Research

Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI)

Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI)

Answering the Question of the Origin and Evolution of the Earth and Life: Toward a World-Class Bioplanetology Research Site

Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) is a research center exploring topics from the question of the origin and evolution of the Earth and life to the possibility of extra-terrestrial life by taking an academic approach known as bioplanetology. ELSI was selected in 2012 by the World Premier International Research Center Initiative (WPI), launched by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), establishing it as an international center for bioplanetology.

The origin and evolution of life are puzzles that have perplexed humankind since the age of the Greek philosophers. Many scientists have done their best to solve this mystery over the years.

ELSI focuses on Earth in its early stages when life began and aims to make progress in the question of the origin and evolution of the Earth and life.

It is thought that the Earth was completely different when it first came into being 4.6 billion years ago. How did the Earth's environment function to bring about life in those mystery-shrouded first days? And what changes occurred to the Earth with the onset of life? ELSI conducts research together with actual experiments and computer simulations centered on Earth and planetary sciences and bioscience. Knowing more about the Earth and how life began can be applied to our search for life on other planets.

ELSI aims to be a global leader in this field, and is striving to create the ideal research environment with this goal in mind. To this end, it has prepared an international setting in which English is the official language among the talented researchers that have gathered there from around the world to work together, as well as open and free spaces that encourage communication, where new ideas are born from dialogue and interchanges between researchers. The comfortable environment is somewhat different from the image of the standard research facility. Debate is carried out here that transcends barriers in science fields and careers, with four satellite sites worldwide also taking part via a video conference system for truly borderless research and collaboration.

Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI)outer