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The Best American Science Writing 2000 (The Best American Series) Hardcover – January 15, 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Assembled by a famous nameAalong with a series editor who usually manages the initial siftingAannual Best American anthologies have become a useful way for busy aficionados to keep up with a year's developments in (among other areas) spiritual writing, erotica, literary essays, movie writing, poetry, and sports writing. This volume adds science writing to that list. Gleick (Faster) and series editor Jesse Cohen have put together a stellar collection of accessible scientific papers, science-related personal essays and journalistic prose about evolutionary biology, medicine, paleoanthropology, particle physics and more. A cluster of work focuses on neurology, thought and mind. Douglas Hofstadter shows why he considers "Analogy as the Core of Cognition"; Floyd Skloot sharply and movingly describes how he has coped with his own cerebral damage, which (for example) causes him to ask in a music store for "sombrero reporters," not "soprano recorders." Oliver Sacks pops up with an uncharacteristic memoir of his "Uncle Tungsten," who introduced him to the natural sciences. Physicist Francis Halzen covers the ongoing hunt for neutrinos, carried on most recently at the South Pole. And the volume opens with Atul Gawande's memorable report on medical errors, which provoked much discussion when it appeared in the New Yorker. The anthology makes a good read (and, perhaps, an even better gift). But Gleick and colleagues do draw heavily on the few most prominent venues. The New Yorker, the New York Times and its Sunday magazine, Salon.com, Harper's and the New York Review of Books account for nine of 19 entries; Science, The Sciences, Scientific American and Natural History for half of the rest. People who've kept up with popular science writing during 1999 will have read half of this book already; they should give it to their busy friends and colleagues. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Edited by Pulitzer Prize nominee Gleick (Genius), this first volume of a new annual series is a delight to read, in part because it effectively counters the widely held belief that science writing is uniformly bad or dryly boring. These fascinating essays by scientists and science journalists (including Timothy Ferris, Steven Jay Gould, Steven Weinberg, and Natalie Angier) are, in turn, mesmerizing, exciting, and dramatic. The articles come mostly from sources like The New Yorker, the New York Times, and Natural History, but some are from nontraditional venues like the humor journal the Onion and the online magazine Salon. Since these publications are aimed at an intelligent but not scientifically trained readership, the essays are free of the technical terms that make many scientific research articles inaccessible to the nonspecialist. Douglas Hofstadter's piece on the role of analogy in cognition is probably the most ambitious entry, and Francis Halzen's account of his search for neutrinos beneath the Antarctic ice provides a wonderful description of the vagaries, difficulties, and delights of scientific research and discovery. One of the most affecting pieces is Floyd Skoot's description of how a viral infection of his brain has damaged his mind and concept of self. Highly recommended for all libraries.DLloyd Davidson, Seeley G. Mudd Lib. for Science & Engineering, Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1 pounds
  • Hardcover : 258 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 006019734X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0060197346
  • Product Dimensions : 6.13 x 1 x 9.25 inches
  • Publisher : Ecco; 1st Edition (January 15, 2000)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 1 rating