by Doug Ellison in Potsdam
The media seems to have gone slightly crazy with the story that someone here at Europlanet is claiming that soil at both Viking lander sites might contain evidence of life. You might also be wondering why I wasn't jumping up and down with the story earlier. Let me quote you a part of the email I received (as I am on the conference press email list) on August 18th:EMBARGOED FOR 00:01 GMT, FRIDAY, 24TH AUGUST 2007
It was in caps, right at the top of the press release. Some news stories managed to say 'said on Friday' - but on Thursday. Now - technically - the embargo is now lifted. But it's currently 0842 here in Potsdam, and Joop's presentation isn't until 1430 this afternoon. Now, to be fair, his abstract (a pdf) is fairly verbose, and has been available for several weeks along with all the others. However, I'm waiting to see what the guy has to say before reporting on it. If I can, I'll get some questions in at the end, and/or speak to him afterwards. Ironically, despite the big-name media reporting on this event so widely - I see none of their journalists at Europlanet. Thanks to The Planetary Society - yours truly will actually be there.