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Both. Here we have 75 of today's top scientists teamed up with some of the best artists- then turned loose on some of the most interesting or head scratching mysteries of science. The art is lovely, the science is accessible. Solid science articles back up the great art. Sometimes a tad whimsical or even humorous.

What came before the Big Bang?
What is Dark Matter?
What makes us blush?
Do Squirrels remember where they bury their nuts?
The Origin of the Moon.
Can our cells communicate?
Why do pigeons bob their heads when they walk?

I have but one complaint- the cover art chosen does not do justice to the great art in this book.

Very readable, beautifully illustrated.
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on November 29, 2012
A lot of fun, terrific illustrations. Nice hardbound book that I hope will be in our family for a long time. If you'd like to see some more examples of the illustrations (all of which are full-page, color), I recommend checking out the review at the blog "Book by it's Cover".
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on February 19, 2013
This is an engaging coffee table book if you take off your science editor hat. Look first at the art and then secondarily at the essays as the inspiration/explanation for the artwork. Some of the essays/art don't do well when they try to take on too deep or too controversial topics, but many are absolutely delightful. However, this is not a definitive work of science and should not be taken as such.
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on March 2, 2015
I loved the idea and was hoping for something much more creative and intelligent. As it turned out I was quite disappointed. It felt immature and more about the artists than what they were seeking to visually express. I suspect most were not well suited to this particular task and what it could be.
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on November 19, 2012
WARNING. Don't judge this book by its cover. Its NOT a compilation of the type of classic science illustrations you see on the front cover... Rather, every other page has a random illustrator's take on a 1-page write up of a scientific topic that takes up the adjacent page. I can't say if the illustrations are good or bad, that's too subjective, but I can say they are NOT technical illustrations, like you might expect just by looking at the front cover.

If you are looking for basic illustration of all different types, vaguely related to a science theme or topic, this book might be for you.

If you are looking for science and/or medical related illustration (cross-sections, information diagrams, technical and medical illustrations, etc.), this is NOT the book you are looking for.
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on March 16, 2013
Love the illustrations so much. The articles are brief enough to allow a causal read for anyone dropping by for only a moment. I confess, I bought it with the intention of slicing out favorite images and framing them, but once I had the handsome volume in hand, I couldn't bear the thought. And generally, I have few qualms about cannibalizing books for their art.

Lovely, informative, and worth the purchase.
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on March 12, 2014
If you love science and you love art, you will find this book as irresistible as we do. The authors invited seventy-five artists to make illustrations based on questions posed to fifty scientists. Each two-page spread features the scientist’s question and answer on one side and an artist’s interpretation on the other.

The questions are ones most of us all wonder about: What existed before the Big Bang? What is the origin of the moon? Why do we blush? How do migrating animal find their way back home? What did dinosaurs eat? How much of human behavior is predetermined? How do squirrels remember where they bury their nuts? Why do we hiccup? Why are humans and chimps so different if they have nearly identical DNA?

Even if there is no definitive answer (and sometimes there is not), you still get a pretty good explanation, and a summary of the state of the knowledge about the question at the present time. Most of the entries are succinct, clear, and understandable to the lay person, written by an array of contributors including physicists, aerospace engineers, biologists, research librarians, and quite a few professors.

The illustrations are outstanding. Sometimes you may not quite “get” them until you read the accompanying science piece, and then their cleverness impresses you all the more. The artists chosen by the compilers are from a mix of backgrounds, and include comic artists as well as fine artists. Most of the pictures are ones I wish I had on my walls.

At the end of the book, there are helpful indexes of not only of the questions explored, but of the names of contributing scientists and artists.

This book will provide endless stimulation, both intellectually and visually. The authors said their goal was to bringing back a sense of wonder in the age of Google and Wikipedia, and they have certainly succeeded.
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on November 3, 2014
If you are a curious person, then you'll love the book! While you can use and view this on a e-paper Kindle (i.e., black and white), it really comes alive on color screens (Kindle app on your tablet, Kindle Reader on your PC, Kindle color tablets, etc.) It is beautifully illustrated with sound scientific explanations behind the illustrations, making it a wonderful read. I wish grade school science texts were written like this...there might be more scientists now.
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on December 4, 2012
A wonderfully informative and inspiring book. perfect for anyone of any age who is interested in how the world works.
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on November 30, 2014
A very good little overview of some of the more interesting questions in current science, answered by well-qualified individuals and interestingly (though sometimes confusingly) illustrated. A nice little mind-massage.
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