The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2
It's a story that has never been told … until now. Imagine being sealed into a closed environment for two years — cut off from the outside world with only seven other people — enduring never-ending hunger, severely low levels of oxygen, and extremely difficult relationships. Crew members struggled to survive in Biosphere 2, where they swore nothing would go in or out — no food or water, not even air — all in the name of science. For the first time, biospherian Jane Poynter — who lived and loved in the Biosphere — is ready to share what really happened in there. She takes readers on a riveting, fast-paced trip through shattered lives, scientific discovery, cults, love, fears of insanity, and inspiring human endurance. The eight biospherians who closed themselves into the Biosphere emerged 730 days later… much wiser, thinner, and having done what many had said was impossible.
Life in hermetically sealed environment was no picnic
By Lynn Harnett - December 5, 2006
Many people in 1991 were fascinated by the idea of Biosphere 2, a closed, hermetically sealed, self-sustaining, man-made ecosystem with a desert, an ocean, a rainforest, a savannah, a marsh, a habitat and an intensive farm, all in three acres. On September 26 eight people entered the structure for a two-year stint living "as if on Mars, farming all our food, recycling our water, our waste and even the oxygen we breathed..."
But bad publicity dogged the project even before the team went in. The public grew skeptical, as the Biospherians were dismissed as frauds, cult figures, publicity hounds and charlatans. None of which, strictly speaking, was completely false. Or completely true.
Jane Poynter, who celebrated her 30th birthday in Biosphere 2, and went on to found an aerospace firm with fellow Biospherian (and later husband) Taber MacCallum, attempts to set the record straight with this emotional and wide ranging account.
Amazing Book, captivating, interesting, well told.
By Jesper Jurcenoks - October 20, 2006
Jane Poynter gives a very honest story of her involvement in the group that conceived and built the Biosphere 2, where she came from and where the group was coming from.
Jane obviously knows her Biospherics, the book has Bibliography and Index for easy reference like a scientific paper, the Science almost reads like a hard techno-thriller, Low Oxygen, Failing Power, Constant food shortage.
This combined with the tensions between the people inside and outside of the biosphere makes a very intense story, where the reader gets drawn into the drama and emotional stress.
That the story is real, and told by one of the participants is astounding.
"No-one can make this up"
Written in 2005 Jane Poynter has the distance to the events to make the story balanced, it is not one sided, she objectively describes the events, and tries to make an objective assessment of her own feelings at the time.
First, I am not a professional reviewer or writer. I am an like everyone else who likes to read a good book.
I liked this book for a few good reasons. It was easy to read and follow. I didn't get tired from reading it. At times I would get so engrossed in reading it that time would seem to fly by.
This book gives you the inside story of the Biosphere 2 experiment. It tells about the relationships of the people involved and some of the History leading up to the experiment. It even gives you a bit of the science behind the Biosphere told in a way that a non technical person can understand. It tells about the fun times and some of the bad times even some of the funny times. It is certainly not a dry read. I think that Jane Poynter did a good job writing this book. It certainly answers some of the questions raised in the past about the Biosphere 2 experiment. It is a good read, I recommend it. I own it, I am going to keep it and I look forward to reading it again.