Rationale:

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are, for short intervals, the brightest sources in the Universe, illuminating and probing their lines of site in exquisite detail. Thus they offer the opportunity to unveil the host galaxy ambient medium and to explore the distant Universe with a level impossible to achieve with any other class of objects. Therefore, GRBs are probes of many different environments: they are probes of the very high redshift Universe, with connections to Population III sources and re-ionization; and they are probes of dense stellar regions in which they form (at least those connected to massive progenitors), allowing us to track the chemical evolution and dust evolution of the Universe. In addition, merger events are unique gravity wave, particle and neutrino probes. The goal of the conference is to review the current status of our knowledge on GRBs as probes and to discuss open issues and requirements for future experiments and instruments.

Topics:

1) GRB environment: observations

2) GRB environment: theory

3) High redshift Universe: observations

4) High redshift Universe: theory

5) Chemical Evolution across the time history

6) GRB host galaxies

7) GRBs & dust

8) New missions & new instruments

9) GRBs as fundamental physics probes