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Exoplanet Science Strategy

Announcement: This report was released September 5, 2018.  Watch the Webcast Here 


View Video


Statement of Task

In preparation for and as an input to the upcoming decadal surveys in astronomy and astrophysics and planetary science, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine will appoint an ad hoc committee to perform a study with the following objectives:

  • Survey the status of the field of exoplanet science, including the use of current and planned facilities such as Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, the James Webb Space Telescope, the Wide Field InfraRed Survey Telescope, and any other telescope, spacecraft, or instrument, as appropriate;
  • Recommend an Exoplanet Science Strategy that outlines the key scientific questions for exoplanet science and research and related near-, medium-, and far-term measurement and technology goals. The Strategy will include the search for life in the universe as well as cross-discipline opportunities in Earth science, astrophysics, heliophysics, and planetary science.
  • Discuss which of the key goals of the committee's Strategy could be addressed via current decadal survey recommended priority activities and also identify opportunities for coordination with international partners, commercial partners, and not-for-profit partners;

In the course of conducting this study, the committee will consider and regularly consult with the concurrent study “State of the Science of Astrobiology,” in the area of assessing habitability, searching for signs of life, and other relevant areas of scientific overlap . Also the committee will not revisit or redefine the scientific priorities or mission recommendations from previous decadal surveys.


Committee Meetings

March 6-7, 2018
Washington, DC
Agenda I Presentations


April 19-20, 2018
Irvine, CA
Agenda I Presentations

June 5-6, 2018
Washington, DC
Agenda I

Community Input

White Paper Request

Submissions for Community  White Papers were accepted January 22, 2018  thru March 9, 2018. All responses have been made available to the committee. The submitted white papers are posted and available for public viewing below.


View this linked pdf with the full text description and instructions for white papers.

View the Submitted White Papers


(5/8/18) The website which houses the RFI's is being upgraded and "may" not  be available. We are working hard to bring it back online as soon as we can. Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Questions about the project or white paper submissions may be directed to the project staff at: 

Committee Members

View Bios

David Charbonneau (NAS) - Co Chair
Harvard University

B. Scott Gaudi - Co Chair
Ohio State University

Fabienne A. Bastien
Pennsylvania State University

Jacob Bean

University of Chicago

Justin R. Crepp

University of Notre Dame

Eliza Kempton

Grinnell College

Chryssa Kouveliotou (NAS)

George Washington University

Bruce A. Macintosh

Stanford University

Dimitri P. Mawet

California Institute of Technology

Victoria S. Meadows

University of Washington

Ruth Murray-Clay
University of California, Santa Cruz

Evgenya L. Shkolnik

Arizona State University

Ignas Snellen

University of Leiden

Alycia J. Weinberger

Carnegie Institution of Washington 


David Lang
Senior Program Officer - BPA

Chris Jones
Program Officer - BPA

Nathan Boll
Associate Program Officer

Dionna Wise
Program Coordinator

Related Reports

New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2010)
Panel Reports—New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011)
New Worlds, New Horizons: A Midterm Assessment (2016)
Optimizing the U.S. Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy System (2015)
Evaluation of the Implementation of WFIRST/AFTA in the Context of New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014)



Below is an archive list of names and a link to the slides presented at the committee meeting during open session. We have only included the slides for which the presenter has given consent to post.

Presenter names and slides are listed in the order of the agenda. Presentations which have been made available for posting will be added after the panel meeting is complete.


April 19-20, 2018

Mark Swain, JPL
Faith Vilas, NSF
Chris Stark, STScI
Heike Rauer, DLR
Jeremy Kasdin, Princeton
Nick Siegler, JPL
Cyndi Atherton, Heising-Simons

March 6-8, 2018

Paul Hertz

Mary Voytek

Kevin Stevenson

Laurent Pueyo

Margaret Meixner

Jonathan Fortney

Rachel Osten

Courtney Dressing

Leslie Rogers

Debra Fischer

Olivier Guyon

Shawn Domagal-Goldman

Jennifer Yee

Anthony D. Del Genio

* No slides indicate that the presenter did not utilize slides during their presentation.

* Permission pending indicates that the presenter has not given us consent to publish the slides they presented at the meeting.

* Written materials submitted to a study committee by external sources are listed in the project's public access file and can be made available to the public upon request via the Academies Public Access Records Office.