Is there life beyond Earth?

Caleb Scharf works in the fields of exoplanetary science and astrobiology, and writes extensively about science for a popular audience. Exoplanetary science is devoted to the discovery and characterization of planets around other stars, and understanding the formation, histories, and properties of these planets. One ultimate goal of this research is to find planets that could harbor recognizable life, and to detect the presence of that life—an effort that falls under the banner of astrobiology.


Latest Book

  • When it comes to scientific thought-provocation, Scharf is there with Paul Feyerabend and Richard Feynman, Marie Curie and Peter Higgs … This book feels alive with spontaneity … [It] is near combustible with convivial—maybe even mad—energy.
    Barnes and Noble Review
  • How reasonable is it to think that we are alone in the vast expanses of space? And how significant is life on Earth on the Universal (or multiversal) scale? These are the questions that astrobiologist Caleb Scharf addresses intelligently and comprehensively in his beautifully written The Copernicus Complex. The book offers a grand tour of important findings from astronomy to biology that are relevant to the cosmic and microscopic search for life.
    Mario Livio, Nature
  • An intoxicating collection of questions answered with other questions, and startling discoveries that make creation even more mysterious … Books such as these remind us that we are lucky to be here at all, and even luckier to be here now.
    The Guardian
  • A brilliantly written and engaging account of modern astronomy.
    Owen Gingerich, American Scholar
  • [A] witty, adroitly marshalled treatise on human significance.
    Robin McKie, The Observer

Featured Items

Where Do Minds Belong?

Intelligence could have been moving back and forth between biological beings and machine receptacles for aeons.

– Aeon

Inside a New Effort to Discover Life's Origins

A dispatch from Tokyo, where scientists are trying to answer one of science’s most vexing questions.

- The Atlantic

Life Beyond the Pale Blue Dot

Our own oasis of life in the cosmos is blue, but will others be?

– Nautilus

A Universe Full of Planets

The phrase “scientific revolution” tends to get overused. But there is one happening right now that could arguably alter the entire trajectory of human existence.

– The New York Times