Science and Medicine
FOURTH ROCK FROM THE SUN
Mars Discovery Puts Professor in Spotlight
By Janet Basu
he autograph seekers were the big surprise.
Since the news broke in August that Richard Zare had played a
role in the discovery of possible life on
Mars, hes gotten used to clamoring
reporters, endless television appearances and the occasional request to testify
Ebullient about science.
But when flight attendants lined up for his John Hancock on a recent trip from
Washington, he was floored.
Imagine this happening to me, says the professor of chemistry, both
Zares celebrity results from the fact that he is one of the few scientists who
held a chunk of rock from Mars and looked inside to detect signs of something that
once might have been alive. In the days after his labs role was