In this biography, science writer Scoles celebrates the life and work of astronomer Jill Cornell Tarter and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), the movement whose beating heart she has long been. Tarter has been searching the skies since the late 1960s, when computers ran on information from punch cards. In that time she has battled skeptical donors, derisive politicians, and constant misogyny. She was also the inspiration for the character of Ellie Arroway in the novel Contact. Scoles shares milestones and anecdotes from Tarter’s life while explaining what SETI is and how it has evolved with technological advancements. Scoles also notes the recent events that make it more possible that we may one day find life outside our world: the detection of planets orbiting distant stars and the discovery of extremophiles, which are terrestrial organisms that live in extreme conditions. Over time, Tarter’s team at the Center for SETI Research grew to include chemists, geologists, philosophers, and others. The book’s only drawback is that its narrative skips back and forth, which can make the chronology confusing. That flaw aside, Scoles shares the fantastic story of people willing to pursue a quixotic goal in the face of daunting odds. Agent: Zoe Sandler, ICM. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2017 Release date: 07/01/2017 Genre: Nonfiction
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