In this live session, we take a closer look at the work of Lisa Messeri, an anthropologist with a STEM background who looks at exoplanet ‘scientists.’ In our analysis, we point out that Messeri is tied to funding and ethnical obligations regarding funders and the human subjects she studies, and so she cannot make the claim that exoplanet hunting is a type of science fiction. I did try to make contact with Messeri, who received an invitation to speak with me about her work. She did not respond – she could be out of time, not interested, or simply afraid of being challenged, after all, she is an employee of Yale University, known for its elitist clubs. Yet, her work is still a treasure trove for students of space mythology, as it proves that exoplanet scientists are, first and foremost, science fiction fanatics.

Rodrigo Ferrari Nunes

Rodrigo Ferrari-Nunes, Ph.D, is a social and cultural anthropologist, independent consultant, music producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, artist, public intellectual and communicator.

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