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A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Gilbert V. Levin graduated from Forest Park High School and entered the Johns Hopkins University School of Engineering in 1941. In 1944, during World War II, in his junior year, he joined the U.S. Maritime Service, where he trained as a shipboard radio operator. After serving on various merchant ships in the Atlantic, North Atlantic, Mediterranean, Pacific and Indian Ocean combat zones, Levin left the service in 1946. He returned to Hopkins where he obtained his B.E. in Civil Engineering in 1947 and his M.S. in Sanitary Engineering in 1948. He then served as public health engineer in the health departments of Maryland, California and the District of Columbia before joining Dr. Louis McCabe, former Director of the Los Angeles County Air Pollution Control District, in founding Resources Research Inc., an environmental consulting and research firm, in 1955. While still working at the company, Levin went back to Hopkins as a full-time student and obtained his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering in 1963. In 1967, following the sale of the company, Levin founded Biospherics Research Inc. (now Spherix Inc.), where he was CEO and President until 2003, and served as Chairman of the Board until 2007. He retired from the Company in 2008. In 2007, he was appointed Adjunct Professor in the Beyond Center of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences of the Arizona State University. In 2011, Dr. Levin was made Honorary Professor in the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology of Buckingham University in the UK.

Among Dr. Levin’s inventions are low-calorie sweeteners, therapeutic drugs, including one that passed Phase 3 Clinical Trial for type 2 diabetes, several drug uses of the rare sugar tagatose, radioisotope methods for the rapid detection and identification of microorganisms, the application of the firefly bioluminescent ATP assay to microbial detection and to the measurement of biomass, safe-for-humans pesticides, and wastewater treatment processes including biological nutrient removal, along with the associated instrumentation and equipment. His innovative approaches to detecting microbial life led NASA to award him a series of contracts to develop methods for the detection of extraterrestrial life in spacecraft missions. Dr. Levin was appointed by NASA to a committee to recommend experiments for the Biosatellite Mission. NASA also asked him to serve on its Planetary Quarantine Advisory Panel. He then became Principal Investigator for a study of NASA’s still-pending Mars Sample Return Mission. Dr. Levin was a Team Member on the Goddard Space Flight Center’s IRIS Experiment flown aboard Mars Mariner 9 in 1971 to study the atmosphere of Mars. Based on his sensitive radioisotope microbial detection method, Dr. Levin proposed to NASA and was selected for the Viking Mission to Mars. He was designated Experimenter of the Viking Labeled Release life detection experiment which landed on Mars in 1976. The experiment got positive responses at both Viking landing sites. However, a consensus did not accept his results as proof of life. After years of study, in 1997 Dr. Levin concluded that the experiment had, indeed, detected life on the red planet, and published his conclusion. Subsequent findings of environmental conditions on Mars and research on organisms found in extreme environments on Earth have been consistent with his claim. Pursuing the life issue, Dr. Levin was a member of the Scientific Instrument Team for NASA’s experiment on the ill-fated Russian ’96 Mars Mission. He has since developed, proposed and published on a Chiral LR life detection experiment as a way to remove any doubt about the original Mars LR results. He has published over 150 papers in scientific and technology journals, and has been awarded more than 50 patents for his inventions. A Trustee Emeritus of the Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Levin is a member of its National Engineering Advisory Council, and has served on its National Library and National Industrial Advisory Councils. His awards include the Distinguished Alumnus Medal from Johns Hopkins, the Public Service Medal from NASA, the Newcomb-Cleveland Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the IR-100 Award from Industrial Research Magazine. He is a Member of the Sigma Xi, is listed in Who’s Who in America, and is a member of the Cosmos Club of Washington, DC.






    Rick Eyerdam has won several awards from major university writing programs for his editing, writing and reporting. He is the only journalist to win the Claudia Ross Memorial Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting from the University of Florida School of Journalism two consecutive years. He is also a seasoned business reporter who brings that unique business insight into the tale of competition and intrigue among the nation's giant research agencies. He is also a former legislative staffer and political reporter with a knack for extracting and retelling the political dynamics behind the science. Eyerdam is currently Miami correspondent for Latin Trade Magazine and for Caribbean Maritime Magazine. For the previous four years he was editor for the Journal of Commerce’s weekly Florida Shipper Magazine and a contributor to the Journal of Commerce.

            The author covered the Viking Project using the substantial resources of the National Enquirer. All his interviews were tape recorded with the permission of the Viking scientists at the time.  The author retained the tapes and all the documentation he collected during his visits to JPL. Following his article on evidence of life on Mars the Viking science team applauded his reporting on the Viking mission.

             Since the 1976 mission, the author went on to become an editor of South Florida Magazine, then an editor and reporter at South Florida Business Journal. He continued to collect information about the Viking project, always looking for that critical scientific paper that would, finally, explain the data. When none was forthcoming, the author decided a book was in order.

             The author developed his interest in the space program while growing up in Cape Canaveral at the height of the manned space program. He knows the people, the atmosphere and the excitement at the heart of story.

            The author specializes in reporting complex stories in a way that makes them accessible to the general public. His first book, When Natural Disaster Strikes: Lessons from Hurricane Andrew,  details the complex plans of the health care and emergency management community in South Florida and how they fared when tested by Hurricane Andrew.

        Originally planned only for professionals, the South Florida Regional Health Planning Council, the sponsors of the study -- found it so readable they decided to offer it for sale to the general public.

        Eyerdam was hired by the State of Florida to write the Official Guide to Florida. He wrote the History of the Florida Jewish Business Community for the Jewish Journal, the basis of the Miami Mosaic Project and he wrote much of the 25th Anniversary History of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.  Eyerdam's articles have appeared in The Boating News,, Southern Boating, Marine Business Journal, Southern Magazine, Florida Sportsman, Redbone Journal, Fast Lane, Horizon, Pleasure Boating, Recommend, Us, National Observer, National Enquirer, New York Daily News Sunday Magazine, The Economist Guide to American Cities, Miami Magazine, South Florida Magazine, New Times, Southern Magazine, New Miami, the Miami Jewish Tribune, Tampa Tribune, Cocoa Today, Palatka Daily News and others.

            He has a degree in English Literature and a degree in Government. He was editor of the Florida State University Legend Literary Magazine and was nominated for Poet Laureate of the State of Florida.


Rick Eyerdam, award winning editor and investigative reporter