The New York Times Profiles Geoff Marcy
May 14, 2014
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"BERKELEY, CALIF. — Last summer a homely room in the basement of a math building on the University of California campus here was ground zero in the epic quest to end cosmic loneliness.
An area rug with geometric shapes and yellow rings suggestive of planetary orbits covered the floor. A photograph of the Milky Way rising over the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Kea hung on one wall. A Naugahyde couch ran along one side of the room. Opposite it was a small refrigerator with a stash of Grape-Nuts and soy milk.
The nearest bathroom was two sets of password-protected security doors away.
This is the lair of Geoffrey W. Marcy, holder of the Watson and Marilyn Alberts Chair in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence and, outside a certain robot spacecraft named Kepler, the most prolific American discoverer of alien worlds, so-called exoplanets circling stars beyond the sun.
An August evening found Dr. Marcy, a gray-goateed, twinkly-eyed presence with an aggressively empathetic air, crouched as usual in a corner in an old wooden desk chair. In front of him were computer screens and a video display connecting him to Mauna Kea, home of the twin Keck telescopes, at 40 feet in diameter the two largest in the world…"
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