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The Sirens of Mars

Searching for Life on Another World

Sarah Stewart Johnson



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Allen Lane
19 June 2020
Right now, spacecraft are circling Mars, sweeping over Terra Sabaea, Syrtis Major, the dunes of Elysium and Mare Sirenum - on the brink, perhaps, of a discovery that would inspire humankind as much as any in our history. With poetic precision, Sarah Stewart Johnson traces the evocative history of our explorations of Mars, interlacing her personal journey as a scientist with tales of other seekers who have scoured the planet for signs of life. Ultimately, she shows how its story is also a story about Earth- it is a foil, a mirror, a tell-tale reflection of our own anxieties and yearnings to find - if we're lucky - that we're not alone.
By:   Sarah Stewart Johnson
Imprint:   Allen Lane
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 162mm,  Spine: 29mm
Weight:   499g
ISBN:   9780241216002
ISBN 10:   0241216001
Pages:   288
Publication Date:   19 June 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Sarah Stewart Johnson is an assistant professor at Georgetown University, where she runs a biosignatures lab and teaches courses in astrobiology and planetary science. A former Goldwater, Truman and Rhodes Scholar and Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows, she worked with President Obama's Science Advisor in the White House and now serves on the science team for NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover. She received degrees in philosophy, politics, economics and biology from the University of Oxford, and a PhD from MIT, where she subsequently served on the board. In 2014, her first published essay was included in The Best American Science and Nature Writing.

Reviews for The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World

The Sirens of Mars provides the prospect of great discovery, and an introduction to a writer of the first rank. -- Edward O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University A celebration of human curiosity, passion and perseverance. Superb in its storytelling, majestic in its vision, The Sirens of Mars will give readers a new appreciation for the preciousness of life in the cosmos. -- Alan Lightman, author of Einstein's Dreams This elegantly crafted book conveys what it's like to be a young scientist involved in the quest. -- Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and author of On the Future: Prospects for Humanity A lyrical chronicle ... Johnson's skilful narrative will engage serious students of planetary science as well as armchair adventurers. * Publishers Weekly * The inside story of the exploration of Mars and the search for life there. A young woman scientist shows what it is like to be in the thick of exciting and ground-breaking research. -- Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Professor of Astrophysics, University of Oxford

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