Over the past few decades, the field of planetary science has undergone a revolution thanks to the discovery of over 5,000 confirmed extrasolar planets, exhibiting a wide range of sizes and masses that surpass the inventory of our own solar system. This remarkable progress has been made possible, to a large extent, by the contributions of the Kepler mission and the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). However, it is worth noting that many of these exoplanets may bear closer resemblance to Venus rather than Earth, primarily due to the inherent bias of our current observation techniques, which favor the detection and observation of planets in close proximity to their host stars.

Nevertheless, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), which has already commenced observing high-priority exoplanet targets, holds unique potential to unravel the mysteries surrounding the processes of star and planet formation. This state-of-the-art telescope is poised to make groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of exoplanet research, planetary science, and the origins of life. The design of the JWST is centered around four primary scientific themes, two of which are particularly relevant to the study of exoplanets and planetary science:

(i) The Birth of Stars and Protoplanetary Systems theme aims to unravel the intricate processes involved in the birth and early evolution of stars, beginning from their formation through the gravitational collapse of interstellar material to the emergence of protostars enshrouded in dust, ultimately leading to the genesis of planetary systems.

(ii) The Planetary Systems and Origins of Life theme focuses on investigating the physical and chemical properties exhibited by planetary systems. Through this theme, the JWST seeks to determine the conditions and explore the potential for the origins of life within these systems, thereby delving into the fundamental question of life’s emergence in the universe.

The aim of this IAU Symposium is to foster collaboration and establish connections between observational astronomers, specifically those interested in using the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) for planetary science observations, and theoretical astronomers seeking to refine their theories through the analysis of observational results. While both disciplines have made significant advancements in the past decade, there has been limited interaction between the respective communities, resulting in a lack of knowledge regarding developments in other fields. By gaining a better understanding of the latest insights in these rapidly evolving areas, we can greatly enhance our understanding of planet formation and the exploration of extraterrestrial life.

The symposium will feature invited talks and reviews that encompass both the observational and theoretical aspects. Its ultimate objective is to optimize communication and collaboration among experts from both sides, thereby maximizing the scientific yield. The program will span three days and cover a wide range of topics relevant to the field.