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Members of OoLEN are united by their interest in one big question: How does life start? This question existed well before scientific disciplines such as physics, chemistry or biology emerged. And it has persisted after those disciplines developed. We advocate for a post-disciplinary approach to understanding the origin of life.

At OoLEN, we recognize the emerging consensus that understanding the origin of life will not come from one discipline. This consensus has emerged amongst researchers who operate within the institutions and traditions of 20th century science. They present structural and practical barriers to interdisciplinary work. Because the origin of life questions exist independent from institutions and traditions, we intend to move past them.

Post-disciplinary approaches start by identifying the key question and then use any techniques from any discipline to address the question, without privileging one set of knowledge over another. In post-disciplinary approaches it is essential to articulate the heterogeneity between domains of knowledge. In particular it is important to identify where different disciplinary perspectives give different results.

The goal of OoLEN is to open new modes of post-disciplinary communication and collaboration outside the traditional structures of academic research that will enhance progress towards a scientific understanding of the origin of living processes.

Resources on this mission: