Arsenic, bacteria and alien life: Lessons from an internet frenzy

Arsenic_lifeDecember 2010 saw the announcement on the Nasa website of a press conference described enigmatically only as to “discuss an astrobiology finding that will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life”. Speculation exploded across the Internet regarding the discovery due to be announced, and I gave an interview to a Sun journalist in an attempt to quash this heresay, which was widely quoted on websites and newspapers including the Telegraph. After the Nasa press conference was delivered, and the news finally announced as to what had actually been discovered, I wrote this Opinion piece for the Guardian as a perspective on the whole affair.

Read the full story on The Guardian website

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