The history of the search for extraterrestrial life sheds light on the consequences of dismissing fringe perspectives, in science and in other disciplines. PHOTOGRAPH: BRIDGET BENNETT/GETTY IMAGES Aliens—hypothetical beings from outer space—fall into roughly three categories. They could be far-away microbes or other creatures that don’t use technology humans can […]

White dwarfs are tightly compressed balls of glowing gas left after some stars die. (Image: © Shutterstock) Humans have been searching for signs of extraterrestrial (ET) life for decades. We’ve been listening carefully for strange radio signals, looking for signatures of the artificial altering of stars and digging up rocks on Mars. […]

Szostak believes the earliest cells developed on land in ponds or pools, potentially in volcanically active regions. Ultraviolet light, lightning strikes, and volcanic eruptions all could have helped spark the chemical reactions necessary for life formation. Credit: Don Kawahigashi/Unsplash New evidence shows the first building blocks of life on Earth […]

The Princess Elisabeth Antarctica Research Station. Credit: James Linighan, Author provided As a scientist investigating climate change, I’m embarrassed by the high carbon footprint I have when I travel to, and work in, Antarctica. Researchers based in the UK regularly take four or five flights to reach the continent and […]