achieve these objectives, research activities across the Centre are designed to facilitate continuous communication and interaction among the sciences and the arts and humanities as illustrated below.

Flow of information and research activities across the Centre: Robust understanding of life in the Universe can only be achieved through communication and iteration among several sciences and the arts and humanities.


Core Research Programme

The Centre's core research programme consists of four themes: