Emergence exhibit, Gabriel Garcia

The hard part of figuring out how life began isn't finding that first spark of creation -- it's figuring out how dozens of different sparks worked together to create the richness of life that surrounds us today, notes the Santa Fe New Mexican.

Written by SFI Omidyar Fellow Nathan Collins, the article describes the work of SFI Professor Eric Smith and Omidyar Fellow Rogier Braakman and their collaborators who have been working across the boundaries of many scientific fields to put together the puzzle of how life emerged from early Earth’s geochemistry.

“In fact, they've taken multidisciplinary research a step beyond most of us here at the Santa Fe Institute to include, of all things, public education,” writes Collins. “As part of a National Science Foundation Frontiers in Integrative Biological Research project that brings together everyone from geochemists to cell biologists to study the origin of life, Smith and Braakman are also working to bring what they learn about life's beginnings directly to the public through museum exhibits, public-speaking engagements, and even workshops for high school teachers.”

The article describes a new permanent museum exhibit, a joint project of SFI, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, and New Mexico Highlands University, now on display at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

Read the article (July 26, 2011)

More about the museum exhibit

More about SFI's origin of life research