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The Best Science Writing Online 2012 2012 ed. Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0374533342
ISBN-10: 0374533342
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[The Best Science Writing Online 2012] is full--stuffed--with excellent science writing, more than enough to keep you reading . . . Buy it. It is worth your time.” ―Wired Science Blogs

“A collection of fun and interesting science, from online writers around the world.” ―The Guardian (blog)

“[A] potent mix of critical analyses, witty personal reflections, absorbing feature profiles, illuminating commentary on the intersection of science and social policy, and even long-form investigative journalism, covering everything from the last space shuttle launch to fluid dynamics to gender politics.” ―Brain Pickings

“A collection of solid science writing celebrating a diversity of topics, writer credentials and styles. Proof that science writing online is healthy and growing. For naive surfers, an anthology like this will help separate the wheat from the chaff.” ―Kirkus

“[C]onsistently picks the best of the best blogs. Read it.” ―Ivan Oransky, MD, Executive Editor, Reuters Health and Blogger, Embargo Watch and Retraction Watch on Previous Edition

“This is the best of the science blogosphere 2010, selected by experts, and features something for anyone and everyone curious about the natural world.” ―Sheril Kirshenbaum, author of The Science of Kissing and Discover's The Intersection blog on The Best Science Writing Online 2010

“Some of the smartest, best informed, and--yes--most entertaining writing about science today can be found in the vibrant community of science bloggers. Each year [the] series performs an invaluable service by pulling together some of the highlights--proof that the best blog posts can and should be savored long after they've scrolled off the bottom of the screen.” ―Scott Rosenberg, author of Say Everything and Dreaming in Code, and co-founder of Salon.com on Previous Editon

“In each post I found honesty, passion, imagination, curiosity and creativity shining through in a way that the disinterested ‘article mill' of traditional journalism is rarely able to match.” ―Al Dove, scientist and blogger on Previous Editon

“If you are overwhelmed by the surge in science-related blogging and don't know where to start, then this compilation may help you steer a course through the sea of perspectives on offer--or inspire you to start a blog yourself.” ―Nature on Previous editon

“A fun, enlightening read that's bound to have a little something for everybody who loves science.” ―Maggie Koerth-Baker, BoingBoing.net on Previous edition

About the Author

Bora Zivkovic is the editor of the blog network at Scientific American and organizes the globally renowned Science-Online events. He lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Jennifer Ouellette is the author of The Calculus Diaries and other titles, and maintains the Cocktail Party Physics blog. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Product Details

  • Series: Best Science Writing Online
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 2012 ed. edition (September 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374533342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374533342
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Kwok HALL OF FAME on September 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
The scientific blogosphere has died. The scientific blogosphere lives. "The Best Science Writing Online 2012 (Open Laboratory)" is an amazing, quite eclectic, collection of science writing, covering everything from our current understanding of genomic data in molecular biology, to the intricacies of human behavior, and even the likelihood that there are some elementary particles in physics capable of exceeding the speed of light. Series editor Bora Zivkovic, Scientific American's blog editor, and editor Jennifer Ouellette have done a masterful job, along with their assorted collaborators, in sifting through some of the best science writing that's available now on the scientific blogosphere, from new bloggers to notable ones like P Z Myers, Chad Orzel and Brian Switek and highly regarded science journalists John Rennie (former Scientific American publisher), Carl Zimmer and Ed Yong. There's a fine introductory essay on the current state of the scientific blogosphere from Jennifer Ouellette, who notes that reports of its demise are quite premature to say the least. Former vertebrate paleontologist - now science writer and blogger - Brian Switek - well known for his Laelaps blog and his book "Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record and Our Place in Nature" - delves through fact and mythology regarding the Dodo, the "poster child of extinction", in a memorable essay ("The Dodo is Dead, Long Live The Dodo!") possessed of superb literary quality comparable with anything written by Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Best Science Writing Online 2012 edited by Bora Zivkovic and Jennifer Ouellette. New York, Scientific American/FSG, 2012 328 pp. ISBN: 978-0-374-53334-2

Any compilation of independent stories is going to have some unevenness in terms of style and substance. Except this one. In this case the editors deserve kudus for extracting such a high level of writing. The individual authors likewise merit praise for their own writing. Out of the fifty one articles there was not a lousy one amongst them.

Fortunately for the reader not one of the articles was written by Malcolm Gladwell or Oliver Sachs. These were written for the most part writing for smallish audiences. There are a few bigger names including Carl Zimmer, Ann Finkbeiner or PZ Myers but most were authors that were not recognizable to me...until now.
The book has an interesting history. It was born out of an effort to gather blogs, review and select the best ones and publish a book of them. In a time when there are ever advancing technologies used in place of simple paper books that one opens and holds on their lap while they read downloaded books, this effort is the reverse. It takes the blogosphere to print. It is the sixth time they have done it and the first time I was aware of it. Of course my recognition of it came from reading a blog.

Most anyone who is reading this recognizes that the internet is loaded with lies, folklore and nonsense. They also realize that it can be a very fruitful place to get information. There is a lot of personal time spent on this computer searching for information and the results are typically science pages that link to blogs. Blogs link to other blogs and so on it goes.

Recently I went to Google to find out about Oxbow Lake in Maryland.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Excellent collection of the works of great minds, selected carefully.
Vast collection of amazing topics distilled and digested so a layperson can understand it.
One gets quite a bit of cerebral euphoria reading these pieces... like cocaine in print form. Addictive.
Cannot wait for 2013.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
On the whole, it's not the best writing I've come across. I know the editor that's why I chose the book. The quality of the research and the prose is uneven. The styles are higgly-piggly. As a light read, it's ok. Maybe I'll try to read the next story, and if I don't like it, I'll jump quickly to the next one and not feel bad. The e-reader doesn't make it easy for me to jump to the next chapter/story, maybe that's why I'm frustrated with the book. When I don't like a story or the writing, it's not easy enough to jump to the next story without a lot of button pushing and scrolling and what not, so the rest of the book remains unread.
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By alaskafan on February 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book to use as inspiration for my writing students, and found myself reading it cover to cover after reading the first essay. This collection offers variety and excellent writing. The topics may not appear as enticing at first glance, but these writers make science fascinating. What a great book!
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Some of the writing in this collection is not bad, but overall it lacks the focus and clarity of the companion collection of print articles. I find the prose somewhat rambling and the topics less weighty, but that may be me being old school or just not in tune with the editors.
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