The Geophysical Laboratory’s own Bob Hazen will be starring in “Life’s a Rocky Start,” a PBS NOVA special on January 13, 2016 at 9pm EST on PBS.
Program description: Four and a half billion years ago, the young Earth was a hellish place— a seething chaos of meteorite impacts, volcanoes belching noxious gases, and lightning flashing through a thin, torrid atmosphere. Then, in a process that has puzzled scientists for decades, life emerged. But how? NOVA joins mineralogist Robert Hazen as he journeys around the globe. From an ancient Moroccan market to the Australian Outback, he advances a startling and counter intuitive idea — that the rocks beneath our feet were not only essential to jump-starting life, but that microbial life helped give birth to hundreds of minerals we know and depend on today. It's a theory of the co-evolution of Earth and life that is reshaping the grand-narrative of our planet's story.