SPIE Fellow Richard Hoover has provoked a media frenzy with his claim that fossils have been discovered in meteorites found on Earth. While Hoover has been pursuing his research for years, most news outlets seem to have noticed it very recently.
Hoover's assertions in the Journal of Cosmology have provoked lively discussions and an official statement from Paul Hertz, chief scientist of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, saying the agency could not support the claims without rigorous peer review.
Hoover served as President of SPIE in 2002, and was the recipient of the Gold Medal of the Society in 2009 for his work in X-ray and EUV optics, ranging from microscopes to telescopes. He has published numerous papers on his research in SPIE Proceedings in recent years. In 2009, the National Science Foundation published the following profile and video of Hoover's work:
Extremophile hunter (June 2009)
Hoover chairs the Life in the Cosmos panel each year at SPIE Optics + Photonics
, this year scheduled for the evening of August 23 in San Diego, California. As always, it promises to be a lively discussion; this year, more than ever.
NASA refutes alien discovery claim (Discovery News)
Alien fossils found in meteorite? Scientists urge skepticism (Christian Science Monitor)
"One of the great tragedies of the last decade is the decline in science reporting as a specialty" (NPR blog)