What People & the Press
have said about
| Abigail Alling,
"If you're talking long-term settlement in space, you're going to have to have something like this. I don't mean to say Biosphere 2 will exist on other planets. But what we can learn from Biosphere 2 is how can you support humans long term, what is required for air, water, and food."
| Arthur C. Clarke
"I'd like to say that I consider Biosphere 2 one of the most hopeful things that has happened in the United States for quite a while - whatever the outcome of the experiment (and I'm sure it will be a success in the long run - like the Hubble Telescope)."
Arthur C. Clarke
| Joseph P. Allen,
"First of all, I join all of my associates from NASA in congratulating and encouraging those of you who are associated with Biosphere 2. This Biosphere 2 project literally feels like NASA felt to us NASA-ites in the old days. Keep after it. It is a wonderful feeling. It doesn't mean you are going to do everything right, but you are at least doing things. Let's assume that there are elements of what you do that, in fact, actually work. We also know that on the 20th anniversary of the Moon Landing our President announced that, in addition to the Space Station, we are going to return to the Moon, this time to stay, and then travel further on to Mars. Wonderful words, I would assume that in response to this challenge our government officials will need information about biospherics."
Joseph P. Allen, Ph.D.
"To me, its one of the most exciting research projects going on in the world today. It's far more ambitious than anyone else has been even courageous enough to think about, let alone do anything about."
Astronaut Rusty Schweickart
"What will go into space is the knowledge and experience gained in a self-contained biosphere like this.... What they learn will be extremely important."
Astronaut Rusty Schweickart
| Atlanta Georgia Journal
In an age of pre-stuffed turkeys and boil-in-a-bag dinners, Sally Silverstone's "Eating In," a personal account of her experiences as "Food Systems Manager" for Biosphere 2, provides a revealing glimpse of something much of the world has forgotten - the vital, at times almost mystical, link that has always tied hungry people to the land.
Atlanta Georgia Journal Constitution
| Lawrence M. Hecker
"Biosphere 2 represents a tremendous technological and scientific accomplishment that has already yielded valuable scientific results. This project continues to hold great promise for improving our environment and enabling us to respond to the uncertainties of Earth's future."
Attorney Lawrence M. Hecker
| Brenda Forman
"Sure, whatever lessons come out of Biosphere 2 may well help a space effort, but its real importance is going to be right here at home on earth. List the environmental problems we face: the greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, solid waste disposal dilemmas, pollution of the ground water - these are life support issues. Biosphere 2, a miniature earth, is intended as a laboratory in which we can find ways to deal with threats to its model, Biosphere 1. The Home Planet. The only planet we've got. So sure, it's risky. But what an adventure! And what does all the outcry and snipping say about what we have become? This country used to revel in risk and adventure, not revile it! Have we become so cowardly, so afraid of failure, so hidebound and so envious that our only response to something risky and daring is carping and negativity? I devoutly hope not. Here's to all adventurers! Here's to Biosphere 2. May it live long and prosper."
Brenda Forman, Ph.D. Washington Watch column,
"Well folks, I've pretty much decided that if it were up to the media, nobody would ever dare try anything new, exciting or adventurous, ever again. You mount an ambitious experiment at your sure and deadly peril. Because if everything does not go precisely as planned the very first time out, the media will crucify you--thoroughly and with obvious glee. Of course , the whole idea of an experiment is NOT to show that you already know all the answers but to find out what you DON'T know! Biosphere 2 is a classic case in point. You'd never know if from the media accounts but Re-entry day marked the rather successful conclusion of a remarkably bold and innovative experiment. Luckily, the media's prissy attitude about Biosphere 2 doesn't seem to have interfered with the general public's fascination with the whole adventure. I find that without exception, people are hugely curious about it. In short, this turns folds on-and if it turns them on to science and the challenges of serious experimentation, then, say I , Right on."
"Biosphere 2 is probably the best study we have that would liken itself to a Mars Mission."
Captain J.J. Schulte
| Carl Hodges
"In think the most important thing Biosphere 2 will do is give Biosphere 1 a biosphere to talk to. It will be the same as when we looked back from a spaceship at our little blue ball and understood the oneness of it."
"The whole project seems to me like the star that's up in the air, and we look at it to see if man can survive on another planet. So the whole project is like on a table and you look at it from different angles and you look at it from different dimensions."
Dan Old Elk
| Daniel Boorstein
"Biosphere 2 is the most exciting project going on now."
| Dave Brown
The Biosphere 2 project is of such awesome scope, its complexities break so much new ground, that no ordinary scientific institution would attempt it, no funding agency would underwrite it. So it has fallen to a private company to go where science has never gone before....Boston Globe August 20, 1990 "The whole point of the project was to create a self-sustaining, chemically-closed ecosystem, and the fact that this was achieved for the first time in human history, seems to be consistently overlooked."
| David Chandler
Nobody who comes [to Biosphere 2] can fail to be impressed anew by the interdependence of life on this planet and the fragility of its balances.....Their experiment has proved the feasibility of a totally self-sufficient enclosed system, the likes of which may someday harbor astronauts in a huge space station, colonists on the surface of another planet, or researchers stationed in a harsh, remote spot on Earth, such as the South Pole.
| Discover Magazine
"In the opinions of many... the Biosphere 2 enterprise is the most exciting venture to be undertaken in the U.S. since President Kennedy launched us toward the moon."
| Dr. Arthur W. Galston
"[Biosphere 2] is a paradigm of what man here on Earth has to face in years ahead. We have a burgeoning population, a decline of arable land, and waste heaps that are growing continuously. We have to find ways of producing more food in less space to feed more mouths, with less nonrecyclable refuse. This work is going to have a lot of civilian spin-offs."
Dr. Arthur W. Galston
| Dr. Barbara Hyde
"Outstanding basic research has been done in private companies, and it's impossible not to do basic research here. This research is holistic - we have to look at both details and the whole. The people who 'get it' are the best scientists, the ones who are pushing the limit. Biosphere 2 is a leap into a whole new way of doing research, a cutting-edge experimental system, because it's now possible to do experiments in total ecosystems under controlled conditions. Most of the scientific results are still to come. There are no experimental failures; there is only information gathering. Thus far, balancing the Atmosphere has been the trickiest part, but the way to do it is to do it. After all, the balance only Earth took a while to achieve, too."
Dr. Barbara Hyde
| Dr. Bruno D.V. Marino
"The scientists emerged with a consensus that the White Paper process identified unique opportunities for research in the areas of ecology and biodiversity, plant physiology and biogoechemistry. It appears to me that Biosphere 2, a unique, living "Earth" laboratory, has a bright scientific future."
Dr. Bruno D.V. Marino
"This facility is light years ahead of any other....It's a gem."
| Dr. Christopher Langton
"Biosphere 2 is a new instrument in science which is most appropriate for addressing and even discovering unique problems.....Biosphere 2 is a new kind of telescope which can be used to look at the Earth itself. We need to take the time to understand how to use it, to discover the kinds of questions we should ask, and to scale up from there."
Dr. Christopher Langton
| Dr. Dan Polhemus
"Although a lot of planning has gone into the project, you can't just magically wave a wand and say 'poof, here's a biosphere" - you have to build it over time. We look forward to continuing this learning process, its been exciting and interesting so far."
Dr. Dan Polhemus
| Dr. David Williams
"We'll be breaking new botanical ground here. The knowledge we gain will be ammunition in the cause of conservation."
Dr. David Williams
| Dr. Don Spoon
"...This amazing Biosphere 2 ocean has great potential as an educational and research tool to better understand our Earth and its coral reefs."
Dr. Don Spoon
| Dr. Gerald Soffen
"The press loved Biosphere 2, and the public loved it."
Dr. Gerald Soffen
"[The Biosphere 2 experiment] is an heroic effort."
Dr. Gerald Soffen
| Dr. Harold A. Mooney
"Biosphere 2 presents unparalleled opportunities to study some of the dimensions of the biodiversity issue."
Dr. Harold A. Mooney
| Dr. Jack
"[Biosphere 2] is one of the most dynamic and exciting tools for scientific exploration in the world today. We shall research and refine each aspect of the project until it is positioned at the cutting edge of science. To coordinate research in this facility is the opportunity of a lifetime. Biosphere 2 is a leap into a whole new way of doing research, a cutting-edge experimental systems, because it's now possible to do experiments in total ecosystems under controlled conditions."
Dr. Jack Corliss
Dr. Jack Corliss
| Dr. James H. Bredt
"[Biosphere 2] is a very interesting experiment, and certainly some of the technology that they will be developing should be of use in the space program."
Dr. James H. Bredt
| Dr. Mary Firestone
"The fact that we have only one Biosphere 2 leads to the interesting and fundamental question: Can we do life science without replication? Or if we do science like we've always done science, how do we use the Biosphere? These questions stretch our imagination as scientists. They also may be fundamentally important to the functioning of terrestrial systems."
Dr. Mary Firestone
| Dr. Michael Crow
"A group of world-class scientists got together and decided the Biosphere 2 facility is an exceptional laboratory for addressing critical questions relative to the future of Earth and its environment."
Dr. Michael Crow,
| Dr. Phil
"The [Ocean of Biosphere 2] is a major achievement... I am really impressed" ...... Tropical corals might survive for six months in an artificial sea, Dustan thought two years ago as the doors of Biosphere 2 closed. Now he deems the man made ocean a resounding success, filled with life and information that could be applied to the real world outside.
Dr. Phil Dustan
Dr. Philip Dustan
| Dr. Robert Frye
"The kind of work done at Biosphere 2 would help when a base is established on the moon or Mars."
Dr. Robert Frye
"It's like one is in a different world. Like being on another planet, and watching things go on back on Earth."
Dr. Roy Walford, biospherian
Dr. Roy Walford
| Dr. Stephen O'Brien
"This whole venture took a lot of courage and a lot of money... They are well on their way to establishing a world-class center for excellence for the study of ecology."
Dr. Stephen O'Brien
| Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy
'The committee is in agreement that the conception and construction of Biosphere 2 were acts of vision and courage. The scale of Biosphere 2 is unique and Biosphere 2 is already providing unexpected scientific results not possible through other means."
Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, Smithsonian Institution
| Dr. Wallace
"One of the things Biosphere 2 has displayed to us over the years is its ability to control its own carbon cycle."
Dr. Wallace S. Broecker
Dr. Wallace S. Broecker
| Dr. Walter
"Humankind has too long taken for granted some very basic resources provided by the Earth - clean air and water, to name a critical two. To build Biosphere 2 is to learn unforgettably, with our minds and hearts, what this really means."
Dr. Walter Adey
Dr. Walter Adey
"Biosphere 2 is a project that appealed to my interest in science and ecology. I thought it had tremendous potential to develop technologies, know-how, data and could have great use in environmental matters on all scales, from the fairly small to the planetary. And in a business sense, I saw that these technologies would have a very significant commercial application."
Edward P. Bass
Edward P. Bass
| Elle Magazine
Abigail Alling, Biospherian in charge of Marine Ecology, was selected as one of the top ten Women Of The Year by Elle Magazine in 1993.
| Final Frontier
The idea of building biospheres is catching on outside the United States. Now being planned by a consortium of Japanese corporations and Japan's space agency is Biosphere J. "J" standing for junior.
On Biospherian re-entry successfully ending Mission One. "Dear Biospherians, It is a great pleasure to congratulate you with successful completion of your unique experiment. We appreciate your courage and devotion to science. We know that the results you have obtained will contribute to the science of biospherics."
Harold J. Morowitz,
Harold J. Morowitz, Ph.D.
"My sense is that knowing the light levels for energetic unbalance as determined from Biosphere 2 will be of utility to paleontologists and geochemists studying the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction. It is difficult to think of ways to determine this number other than studying large-scale closed ecosystems. This important ecological parameter is emerging from Biosphere 2 measurements in a perfectly natural way, yet no one at the beginning of the closure anticipated this result. This may be thought of as serendipity, but it is the kind of scientific serendipity that requires prepared minds, open minds, and the intuition as to which parameters to measure. There are probably a number of ecological and evolutionary questions that will be illuminated by the data now stored in all those tapes that have recorded the two-year saga of Biosphere 2."
Harold J. Morowitz, Ph.D.
"Jules Verne and H.G. Wells could have only dreamed of a day like this..."
| Jane Goodall, Ph.D.
"We have to pay tribute to the imagination and determination and the vision of the people who have made Biosphere 2 a reality.... Biosphere 2 stands as a monument to human technological achievement. The information being gathered will be of inestimable value to our understanding of the fragile environment which sustains life on this planet."
Jane Goodall, Ph.D.
| John Allen, FLS
"Four basic ways uneasily co-exist in science to deal with understanding complex systems: One, prolonged naturalist observation, description of observed regularities and classification of parts, making a naive realist description of the field of study (E.O. Wilson, 1984).
A second, by analyzing component parts of the object of study, formulating restricted hypotheses, and then, holding all else other than the chosen part as constant as possible, measure changes produced by measured impacts.
The third way is to accept complexity as an irreducible element, and then to search for the organized structure that enables us to examine the entity as a whole, to ascertain its specific laws or regularities (Konrad Lorenz, 1977).
The fourth way is to put into an operating model a synthesis of these three approaches, together with test principles of engineering, to test the validity of the existent thinking’s predictive powers, and to provide a fecund base for new observations. This full interplay of observation, analysis and structuring to make a working apparatus in order to test and extend our knowledge of biospherics is the approach we used to create Biosphere 2. This interplay of all four scientific approaches is required to study Earth's biosphere, the most complex entity yet encountered.
No field of knowledge is today more desultory than the science of the biosphere in which we live. I doubt that any task today in the "Campaign of Science" is more pressing than creating a workable biospherics. "
John Allen, FLS
John Allen, Founder of Biosphere 2
"We invented Biosphere 2 not only for science, but also for beauty, adventure, and hope for all humanity - and for the Earth's biosphere itself."
| John Petersen, Alan
E. Haberstock, Thomas G. Siccama, Kristiina A. Vogt, Daniel J. Vogt and
Barbara L. Tusting
"Restoration ecologists understand the value of the process of ecosystem construction as a means of evaluating hypotheses and gaining new information about ecosystem function. The synthetic approach may raise more questions than it answers, but new questions and new ways of thinking about ecosystems and the biosphere are critical to the advancement of our knowledge. In our view the ongoing process of creating and maintaining ecological systems within Biosphere 2 will continue to reveal important information about the Earth's ecosystems for many years to come. Some of this information may be directly applicable to the practice of restoring these ecosystems."
John Petersen, Alan E. Haberstock, Thomas G. Siccama,
Kristiina A. Vogt, Daniel J. Vogt and Barbara L. Tusting Yale University
School of Forestry and Environmental Studies,
| Kevin Kelly
"Biosphere 2 presents a young person more opportunities for a high-profile mission in space technology than faltering NASA can.... On Mars, I would only want to live in an artificial biosphere. On Earth, living in an artificial biosphere is a noble experiment, suitable for pioneers.... Great things will be learned inside Biosphere 2 about our Earth, ourselves, and the uncountable other species we depend on. I have no doubt that someday what is learned here will land on Mars or the Moon... Already it has taught me, an outsider, that to live as human beings means to live with other life. The nauseating fear that machine technology would replace all living species has subsided in my mind. We'll keep other species, I believe, because as Biosphere 2 helps prove, life is technology. Life is the ultimate technology.... I turned the massive handle on the air-lock doors in the quiet Biosphere 2 and debarked into a twilight desert. Two years in there would fill a lifetime."
| Life Magazine
The purpose is clear: If we are to develop space colonies, we must create our own place to live. Biosphere 2 is a major experiment toward that end.
"The scientific value [of Biosphere 2] is immense. The field of global ecology largely has been theoretical, conceptual and descriptive. We're actually making it into an experimental science now."
Linda Leigh, biospherian
Linda Leigh, biospherian
| Los Angeles Times
At sunrise on Thursday, four men and four women will don red jumpsuits, share a hug with their friends in Mission Control and leave the world behind. If all goes well, they will leave the Earth behind for two years.The eight are not climbing aboard a space shuttle, although their language and nomenclature are deliberately evocative of the heyday of NASA. But they are embarking on an adventure that is in some ways bolder than the first manned space flight.
Los Angeles Times
| Mandy Trangsrud
"I learned more in two hours in Biosphere 2 than I did in a whole year of biology."
Mandy Trangsrud of Tempe
"Space Biospheres Ventures represents a new approach to doing business. We are a private ecological research firm which has created one of the boldest research and development facilities of this century. We are also a profit-making venture. Biosphere 2 ushers forth technological development that is marketable and beneficial to the Earth. It responds to the current environmental crises by searching for real solutions, and stands as a vision of hope so that we as a species can move forward and leave our destructive ways behind us."
Margret Augustine, CEO and President
New York Times, September 27, 1991
| Mark Van Thillo
"The Biosphere team scaled a number of hurdles and made significant achievements. No one knew how a closed systems of this size would behave. We had to close the door to find out and the results have been phenomenal."
Mark Van Thillo
"In the days when extreme environmentalists are trying their best to shut the whole country down, it is very refreshing to read about people looking to the future. Since the beginning of our great country we have survived and prospered through research and development. We replaced old ideas with new technology...Think how great this country could be again if all this energy could be directed toward research for our future. My hats off to the pioneers of the artificial world."
"In the future, space pioneers may live and work on Mars or on the moon. An airtight biosphere could make this possible. In a biosphere, the plants, animals, and people would be able to survive in a hostile environment."
National Geographic World
| Nation's Building News
"The Biosphere 2 project in Oracle, Ariz., won a Gold Nugget Merit Award in the Best Commercial/Industrial Use category. The Gold Nugget Award is one of the nation's most prestigious architectural awards. The project combined sweeping curved lines of the traditional southwestern styling with a Mediterranean appearance."
Also, "the Biosphere 2 project in Oracle, Ariz., won a Grand Award in the category of Best Institutional Project. The project housed seven major ecosystems - human, marine, marsh, savannah, desert and jungle - for a two-year experiment that was conducted to study the relationship between people and the environment."
Nation's Building News
| New York Times
"Next month one of the most complex software packages ever designed will get a chance to prove itself in [Biosphere 2]...Their environment will be controlled by G2, the most advanced of new batch of computer programs, known as expert systems, that are designed to mimic human decision-making. The long-term hope is that this experiment will show that human colonies space or on other planets can be made both viable and self-sustaining."
New York Times
| People Magazine
Biosphere 2 is an independent, self-regenerating life-support system, the perfect lab in which to make controlled studies of some of the natural workings in the world outside.
Eugene P. Odum
"Viewed as an exercise in human ecology and environmental engineering, the experiement was a great success."
Eugene P. Odum
When you consider that nothing on the scale of Biosphere 2 has been attempted before (NASA'S designs for regenerative life support are entirely different, and much smaller) and how little we really know about how our Biosphere 1 (Earth) works, a measure of success will have been achieved if the biospherians come out alive and healthy this fall after the 2-year isolation. Certainly the experiment will have improved our understanding of human-biosphere interrelations and helped answer the question of how much natural environment must be preserved for life support, and it will have provided a basis for improving the design next time around."
Professor Eugene P. Odum
Dr. Eugene Odum
"When you consider the fact that nothing on the scale of this has ever been attempted before, the fact that they are all coming out alive and still speaking to each other is a miracle."
Dr. Eugene Odum
| Professor Howard T.
"Good Ecological engineering involves incremental changes to fit technological operations to the self organizing biota. The management process during 1992-1993 using data to develop theory, test it with simulation, and apply corrective actions was in the best scientific tradition. "
Professor Howard T. Odum
Keith Runcorn, F.R.S.
"Biosphere 2 is now widely recognized as a most imaginative and heroic project and of great scientific importance"
Professor Keith Runcorn, F.R.S.
| Professor Stephen J.
"Who remembers the second man on the moon? I think it was Buzz Aldrin. The first time is a symbol; its an act of brave pioneers. But I think it takes a different and special kind of courage to be second. So I salute all of you who are going in today, because you are converting what is a grand idea into a simple daily utility which is what it needs to become. The eyes of the world aren't on you anymore, but the eyes of science are, and the hopes of the world are."
Professor Stephen J. Gould
| Project Pro
"A World within a World" All life known to humankind exists within the context of a biosphere: a stable, complex, evolving system containing life, composed of various ecosystems operating in a synergetic equilibrium, essentially closed to material input or output, and open to energy and information exchanges. Our planet, Earth, could be termed the global Biosphere 1 - SBV has constructed a second - Biosphere 2, isolated by a virtually airtight structure and composed of elements from the global biosphere.
Project Pro Vol. 3 No. 3
| Richard Evans Schultes,
"I do feel that from many fields - biology, genetics, and even human health - many pieces of information will come out of their records that will help those sciences right here on Earth."
Richard Evans Schultes, Ph.D., F.M.L.S.,
R. Harwood, Ph.D.
"The greatest lesson of Biosphere 2, that there is no 'away', is equally important to Biosphere 1. This must be realized soon by all of Biosphere 1's 'crew' because unlike Biosphere 2, Earth cannot be replaced."
Richard R. Harwood, Ph.D.
Richard R. Harwood, Ph.D.
| Sally Silverstone
"To succeed in the first two-year closure period will be a unique management challenge. In Biosphere 2, we have been provided all the essential life-giving elements of this planet, and we must make choices that insure their survival. As the caretakers of this planet, we must recognize that its resources are finite and that our wisdom in protecting them must be infinite."
Whatever the results of the two year experiment, this much seems sure: It's going to give both space research and interplanetary travel plans a boost and will teach us a good deal about how to cope with the serious environmental problems plaguing Biosphere 1.
| The Times of India
“The first and only project of its kind on such a large scale, Biosphere 2 will be watched by ecologists the world over for the scientific data it will generate. And at the end, we could know a lot more about managing natural ecosystems and have products and technology patented and available to help manage them.”
The Times of India
| Time Magazine
The Best of 1993
One of the Top Ten Best Scientific Projects
| US News and World
World record for living in a closed ecosystem, set by the original eight Biospherians: two years; previous record: six months, set by Soviet researchers in the 1970's.
US News and World Report
| USA Today
"This project probably pioneered the transformation of ecology into an experimental science, while the crew has survived a unique social experiment, the longest voluntary tenure in a confined environment on record"
"The Biosphere 2 project has enhanced the basic scientific focus on ecosystems modeling as a tool for research and for public education about complex natural systems."
| Yvonne Clearwater
"The fact that nobody walked out of there during the past two years because conditions become unbearable is quite significant....This experiment has been highly successful from a human factors standpoint."