Science and Medicine

FOURTH ROCK FROM THE SUN
Mars Discovery Puts Professor in Spotlight

By Janet Basu


The 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, he’s gotten used to clamoring reporters, endless television appearances and the occasional request to testify before Congress.

Richard ZareRICHARD ZARE:
“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 amused and bemused.

Zare’s celebrity results from the fact that he is one of the few scientists who have 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 lab’s role was

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NOV/DEC 1996

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 Gordon Chang


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