Tag Archives: michael foote

English Literature Influenced Prize-Winning Paleontologist

For a short time in grade school, Kevin Boyce lived within two blocks of the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, a place where ice age mammal fossils had been discovered. Above his bed hung a poster of the Yale Peabody Museum’s famous Age of Reptiles mural. But it wasn’t a boyhood fascination with prehistoric life that influenced his interest in paleontology, but rather the medieval literary world of Chaucer that Boyce discovered in college.

“I didn’t think twice about fossils between the ages of 7 and 20,” said Boyce, associate professor in geophysical sciences. Even during his undergraduate studies in literature and biology at the California Institute of Technology in the early 1990s, the deep history of life on Earth was far from his mind. (more…)

Read More

UChicago Launches Search for Distant Worlds

Since 1995, scientists have discovered approximately 600 planets around other stars, including 50 planets last month alone, and one that orbits two stars, like Tatooine in Star Wars. Detection of the first Earthlike planet remains elusive, however, and now the University of Chicago joins the search with the addition of Jacob Bean and Daniel Fabrycky to the faculty.

“I can’t imagine a more profound impact on humanity than the discovery that there are other Earthlike worlds or that we are not alone,” said Rocky Kolb, the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics and department chairman. (more…)

Read More