The search for alien life is far too human-centric. Our flawed understanding of what life really is may be holding us back from important discoveries about the universe and ourselves.
Sara Walker is an astrobiologist and theoretical physicist interested in the origin of life and how to find life on other worlds. Walker is the deputy director of the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science, associate director of the ASU-Santa Fe Institute Center for Biosocial Complex Systems, and assistant professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. She is also co-founder of the astrobiology-themed social website SAGANet.org.