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About the Creator and Performer

Dr. Sarah Rugheimer is an astrophysicist at the University of Oxford. Her work focuses on how to detect life on an exoplanet by looking for atmospheric biosignatures. Dr. Rugheimer’s research interests include modeling the atmosphere and climate of extrasolar planets, with a particular focus on atmospheric biosignatures in Earth-like planets, as well as modeling early Earth conditions.
Dr. Rugheimer earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Physics at the University of Calgary, and her MA and PhD in Astrophysics at Harvard University. She moved to the United Kingdom in 2015 to take the Simons Origins of Life Research Fellowship at the University of St. Andrews and is now at the University of Oxford with a Glasstone Research Fellowship and Hugh Price Fellowship at Jesus College.
Dr. Rugheimer is an advocate for Women in STEM, hosting a resource page as well as mentoring students. She is the cohost of a podcast, Self-care with Drs. Sarah, which is aimed at junior scientists navigating academia. Dr. Rugheimer has been on NPR and BBC discussing her work on modeling the atmosphere and climate of extrasolar planets. Her other passions include dance and high-altitude mountaineering.

What listeners say about Searching for Extraterrestrial Life

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Great book and worth the credit

Very good set of lectures and very interesting. I find all of this very interesting and Dr. Sarah Rugheimer does a great job of not over doing it like some authors do. She sticks to the facts it seems and does a great job of helping people like me start to understand things that are way over my head! I definitely recommend this book.

6 people found this helpful

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Filled with the author's politics rather than cont

the author cant help but interject her political views. which is par for the course for the indoctrination of our over priced universities. Note to author, if you want to write political books that is wonderful, just don't try to hide it in subjects that have nothing to do with politics

2 people found this helpful

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Exciting Survey of the Search for Alien Life

I got this Great Courses book solely because of the title and imagined reading about Area 51 and other popular stories about secret contact. What I got was much better. Sarah Rugheimer walks us through what we know about the possibilities of life in the universe and how our scientists are trying to discover if it actually exists. I was absolutely fascinated. It’s never bad for a fan of science fiction to indulge in a little genuine science—especially when it’s conveyed by someone as capable as Dr. Rugheimer.

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Eye-opening stuff.

Loved the steady and firm control of the arguments presented. If you’re a person interested in science, you probably knew some of the facts presented in the lectures. But the true power of this series is about connecting the dots and putting everything into a wide frame of reference. Makes you want to become an astrobiologist!

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A fantastic introduction to one of the hottest topics in science

Sarah is a force to be reckoned with and this course is extremely well organized, well thought out, and a delight to listen to. Everybody from Sci fi to hard core science fans with delight in this lovely, lovely discussion of aliens and their possible origin stories.

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Pretty good, but a bit too many unrelated materials

The audiobook is nice and the author communicated clearly on quite difficult subjects. However, I would actually prefer she goes through a few more planets and galaxies on what we know about them so far, instead of talking about evolution and the origin of life for two lectures ( I think one is enough). Also, I did not enjoy her stories like meeting Obama or the intelligence of dogs vs cats. It’s not like the stories or the knowledge are bad, but I just think they are irrelevant.

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Fun listen, while it made my mind wander/wonder

This was true enjoyment from beginning to end. I gave myself and employees some good topics for discussion (fun topics)
- the book was informative and not in a 'lecturing way' more of a "check this out, isnt this exciting/interesting?"

- I am hoping to find something that I enjoyed as much as this (also see "The Science of SciFy") type of audiobook.

well done !

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Leftist propaganda

This is leftist propaganda disguised as scientific discussion!!!! Let’s go Brandon #FJB I’m very disappointed in Audible for making this a free book! It tells me where their motives lie.

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Below par

After reading several books on the topic, I must say this course was a let down in many ways. It was very short, and echoed points discussed by everyone else talking about or teaching this topic. The information is just too recycled and sounds to me like a good song heard too many times, no longer sounding good. I'm eager for new data on this topic and this course/ audiobook does not provide anything new. In addition, this instructor was too skeptical and lacked imagination and an open mind.

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Highly Interesting

I loved this lecture! If you are expecting the sort of sensationalist, ancient alien content of something like the “history” channel this is not for you. This was a thoughtful and engaging exploration into the scientific fields that are searching for possible life in the universe and the implications that it may have on science, culture, and life as a whole. I recommend this to anyone interested in space in general!

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  • Jake Dootson-whelan
  • 03-17-22

Fabtastic

I listen to science audio books often and I have listened to a few of the great courses before, this one was by far the most entertaining.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-06-22

5*

Excellent! Great introduction to the science behind the search for alien life, and lively narrator.

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  • Buzz Jones
  • 01-27-22

Fantastic

This is a really great Course/Listen… I’ve really enjoyed it and listened twice already. It’s read brilliantly and correctly. There are so many audibles out there where the narrator is crap. It really helps having the author reading it as She is so knowledgeable and really cares. Great listen

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-15-21

Fascinating and beautifully narrated.

The topic is really interesting and it’s presented with a great deal of enthusiasm and occasional gentle humour. I thoroughly enjoyed this and would love the author/narrator to publish again.

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  • Claire Sears
  • 09-19-21

Well Worth The Listen

I've read and watched many documentaries on the subject, and this was a great source of gathering that information into one place, as well as learning about the specific work Dr Rugheimer does in this field.
I wholeheartedy agree with the author on the putting our planet into context with the universe: it is absolutely vital that we cover the imprint, we, as humans, have on our world in relation to searching for life in the universe.
Wonderful to listen to, with interesting anecdotes, useful modern cultural references and further reading suggestions, which complimented the discussion of the subject.