In the News

Social Media

Social media featuring research and astrobiology explainers for general audiences written by Summons Lab members:

In October 2018, Fatima Husain (@FatimagulHusain) live-Tweeted coverage of the last Mars 2020 Landing Site Workshop:


Link to coverage aggregated by Twitter. 

Educational Activities

  • Members of the Sumner lab have continued their relationship with the Powerhouse Science Center by participating in two summer camps as guest scientists focused on showing how the Mars Curiosity rover helps scientists learn about the geologic history of Mars.
  • Sumner Lab Complex Life scientists have also continued to work on “Science Shorts” aimed at tying the group’s research efforts to learning objects for middle school scientists. Based on feedback from educators, those involved are re-editing the pilot video and beginning to film the additional three videos.
  • Scientists from the Sumner Lab have also begun new collaborations including with the Association of Women Geoscientists (AWG), STEM for Girls, and the Data Carpentry group. These efforts are focused on teaching undergraduate students about the pathways to careers in geosciences, developing an outreach program with local K-12 schools, and producing open access lessons for bioinformatics.

Timeline Tours

Join us during the 2017 Cambridge Science Festival (April 14-23) on a walk through Earth’s storied history, spanning 4.567 billion years—shrunken down to a third of a mile along the Charles River! Our annual to-scale geologic timeline will be installed along Memorial Drive between Mass. Ave. and Ames St., near Building 1 (map).

On this page you will find , a description of the timeline, and maps of where it is installed; closer to the festival, we will also post the tour schedule (and how to arrange school group tours by appointment). You can also explore an online interactive of the timeline on this page or see each timeline sign with a more detailed description here.

About the timeline

Earth’s history stretches back over 4.567 billion years. How are we supposed to grasp such a vast number? We’ve shrunken it down to a third of a mile along the Charles River, and invite you to join us on a walk through time to tour the many incredible events during Earth’s long and storied history: the formation of the oceans, the origin of life, the first animals, the rise and fall of dinosaurs, and the appearance and evolution of our own species (to name just a few). With each inch representing a staggering 240,000 years, you’ll cover millions of years with every stride and feel the rush of deep time travel as you stroll through the eons to gain a new perspective on the immensity of geologic time.