The Possibility of Life: Science, Imagination, and Our Quest for Kinship in the Cosmos

How do the ways we imagine alien life tell us more about what it means to be human? Read Jaime Green’s new book with SciFri this May.

illustrated stack of books with text "scifri book club"Welcome to the SciFri Book Club page about The Possibility of Life. There’s lots of ways to participate: Read the book, listen to our interview with the author, join our community space, sign up for our email newsletter, or RSVP for an upcoming event.

This May, the SciFri Book Club is reading Jaime Green’s debut, The Possibility of Life: Science, Imagination, and Our Quest for Kinship in the Cosmos. Published in April, this book explores the history of our understanding of extraterrestrial life, and the research surrounding exoplanets (that’s planets outside our Solar System). Green also shows how our imagining of other worlds amongst the cosmos through books, movies, and other stories have inspired scientists to explore new frontiers in physics, astronomy, and astrobiology. With new technology inching us closer and closer to becoming interplanetary beings, what does it really mean to be human?

The Possibility of Life brings together a range of topics, including astrobiology, evolution, astrophysics, planetary science, pop culture, science fiction, and more—and we’ll touch on these ideas throughout this Book Club season. You can get your copy from your local bookstore or on

This Book Club season kicks off Monday, May 1, and you can read along with us! We’ll be (loosely) following this schedule, but all our readers are welcome to join us at their own pace:

  • May 1-7: Introduction & Chapter 1
  • May 8-14: Chapters 2-3
  • May 15-21: Chapters 4-5
  • May 22-28: Chapter 6 & Conclusion
  • May 29-31: Final thoughts

Plus, we’ll be hosting events throughout the month! Keep an eye out on our website or join our Events newsletter to be the first to know.

There are so many ways to dive in and participate! You can grab a copy of the book (and support the author and SciFri), read an excerpt from The Possibility of Life, join the discussion in our online Book Club community, sign up for our email newsletter, or RSVP for our upcoming Book Club events. Check out all the details below.

Grab Your Own Copy

If you’d like to purchase a physical copy, we encourage you to start local! Check out the SciFri Book Club partner bookstores and libraries—if you’re in the area, consider supporting your local bookseller or public library (plus, mention our Book Club for a percentage off your purchase at participating shops!).

Our Partners

If they don’t have the book in stock or you’d rather purchase online, you can support Science Friday by buying your copy on our page.

Save The Date(s): SciFri Book Club Events

Event promotional image. In top left corner, SciFri Book Club logo, with event info below: The Possibility of Life: How science, pop culture, and our history help us imagine life elsewhere in the cosmos. May 24, 6:30pm ET, Online + Free. To the right of the frame is a picture of THE POSSIBILITY OF LIFE book cover and a headshot of author Jaime Green

The Possibility of Life: Author Livestream and Q&A

What do the ways we imagine life on other planets tell us about ourselves? How has science influenced our history and culture—and have science fiction stories influenced how we do science in the real world? Author Jaime Green will talk about her new book, The Possibility of Life, and the power of our scientific depictions.

Rewatch Livestream

Join us online for a conversation with the author on the science featured in the SciFri Book Club pick for May 2023. Come with your queries and wonderings—we’ll be taking your questions in person and in the livestream comments!

The cover of THE POSSIBILITY OF LIFE by Jaime Green with a background featuring a desert after dark, with a purple sky filled with stars.

SciFri Book Club May community meeting: The Possibility of Life

Want to meet other SciFri Book Club members, talk about the book selection, and find more resources for deeper learning—all without leaving your home? Our community meeting is the place for you!

RSVP for May 30

This discussion meeting will focus on themes and topics featured in The Possibility of Life. You’re welcome to join us no matter your reading progress—come chat with other science-interested folks about astrobiology, evolution, astrophysics, planetary science, pop culture, science fiction, and more.

Join Our Community Space

And as you start reading, join us on our online community space: the SciFri Book Club is on Mighty Networks, a platform where we can gather, read and discuss science books together. We’ve built this community space to create a better way for readers to stay connected with other Book Clubbers, and we hope you’ll join us there!

Join Our Community

Read An Excerpt

Not sure this is the book for you? Want to read an excerpt before you commit? We’ve got you covered.

Hanover Square Press, the publisher of The Possibility of Life, has offered SciFri Book Clubbers an excerpt of the book! You can read this sample on our website.

Read The Excerpt

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Reading recommendations, straight to your inbox. We send emails a few times per week. If you want to learn more about what we’re reading, you can check it out on the SciFri Book Club homepage.


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