David Waltham obtained a first-class degree and a PhD in Physics before moving into the oil industry in the early 1980s. This industrial experience led to his appointment, in 1986, as a lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he became Head of Earth Sciences from 2008-2012.
'Very readable' -- Matt Ridley * The Times *
'[Waltham's] arguments are compelling and the book is a delight to read.' * Independent *
'A lively and well argued antidote to a widespread view that advanced life could arise frequently and in many places in the known Universe.' -- Richard Fortey
'David Waltham takes us on a delightful tour of the various factors that influence planetary habitability and the evolution of advanced life. That he thinks the prospects for it are unlikely is all the more reason for us to go up to space and take a good look!' -- James Kasting * Penn State University, author of How to Find a Habitable Planet *