What exactly do we know about life? So far we've only encountered one example — life on Earth — and we tend to be a little biased by its familiarity. Life in Space explores what science can say about the definition and history of life in the universe. The book explores the philosophical issues involved in studying life before turning to astrobiology proper — the scientific study of life spanning astronomy, planetary science, chemistry, biology, and a host of other fields. This book gave me a chance to present life as a single narrative — building up from atoms to cells to organisms and moving forward from the first stars to intelligent life. Finally, in the last chapters of the book, I explore intelligence and humanity. The book comes full circle by talking about how our biology affects our philosophy, shaping the way we look at the world and the way we do research.
What inspires you to sit down and write?
I really enjoy putting things together, particularly when I can bring together learning from a number of different areas and make things fit.