(Review for the Astrobiology Society of Britain.) In Lucky Planet, David Waltham argues that Earth’s teeming, complex biosphere is a rare anomaly in an almost sterile cosmos. From the start, he acknowledges that many of us have strong intuitions to the contrary: isn’t Earth just another planet orbiting just another star? There are trillions of … Continue reading Book Review: Lucky Planet
“Though a planetary perspective is a magnificent and enriching thing, places, not planets, are the core of human experience. It is from places that we build our world.” — Mapping Mars, Oliver Morton (2002) “He stood thereby, though ‘in the centre of Immensities, in the conflux of Eternities,’ yet manlike towards God and man; the vague shoreless … Continue reading Lost in Space
Oh how grassy is this hopper, How this berry ripely rasps. I would never have conceived it If I weren’t conceived myself! —Wisława Szymborska Astrobiology is sometimes and with some justice disparaged as a science with only one data point. This is not to deny the wealth of geological, astronomical and biological knowledge that can … Continue reading “As to what they may be”
This week, I am in a drab little town called The Woodlands* in Houston, Texas, for the 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC). The LPSC is the kind of international mega-conference that fills the ballrooms of a large convention centre and swamps a dozen local hotels with delegates. Some of it is being streamed … Continue reading Houston, we have a conference
I am a PhD research student at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. I'm English and before I came to Aberdeen I read Earth Sciences at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford ( I graduated in 2010). I am a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a STEM Ambassador (this means I can be booked for UK … Continue reading Hello, world.