How do we fit into the Universe? Are we alone? By taking these questions seriously, astrobiology is attracting public attention and students. Two new astrobiology journals have sprung up and NASA funding is flowing again. With the publication of Planets and Life, a textbook for graduate students and upper level undergraduates, astrobiology is taking another large step towards formalizing itself as an established multidisciplinary field. If you’re becoming an astrobiologist, this thick authoritative text contains the stuff you need to know. Job-conscious Ph.D. students studying astrobiology and worried about some of its flakier adherents can now sleep easier.

It’s...

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