The Best American Science Writing 2006

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9780060726447: The Best American Science Writing 2006

Together these twenty-one articles on a wide range of today's most leading topics in science, from Dennis Overbye, Jonathan Weiner, and Richard Preston, among others, represent the full spectrum of scientific inquiry, proving once again that "good science writing is evidently plentiful" (American Scientist).

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About the Author:

Atul Gawande is a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and a staff writer for The New Yorker. He is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, and he was nominated for a 2002 National Book Award for his book Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science. His new book, Better, will be coming out this spring.

From Publishers Weekly:

Surgeon and New Yorker contributor Gawande ( Complications) says the "coolest" science writing isn't necessarily found in the science press. His collection of the year's best includes only one research paper—an American Scientist treatise on yawning. And though Jack Hitt's essay (from Harper's), on racist subtexts in the archeological study of who the first Americans were, has footnotes, they tend to contain side jokes, not science. Most of Gawande's selections come from mainstream publications like the New York Times and the Atlantic Monthly, and especially from fellow New Yorker writers like Elizabeth Kolbert (on avian flu), Jonathan Weiner (on a rare neurological disease) and Richard Preston (on redwoods). Still, there are plenty of opportunities for writers at other publications to shine. D.T. Max's piece from the New York Times Magazine presents a lively inquiry into "literary Darwinism," speculating on the evolutionary function of storytelling. And in the anthology's most moving essay (from Wired), Michael Chorost recounts his efforts to find hearing aid technology that will help him to hear Ravel's Boléro with the same clarity it held before he went deaf. The diversity and readability of Gawande's selections are very cool indeed. (Sept. 5)
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