Cover: Taxi from Another Planet: Conversations with Drivers about Life in the Universe, from Harvard University PressCover: Taxi from Another Planet in HARDCOVER

Taxi from Another Planet

Conversations with Drivers about Life in the Universe

Product Details


$26.95 • £23.95 • €24.95

ISBN 9780674271838

Publication Date: 08/30/2022


304 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

18 photos


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Conversations with cab drivers lead to discussions about space exploration in this fun outing from astrobiologist Cockell… He does a great job blending cutting-edge science with philosophical considerations. This is a joy to read.Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Timely… Cockell makes us consider a gamut of new possibilities that boggle the mind.—Bruce Dorminey, Forbes

The single most interesting space book I’ve seen this year… I remain very grateful for Taxi from Another Planet, a book I will be returning to and recommending to others.—John Wilson, National Review

While Cockell gives an insider, science-based understanding of space and its exploration, he’s not shy in offering his opinions, such as there being no Planet B to flee to after we finish wreaking havoc on this one. Far from being at odds, he persuasively argues, environmentalism at home and exploration in space are natural allies working to understand and protect biological life.—Adrienne Ross Scanlan, New York Journal of Books

Cockell gives readers a good, basic (and easy-to-understand) refresher course on life on Earth as he prepares to discuss life outside Earth… While this is surely a book for adults, older teens who study the skies and make plans for a home on the moon will appreciate it as well.—Terri Schlichenmeyer, The Daily News [Galveston, TX]

An interesting and humorous approach to questions about the universe with relatively in-depth subject exploration.Library Journal

From human societies on Mars to cosmic microbes and alien worlds, this superbly intelligent, erudite book offers an intoxicating look at how the cutting edge of scientific thought on life’s status in the universe connects to all of us. Faced with the fascinating questions of taxi drivers from around the world, Cockell is a convivial and inspiring passenger.—Caleb Scharf, author of The Ascent of Information

Most astronomers find it hard to respond to questions from the public without lapsing into jargon or technicalities, but Charles Cockell is a natural communicator. Taxi from Another Planet conveys an array of ideas—all fascinating, and some profound—with a light touch and utter clarity. Accessible to anyone curious about the cosmos.—Martin Rees, coauthor of The End of Astronauts

In this unique book, Cockell takes us on a journey through astrobiology—one taxi ride at a time. Combining scientific inquiries with personal stories, Taxi from Another Planet is a fascinating conversation starter.—Lisa Kaltenegger, Director of the Carl Sagan Institute, Cornell University

Cab drivers spend mere minutes with their passengers, which motivates them to ask riders only the interesting questions: Could Martians be dangerous? Will talking to aliens be more enlightening than talking to a dog? Cockell’s answers from the backseat are clear and delightfully phrased in this informative and thoroughly entertaining book.—Seth Shostak, author of Confessions of an Alien Hunter

The ever curious and creative mind of Charles Cockell takes us on a ride that is both whimsical and thoroughly insightful. Science, society, and history are woven together throughout this delightful book, resembling the many intertwining streets of Cockell’s journeys, and ours.—Kevin Peter Hand, author of Alien Oceans: The Search for Life in the Depths of Space

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