Mars was once similar to Earth, but today there are no rivers, no lakes, no oceans. Coated in red dust, the terrain is bewilderingly empty. And yet multiple spacecraft are circling Mars, sweeping over Terra Sabaea, Syrtis Major, the dunes of Elysium, and Mare Sirenum—on the brink, perhaps, of a staggering find, one that would inspire humankind as much as any discovery in the history of modern science.
In her beautifully observed, deeply personal book, The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World, Georgetown scientist Sarah Stewart Johnson tells the story of how she and other researchers have scoured Mars for signs of life, transforming the planet from a distant point of light into a world of its own. She will discuss her book on July 14, 2020, @ 7:00PM.
Sarah Stewart Johnson is an assistant professor of planetary science at Georgetown University. A former Rhodes Scholar and White House Fellow, she received her PhD from MIT and has worked on NASA’s Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity rovers. She is also a visiting scientist with the Planetary Environments Lab at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer-prizewinning American science journalist, columnist, and author of six books, including the 2018 New York Times Notable Book, The Poison Squad, and the New York Times best-seller, The Poisoner’s Handbook (2010).
For more information and videos of Harvard Science Book Talks, see https://science.fas.harvard.edu/book-talks.