The Human Experiment

Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2


By Jane Poynter

Formats and Prices




$50.00 CAD




Hardcover $40.00 $50.00 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around August 18, 2006. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

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. Request Desk/Exam Copy


On Sale
Aug 18, 2006
Page Count
384 pages
Basic Books

Jane Poynter

About the Author

Jane Poynter is an adventurer whose participation in Biosphere 2 involved training in survival techniques in the Australian outback and sailing a ferro-cement boat in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. She was the only member of the Biosphere crew to be fired three times (and reinstated three times). While inside, she and her husband-to-be, fellow crew member Taber McCallum, not only arranged to have a house built for themselves, but began a space technology firm, Paragon Space Development Corporation. She has designed and built experiments that have ridden in the International Space Station and had three more on the ill-fated Columbia mission. In addition to writing this book, she and Paragon are developing life support systems for the space shuttle and for Navy deep-sea divers. In addition, she is working on an innovative project to feed the hungry in the poorest nations while sequestering carbon. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, and enjoys motorcycle racing for weekend relaxation.

Jane appears in the Encyclopedia Britannica as a member of the Biosphere 2 crew, and has appeared on many television shows, magazine and newspaper articles about the project and her work in space and the environment.

Jake Page is a science editor and writer, novelist, and essayist who has collaborated with scientists and others on thirty books of non-fiction, most recently The Big One (Houghton-Mifflin) with geologist Charles Officer and, before that, The First Americans (Random House) with archaeologist James M. Adovasio. He was editor of Natural History and science editor of Smithsonian. He lives in Lyons, Colorado.

Learn more about this author