CRC 235 Emergence of Life

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CRC 235 Emergence of Life is DISCONTINUED

Letter from the Speaker of the CRC 235


Researching the emergence of life is a growing long term research topic, joining disciplines from astrophysics, geoscience, physics, chemistry and biochemistry. We were the first Collaborative Research Center on this topic in Germany. Last week, funding was unexpectedly and abruptly terminated after just the first four years, despite the fact that we improved our evaluation grades and had to built up our network during difficult Covid times.

We published many collaborative papers in top-tier journals (PNAS, Nature Chemistry, Nature Physics, Angewandte, PRL) and adapted our cross-disciplinary network to experimentally investigate how life became established on early Earth. Our just-established center, recognized as a world's leading center for the study of the origins of life, established a very popular international meeting and was preparing an exhibition at the Deutsches Museum.

It is now stalled by an apparent turn in policy. This unexpected decision leaves us with many questions and implies that cross-disciplinary research lacks structural support. Besides the missing funding for young female investigators, we now miss critical resources in Germany to tackle one of the most interesting questions science has to offer.

Prof. Dieter Braun
Speaker of CRC 235 Emergence of Life