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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life in hermetically sealed environment was no picnic
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...
Published on December 5, 2006 by Lynn Harnett

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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Years Of Torture
The unique thing about Biosphere 2 was that it was a scientific experiment launched by the anti-establishment. Ultimately, the anti-establishment people who were running this experiment were miffed that the establishment wasn't taking their work seriously. Jane Poynter describes the demeaning experience of lacking credibility with the scientific fraternity, despite their...
Published on February 6, 2009 by Karl J. Hanson


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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life in hermetically sealed environment was no picnic, December 5, 2006
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This review is from: The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 (Hardcover)
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.

Poynter was an upper-class English girl who joined the Institute of Ecotechnics at age 20 for travel and adventure - and, no doubt, to escape her parents' conventional expectations. The IE group, headed by charismatic and authoritarian John Allen, were Synergists who believed in a "strict adherence " to three avocations - theater, philosophy and business - to keep themselves in intellectual, emotional and economic balance. This was the group that went on to conceive and build Biosphere 2.

Poynter was an early candidate for the team. Her training included stints on a Ferro-cement research vessel built by IE staffers and an outback ranch in remote Australia populated primarily by large meat-eating ants, plagues of flies, and termites who ate the tires off cars. Lessons in resourcefulness, difficult physical conditions and close, isolated living may have been useful as Poynter says, but nothing could really prepare any of them for the Biosphere experience.

"After thirteen months in Biosphere 2, we were starving, suffocating and going quite mad."

Inadequate food had plagued them from the start. In part this goes back to the cult-like group dynamic.

The Biospherian candidates worked on design and construction of Biosphere 2 (earth being Biosphere 1), and were shifted to different tasks in order to have well-rounded experience. In practice, shifts were sometimes made to punish a staffer for disloyalty, i.e., criticism. Criticism was also dealt with in less subtle ways.

Poynter, as agriculture manager, was asked to draw up a report showing that Biosphere 2 could produce all of the food they would need. When she could only arrive at a total of 80 percent she, and two others who sided with her, were fired from the team. Poynter and another woman were taken back three days later without explanation - the third was shunted to some other aspect of the program.

This type of behavior was common and served to keep all of them cowed, off balance, and unwilling to point out snags. When a certain root fungus was cited as a potential problem, John Allen's response was to make the scientist "jump up and down, screaming `pythium, pythium.' " The fungus was indeed a persistent rice-crop killer.

Their second big problem was a steady, unexpected drop in oxygen. For months they did intensive experiments, but the debilitating riddle remained unsolved until an outsider provided a clue in a casual phone call. Serendipity and science working together would seem to give the Synergists' creed of balance a lift.

But the "going mad" part never really got better. Much of Poynter's book focuses on the interpersonal acrimony, which eventually divided them into two groups of four. Difficulties were exacerbated by backbreaking work on inadequate diets in low oxygen, but even when these problems were somewhat alleviated relations stayed poor.

Of course, the manipulation by outside management never got better and it was that that separated them into loyalists and non-loyalists. Poynter was a non-loyalist. When she walked out of Biosphere 2 her time as a Synergist was done too.

But her book seems balanced and open - something of a catharsis. She celebrates the science, such as it was, and laments that more was not done later to study closed-ecosystem reactions. There was one more 6-month group sojourn inside, but the project was too expensive to continue.

Though the two years were arduous she counts them a success - "we had proven that a man-made biosphere can successfully sustain life, including human life, for an extended period of time without inexplicably crashing, or devolving rapidly into green slime." True, but they did need two infusions of oxygen, which would not have been possible in space, and for all their psychological problems they always knew they could walk out at any time.

Naturally many questions remain, particularly about the environmental science. Though the environment was carefully engineered and controlled they still had ceaseless problems with insect pests (including ant intruders from outside) and plant diseases.

Poynter is at her best describing daily life; the "dysfunctional family" they became, the feasts and famines, and the daily grind of work, though you get the feeling she's leaving a lot out to avoid pressing on old wounds. An absorbing, varied and often suspenseful read.

-- Portsmouth Herald
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The inside story of the Biosphere 2, September 26, 2006
By 
Bittek106 (Peoria Arizona) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 (Hardcover)
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.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book, captivating, interesting, well told., October 20, 2006
By 
Jesper Jurcenoks (Portland, Oregon, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 (Hardcover)
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.

The book is not a personal vendetta against other people in the Biosphere 2 project.

Overall a 5 star book
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very engrossing and of broad appeal., September 2, 2006
This review is from: The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 (Hardcover)
The Human Experiment was a pleasant surprise on several counts. First, it is a very "good read"; so good in fact that I read it straight through in one sitting. Second, there is enough technical detail that those interested in such things can get a good sense of the technical issues inherent in the design and operation of Biosphere 2, yet non-technical readers will not be so overwhelmed that they will fail to grasp the overall significance of the experiment. Third, the social issues, which are really the strongest focus of the book, are described with real passion, yet with more than enough objectivity to leave one comfortable with the overall accuracy of the account. The author admits her own biases with sufficient sincerity that her basic integrity seems self-evident. And, finally, the philosophical issues that underlay the design and analysis of the experiment are laid out in a very engrossing fashion. This last point may sound rather dry and of limited practical interest, but in fact such questions are central to our very ability to understand anything at all of a scientific nature. Anyone who cares about the basic validity of any scientific activity will find the detailed examples in this book well worth the trouble of reading.

One is also struck by the sheer ambition of the project. It not only cost 250 million dollars, which is an obvious measure of the scope, but anyone with even a little knowledge of biology and chemistry can see clearly how much needed to be fit into a structure of less than 150,000 square feet. This is smaller than an average grocery warehouse, yet there was essentially everything needed to make up a completely closed ecosystem. There were a couple of oversights, to be sure, and that is to be expected in any pioneering technical project, but in retrospect the vast majority of the design worked as intended, which is quite amazing, and especially so to anyone who has ever been involved in a high-tech project of any kind. In addition, the project "bug list" was not only short, but all of the design errors were susceptible to straightforward correction. In other words, the overall design was generally correct and robust. Very impressive indeed.

In short, this book will likely appeal to anyone with an interest in any or all of the following: ecology, the environment, manned spaceflight, engineering, human social dynamics, philosophy of science, or simple adventure.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We Are Dysfunctional Family!, April 28, 2013
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This review is from: The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 (Hardcover)
more thoughts along with those for Abigail Alling's "Life Under Glass" which I put in a separate review:

Poynter's memoir goes into a lot more detail about the personalities and the personal problems of the people involved in the Biosphere2 project than Alling's book. Poynter wrote hers fifteen years after the fact, while Alling and Nelson cobbled together their book in their spare time during the two-year mission. So Poynter had much more time to research and collate the massive amount of material, and a lot of time to think things over and develop some perspective. She wasn't starving and oxygen-deprived while she was writing it, either.

I won't go into much detail about all the problems that plagued the project, since many other reviewers have done so. I'll just add a few other thoughts:

* A lot of people probably wonder why they stopped the sealed "missions" after the aborted second one. Mostly it's a matter of money, but it seems that the inherent problems with the facility's design make longterm enclosure missions futile. Poynter mentions late in her book that the CO2 problems took a decade or more to resolve themselves. By that point the facility was no longer owned by the creators, Columbia University had come and gone, and the facility was pretty much abandoned by the time another sealed longterm mission could have been undertaken. And the glass and steel structure only lets in about half the available light, so there's very little that could be done to grow enough food to keep the crew healthy and keep the wilderness biomes operating the way they were intended.

* Both Alling and Poynter have touching vignettes about the then-state-of-the-art computers and other equipment in the facility. At the time, the computer system was a technological marvel rivaling NASA's mainframes. Alling, writing during the actual mission, brags that the systems were producing a whopping ten MEGAbytes of sensor data each day, the rough equivalent of downloading one ebook or mp3 file. Today, all that capability could easily be handled by the laptop I'm writing this on, all while I'm streaming a radio broadcast and running an antivirus system scan. The communication systems were also primitive by today's standards, and could easily be outclassed by a single 4G repeater and a bunch of smartphones. So even if all the electronics and control systems still operated at all, they're way obsolete and would need to be totally replaced.

* The structure itself could most likely be built today with far less materials. Composites for the framing and either high-strength glass or plastic for the windowpanes would most likely let in far more light and make it much easier to keep everything inside growing and healthy. A lot less concrete (which turned out to be the oxygen-eating culprit) would be needed today. The overall construction costs would be far lower, or at least somebody would get a lot more bang for their bucks today.

* They probably should have had only one or two wilderness biomes, not the five they wound up with. And they probably should have chosen ecosystems better suited to life at 2500 feet above sea level and 32 degrees above the equator. There was no particular reason why a site in Arizona had to have a tropical rainforest, a coral reef "ocean", and so on. Those choices seemed to have been driven more by the personal experience and preferences of the project management, than by prudence or questions of viability.

* So it would most likely be a lot simpler, faster, cheaper and more effective to build a completely new structure from scratch today, with new electronics, using lighter and stronger materials and with a far smaller energy footprint, and with better choices for the biomes, than it would to refurbish Biosphere2 for additional longterm enclosures. That said, it's wonderful that they are still using the facility for other kinds of research that don't depend as much on maintaining a specific set of habitable conditions for years at a time. Today the facility is used to test different scenarios and hypotheses for CO2 levels, drought tolerance, and things like that where one or more of the biomes can be "configured" for a certain environment. None of that requiries airtight seals or self-sufficiency, so experimenters are free to bring in whatever they need for their project. It's still a very useful facility, and as Poynter mentions several times, even an experiment that falsifies its hypothesis has proven itself useful. Now we know how NOT to build a self-sustaining enclosed habitat, and there's a lot of value in that.

I'll briefly mention a few of the personal-problem issues that plagued the project:

* Poynter's account of her early life and involvement with the umbrella organization that built Biosphere2 draws a vivid picture of a bunch of trust-fund dilettantes improvising a life as they went along. Most of the management and crew were from well-to-do (and often well-connected) families. Most of them either bypassed college altogether, or got their undergraduate degree and then went off into various fringe occupations. Then they all somehow gravitated to the Institute for Ecotechnics, a new-age organization with vaguely defined ecological and philosophical goals. (If you want to call it a cult, who am I to disagree?) In short, they seem to have been drawn from the kind of bright but feckless rich kids who leave college to sail around the world for a year, and then drift into idealistic but impractical "mission" careers. Naive idealists like that can keep a project creative and forward-thinking, but one or two on a larger team would be more than enough. A small organization chock-full of them is a recipe for...well, the Biosphere2 project.

* A lot of the online-searchable criticisms leveled against both the crew and the project as a whole may be driven by petty jealousy. If you've busted your butt to get your Ph.D in a highly specialized field and now spend half your time writing grant applications just to keep the laboratory lights burning, you're not likely to be very receptive to a dozen kids with business degrees (or less), who've somehow convinced one of the wealthiest men on the planet to give them $150 million to build a real big greenhouse in the desert. There were many serious problems with both the overall design of the Biosphere2 project and the way it was run, that's true. But a lot of those problems are exaggerated by the critics or couched in terms of mockery, not in anything resembling objective peer-review.

* The leader and visionary, John Allen, is by all accounts a very driven, charismatic control freak. Like the founder of so many other "movements", he seems to have gotten consumed by his own dreams and ego. If the anecdotes recounted by Poynter and others are accurate, he seems to have increasingly struggled with the widening gap between what he WANTED to have happen (a little self-contained universe, built to his own design specs, that he could rule with an iron thumb) and what was POSSIBLE. I got the sense that the frequent temper tantrums, arbitrary decisions, and otherwise bizarre behavior Allen exhibited as the project went along may have been fueled by his frustration that, for the first time, the eight Biospherians were locked on the other side of the glass and effectively out of his reach. He didn't have any way to use the manipulation and intimidation tactics that work so well for him in person. Even worse, the only way for him to exert that level of control over the crew would require them to leave the facility or for him to enter it, and either way that would invalidate the main "nothing in, nothing out" objective of the mission in the first place!

* All of which leads to the question of whether the Synergia folks were a cult. Poynter dismisses the notion with a lot of "define 'cult'" rhetorical tricks. And it's true they weren't in the same league as the Jim Joneses and David Koreshes of the world. But everything I've read about the behavior of the group who planned and built Biosphere2 sounds like a cult. I remember when they went in in those high-tech jumpsuits, that they looked an awful lot like the "missionaries" at the end of Close Encounters who are leaving their life on Earth behind to travel to a distant star with the ETs.

* Alling's book and other online accounts mention that the facility's hatches were in fact opened several times during the two year mission in order to send out experimental data and materials for analysis by outside experts. But in Poynter's account, there was a much less noble reason: the lab equipment was simply being confiscated by management as punishment for bringing up crew concerns that things weren't going according to the grand plan, and once outside the enclosure the equipment was never touched again. Once closure began, there was very little the project managers could do to control the crew inside without ending the mission prematurely, or at best violating its scientific goals. But that would violate the ingrained beliefs of the managers and make it virtually impossible for the financial backers to get a return on their investment. So apparently the next-best solution for the managers was to try to make it impossible for the dissenters amongst the crew to generate and disseminate any more bad news while the project was underway. So lab equipment was removed from the enclosure, crew duties were reassigned and re-reassigned on a management whim, and the dissenters were excluded from public discussion of the mission.

* And that raises the big question: where was Ed Bass during all this? Bass, a Texas oil billionaire and by far the largest backer of not only the Biosphere project but the Synergia organization as a whole, was rarely seen or heard from according to Poynter. He'd show up briefly for a check-in, then go back to the Ewing Ranch or whatever. Even during the second mission, when it became obvious that the project was burning cash at an alarming rate and the management were doing nothing to stanch the flow, he seems to have mostly relied on other people to confront the project management and regain control. I had to wonder how much better things would have gone had Bass exerted a much larger degree of influence over his huge investment the whole time. I'm guessing the reality is that he was in fact a lot more involved than the crew ever knew, but Allen and Augustine had created such a control-freak cocoon around the project that the rank-and-file never had access to the money folks,and he never had access to them and their dissenting views.

* Both Alling and Poynter mention that they worked with NASA scientists and former astronauts while planning the mission. And apparently Allen had been warning the crew that it was quite likely there would be a split into factions during the enclosure, a common occurrence at the remote Antarctic research stations and during the six-month underwater cruises of nuclear submarines. So everybody seems to have had plenty of opportunity to come up with some sort of plan to mitigate the inevitable personal problems. In many ways the Biosphere2 experience also mirrors the problems encountered during the first Apollo mission and the final Skylab mission, both of which saw crewmembers getting ill and staging virtual mutinies against Mission Control. Yet the Biosphere team doesn't seem to have given the slightest thought to ways to handle that situation when-not-if it arose. According to Poynter, the first Biosphere crew never even had official access to psychologists. You get the idea Allen and Augustine were afraid the first question a shrink would have asked one of the crew was "so why did you get mixed up in a cult in the first place?". If there had been a plan in place to offer support to the crew when things got bad, a lot of the crises that actually happened could have been avoided or minimized. But punishing the messenger seems to have been the solution favored by management.

* When the inevitable happened and the cliques formed, they weren't over relatively trivial(and thus easily-handled) matters. Rather the factions formed over basic "where are we going with this project?" questions. The project managers (and the higher-ranking members of the crew inside) stuck to a holistic, survive-the-adventure goal. They would tough it out and achieve all their initial goals, regardless of any problems that cropped up during the mission. Poynter's faction took a more reductionist approach, and felt that there was never any chance the original mission would succeed exactly as planned, so why not take whatever steps were necessary to maximize the scientific return of the mission, given the actual conditions? That basic difference in priorities was most acutely felt during the oxygen and food crises. Management wanted to tough it out because they BELIEVED the system they envisioned was perfect and would get back to equilibrium (i.e. what the visionaries wanted it to be like); therefore, no oxygen needed to be added and no food imported. Poynter's group argued that, okay, it's now obvious this facility CAN'T sustain itself for two years with no resource inputs other than sunlight. So let's get enough oxygen and food in here so the crew can do the best science they can, and we'll focus on determining what went wrong with the original plan and how to prevent that on later missions (or on other projects).

* Management's refusal to accept the basic flaws in the project seem to have stemmed from a combination of personal beliefs (this was obviously their vision of utopia, and they would do anything to avoid having their vision proven unworkable) and financial interest (they obviously wanted to make a lot of money off the Biosphere2 project, and therefore refused to accept any signs that it wouldn't be a profitable, decades-long venture with lots of spinoffs, etc.).

* The group's leaders don't seem to have had much concern over public perception of their lifework. They never bothered to hire any PR staff, and apparently Allen himself was a public-relations nightmare, coming across in interviews as a wild-eyed cult leader, rather than as a highly-focused manager of a grand scientific expedition. Any and all problems were routinely hidden from public scrutiny. Promises were made and then repeatedly broken. And they wonder why there was so much criticism of the project.

To sum up, Poynter's memoir is by far the most detailed and objective account of the Biosphere2 project I've come across so far. I don't quite believe every word she says (even in recent times, her interviews come across as stage performances designed for maximum emotional impact, not honest answers to the questions), but if you want to know what went right and what went very wrong with Biosphere2, you've got no better place to start than here. Poynter is an eloquent writer, and it's very enjoyable to share in her adventures.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Years Of Torture, February 6, 2009
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This review is from: The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 (Hardcover)
The unique thing about Biosphere 2 was that it was a scientific experiment launched by the anti-establishment. Ultimately, the anti-establishment people who were running this experiment were miffed that the establishment wasn't taking their work seriously. Jane Poynter describes the demeaning experience of lacking credibility with the scientific fraternity, despite their great efforts.

These people were mavericks in the world of science. Serious scientific research is typically conducted by the government or universities on projects of a much smaller scale. To circumvent the usual process was audacious and somewhat naive. This group had guts, imagination and, most importantly, a very wealthy donor.

A group of vintage 1960's alternative lifestyle types, not drugged-out hippies, their goal was to make some big discoveries. Perhaps a science discovery inspired by science fiction. They chose an objective to study: Discover important information about enclosed environments,(..yeah, sounds good!)...something that can possibly be used for habitats on Mars..(yeah!)..or the Moon.. (...yeah, yeah, let's do it!). They decided to set a record for staying the longest inside a sealed building(...ok, we're gonna do what?).

Similar to the crew on Star Trek, they went on a two year mission, separated from the rest of us on earth. They lived a tortuous existence inside an enclosed space with too little oxygen, too little food and too much CO2. This enviroment caused them all sorts of physical and psychological problems. They were constantly bickering, factioning into groups.

As interesting as this appears, I just didn't share the same passion for "breaking the record" inside a building. Reading the other great reviews, this book obviously appeals to a lot of people, but it just didn't work for me. I can't blame Poynter's writing, because Poynter, an English woman, writes well. She is frankly honest about what it was like to participate in this grand experiment. I simply didn't share their enthusiasm about the mission.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the scenes story about Biosphere 2, September 4, 2006
This review is from: The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 (Hardcover)
This is a revealing account of life inside Biosphere 2. The autobiography follows the author, Jane Poynter from her childhood in England to the present day. In addition to interesting tech tidbits about the building and functionality, she shares about relationships with the other "inmates" of Bio2. Jane explains the science behind this unique accomplishment in an interesting and non-boring way. The most exciting part for me in this book was imagining them doing this giant science experiment on Mars, and definitely the behind the scenes lowdown on the creators and participants of this experiment. Highly recommend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A can't put down science adventure, December 21, 2008
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This review is from: The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 (Hardcover)
A few weeks ago I had teh chance to visit Biosphere 2 and found the tour to be well worth the detour from Tucson. I saw this book in the gift shop but ordered it here on Amazon for much less.

Jane Poynter paints a riveting tale of how the Biosphere came to be, the science behind building it, and most important, the eperience of being a biospherian. The story combines science and human interactions in a true tale that captivates the imagination. Indeed, it reads much like any really good story whereby once you start reading it, you simply can not put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Human Experiment, A Compelling Story, August 2, 2012
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This review is from: The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 (Hardcover)
In 1991 and 1992 I was teaching science to junior high students and incorporated the Biosphere 2 project into some of my lessons on ecology and viewing the earth as a closed system. I was extremely interested in the project and followed it closely in the media, although all the press wanted to do was criticize every flaw in the endeavor (and there were plenty of flaws, as the author and Biospherian Jane Poynter acknowledges). After the experiment was over, nothing. No press, no story, nothing. Almost twenty years passed before I noticed this book, and this is the book that tells "the rest of the story". All the infighting, factions, turmoil, conflict, and pain of being cooped up with seven other people for two years in an enclosed environment while you are slowly starving and not getting enough oxygen to breathe.

Incredible, compelling story from an insider. Some reviewers stated that Jane Poynter glossed over the problems, and gives a too-scientific telling of the tale. Nonsense. Jayne shows remarkable courage and honesty when detailing the problems encountered (mostly with each other), and gives a very human touch to her personal journey for the two years. If anything, I wanted more of the science of how the thing worked, not less science. The most compelling true story I have read in a long time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleased that I purchased this excellent recount of the Biosphere experiment from Amazon, April 5, 2011
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This review is from: The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 (Hardcover)
Having recently toured Biosphere 2 in Feb. 2011, I was compelled to read this book which answered many questions regarding the original experiment not addressed on the 'tour'. I'm happy to have found it here on Amazon and was much less money than in the facility's gift shop -I did not have to pack it for my trip home.

Thanks to Poynter's recounting of the biosphere experience, including a brief history that lead to her role in it, I have a greater appreciation of those dedicated people who pushed for a better understanding of how our earth, Biosphere 1, works. Not only does this book embrace the surprising interactions of the players in this adventure, but Poynter answers from personal experience the question many have asked since the original experiment; that is, what went wrong?

It is obvious to Poynter and now to me that this experiment was a success in that it's results continue to be relevant today.
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The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2
The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 by Jane Poynter (Hardcover - August 18, 2006)
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