Alschuler, William R.
ALSCHULER, William R.
Agent—Author Mail, c/o St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.
Educator and author. California Institute of Arts, Los Angeles, professor of science; has also taught at University of California Science Center, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Boston Architectural Center. Former head of energy consulting firm; consultant on science exhibition design.
(Co-editor with Byron Preiss; and contributor) The Microverse, Bantam (New York, NY), 1989.
(Co-editor with Ben Bova and Byron Preiss) First Contact: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Hodder Headline (London, England), 1990, published as Are We Alone in the Cosmos?, ibooks, inc., 1999.
UFOs and Aliens: What Would You Do If You Met an Alien?, illustrated by Bob Eggleton, Avon (New York, NY), 1991.
The Science of UFOs: An Astronomer Examines the Technology of Alien Spacecraft, How They Travel, and the Aliens Who Pilot Them, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2001.
Astronomer William R. Alschuler designs space exhibits for museums and writes on the subject of extraterrestrial life. One of his books, Are We Alone in the Cosmos?, includes essays from representatives of the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI), as well as by science-fiction writers Arthur Clarke and Isaac Asimov. There are "interesting essays [that include] a sobering one by [biologist] Diana Riess regarding attempts to assess the intelligence of dolphins," wrote a Patriot online reviewer. "Even if the cosmos is teeming with technological civilizations, will we be able to communicate with them, given our limited communications with (and general treatment of) chimpanzees and cetaceans?" While the Patriot writer had some reservations about the book, including overlap of subject matter given the many essays, the overall assessment of Alschuler's work was positive: "I certainly regard this as a book that every SETI enthusiast should have in his or her library."
The Science of UFOs: An Astronomer Examines the Technology of Alien Spacecraft, How They Travel, and the Aliens Who Pilot Them discusses the possibility that space aliens have visited Earth. While Alschuler remains skeptical that aliens would travel beyond their own domain, he asserts that extraterrestrial beings likely populate the galaxy, "and maybe even communicate with one another," as a Science News contributor noted. Using nontechnical terms that make his arguments understandable by the general reader, Alschuler goes on to examine the notions of space travel—such as the flying saucer—using the rigors of the scientific method and known physics theories. A Publishers Weekly critic applauded Alschuler for displaying "a child's enthusiasm for the fantastic and a scientist's eye for detail," while in School Library Journal Christine C. Menefee called the book "an intriguing examination of UFO accounts through the lens of science."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Publishers Weekly, December 18, 2000, review of The Science of UFOs: An Astronomer Examines the Technology of Alien Spacecraft, How They Travel, and the Aliens Who Pilot Them, p. 65.
School Library Journal, October, 2001, Christine C. Menefee, review of The Science of UFOs, p. 196.
Patriot.net,http://patriot.net/ (March 13, 2001), review of Are We Alone in the Cosmos?
Science News Books Online,http://store.yahoo.com/scibook/ (April 10, 2002), review of The Science of UFOs.*