“Our ancestors are stars in this ‘extreme genealogy,’ which follows the history of discoveries that blossomed into a new field. . . . Berkowitz gracefully chronicles the work and passion of physicists, chemists, and other ‘stardust scientists’ who probe the universe for signs of life.”
“[An] intriguing look at . . . ‘stardust science,’ a surprising blend of astronomy and evolutionary biology. . . . With an engaging tone and accessible science, Berkowitz shows how the current search for Earth-like planets orbiting other stars could also reveal [other life-forms] born of the same dust that made us.”
“With a delightfully readable style, Jacob Berkowitz illuminates the greatest scientific story of our time: the search for humanity’s origin and place in the cosmos. As Carl Sagan often reminded us, we are star stuff, and in this Genesis for the third millennium, Berkowitz illuminates not only the search for planets and life, but also the meaning of life. A timely subject, made real by the discovery of thousands of new planets beyond our solar system.”
—Steven J. Dick, former NASA chief historian and author of
Life on Other Worlds: The 20th-Century Extraterrestrial Life Debate
“In his lively and meticulous book, Jacob Berkowitz tells the incredible story of how we're discovering our true cosmic origins—reflected in every atom, molecule, and grain of matter in the universe. Read it and you'll never look at the night sky, or yourself, the same way again.”
—Dr. Caleb Scharf, director of astrobiology at Columbia University and author of
In 1957, as Americans obsessed over the launch of the Soviet Sputnik satellite, another less noticed space age was taking off. That year, astrophysicist Fred Hoyle and colleagues solved a centuries-old quest for the origin of the elements, from carbon to uranium. The answer they found wasn’t on Earth, but in the stars. Their research showed that we are literally stardust. The year also marked the first international conference that considered the origin of life on Earth in an astrophysical context. It was the marriage of two of the seemingly strangest bedfellows—astronomy and biology—and a turning point in what award-winning science journalist Jacob Berkowitz calls the Stardust Revolution.
In this captivating story of an exciting new science, Berkowitz weaves together the latest research results in this revolution to reveal a dramatic new view of the twinkling night sky—not as an alien frontier, but as our cosmic birthplace. Stardust scientists aren't probing the universe's physical structure, but rather its biological nature. Evolutionary theory is entering the space age.
Like opening a long-hidden box of old family letters and diaries, The Stardust Revolution offers us a new view on where we’ve come from and brings to light our journey from stardust to thinking beings.
Pages: 376 (illustrations and color photos)
Shipping Weight: 2lbs
Jacob Berkowitz is the bestselling author of Jurassic Poop: What Dinosaurs (and Others) Left Behind, winner of the 2009 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award. His book Out of This World: The Amazing Search for an Alien Earth was selected as a SkyNews Magazine 2009 best book of the year. He has written for the Globe and Mail, among other publications.