The Best American Science Writing 2003

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9780060936518: The Best American Science Writing 2003

In his introduction to The Best American Science Writing 2003, Dr. Oliver Sacks, "the poet laureate of medicine" New York Times writes that "the best science writing . . . cannot be completely 'objective' - how can it be when science itself is so human an activity? - but it is never self-indulgently subjective either. It is, at best, a wonderful fusion, as factual as a news report, as imaginative as a novel." Following this definition of "good" science writing, Dr. Sacks has selected the twenty-five extraordinary pieces in the latest installment of this acclaimed annual.

This year, Peter Canby travels into the heart of remote Africa to track a remarkable population of elephants; with candor and tenderness, Floyd Skloot observes the toll Alzheimer's disease is taking on his ninety-one-year-old mother, and is fascinated by the memories she retains. Gunjan Sinha explores the mating behavior of the common prairie vole and what it reveals about the human pattern of monogamy. Michael Klesius attempts to solve what Darwin called "an abominable mystery": How did flowers originate? Lawrence Osborne tours a farm where a genetically modified goat produces the silk of spiders in its milk. Joseph D'Agnese visits a home for retired medical research chimps. And in the collection's final piece, Richard C. Lewontin and Richard Levins reflect on how the work of Stephen Jay Gould demonstrated the value of taking a radical approach to science.

As Dr. Sacks writes of Stephen Jay Gould - to whose memory this year's anthology is dedicated - an article of his "was never predictable, never dry, could not be imitated or mistaken for anybody else's." The same can be said of all of the good writing contained in this diverse collection.

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About the Author:

Oliver Sacks is the author of nine books, including the acclaimed bestsellers The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, An Anthropolgist on Mars, and Awakenings, which inspired the Oscar-winning movie of the same name. He is clinical professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as well as a regular contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and numerous medical and scientific journals.

From Publishers Weekly:

Award winning author and neurobiologist Sacks (Uncle Tungsten, etc.) has done a fabulous job of selecting 25 diverse pieces for this thoroughly enjoyable collection. Sacks's choices represent most of the sciences, from botany to physics, cognition to evolutionary biology, and originally appeared in large-circulation outlets (Harper's, Atlantic Monthly, New York Times Magazine) and small ones (Southwest Review, Wings, Monthly Review). What they all have in common is their uncanny ability to engage the reader from the very first sentence and present complex material in an accessible form. Sacks claims that the best science writing "has a swiftness and naturalness, a transparency and clarity, not clogged with pretentiousness or literary artifice." All of his selections meet this high standard. In the book's longest essay, Peter Canby writes of joining an English zoologist on his trek across the Congo studying elephants, and the reader is there with them for every step. Brendan Koerner discusses how drug companies market new diseases-like compulsive shopping-as a way of creating niches for their older drugs. And Lawrence Osborne describes a start-up biotech company's desire to create silk by inserting the silk-producing gene from a golden orb-weaving spider into a goat and harvesting the silk from the milk produced. Additional highlights include reports on fraud in physics, the problems associated with chimpanzees "retired" from serving as medical research subjects, and the possibility and problems of long-term space travel. The book is perfect for browsing and is almost impossible to put down.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2003 ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In his introduction to The Best American Science Writing 2003, Dr. Oliver Sacks, the poet laureate of medicine New York Times writes that the best science writing . . . cannot be completely objective -- how can it be when science itself is so human an activity? -- but it is never self-indulgently subjective either. It is, at best, a wonderful fusion, as factual as a news report, as imaginative as a novel. Following this definition of good science writing, Dr. Sacks has selected the twenty-five extraordinary pieces in the latest installment of this acclaimed annual. This year, Peter Canby travels into the heart of remote Africa to track a remarkable population of elephants; with candor and tenderness, Floyd Skloot observes the toll Alzheimer s disease is taking on his ninety-one-year-old mother, and is fascinated by the memories she retains. Gunjan Sinha explores the mating behavior of the common prairie vole and what it reveals about the human pattern of monogamy. Michael Klesius attempts to solve what Darwin called an abominable mystery : How did flowers originate? Lawrence Osborne tours a farm where a genetically modified goat produces the silk of spiders in its milk. Joseph D Agnese visits a home for retired medical research chimps. And in the collection s final piece, Richard C. Lewontin and Richard Levins reflect on how the work of Stephen Jay Gould demonstrated the value of taking a radical approach to science. As Dr. Sacks writes of Stephen Jay Gould -- to whose memory this year s anthology is dedicated -- an article of his was never predictable, never dry, could not be imitated or mistaken for anybody else s. The same can be said of all of the good writing contained in this diverse collection. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060936518

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 2003 ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. In his introduction to The Best American Science Writing 2003, Dr. Oliver Sacks, the poet laureate of medicine New York Times writes that the best science writing . . . cannot be completely objective -- how can it be when science itself is so human an activity? -- but it is never self-indulgently subjective either. It is, at best, a wonderful fusion, as factual as a news report, as imaginative as a novel. Following this definition of good science writing, Dr. Sacks has selected the twenty-five extraordinary pieces in the latest installment of this acclaimed annual. This year, Peter Canby travels into the heart of remote Africa to track a remarkable population of elephants; with candor and tenderness, Floyd Skloot observes the toll Alzheimer s disease is taking on his ninety-one-year-old mother, and is fascinated by the memories she retains. Gunjan Sinha explores the mating behavior of the common prairie vole and what it reveals about the human pattern of monogamy. Michael Klesius attempts to solve what Darwin called an abominable mystery : How did flowers originate? Lawrence Osborne tours a farm where a genetically modified goat produces the silk of spiders in its milk. Joseph D Agnese visits a home for retired medical research chimps. And in the collection s final piece, Richard C. Lewontin and Richard Levins reflect on how the work of Stephen Jay Gould demonstrated the value of taking a radical approach to science. As Dr. Sacks writes of Stephen Jay Gould -- to whose memory this year s anthology is dedicated -- an article of his was never predictable, never dry, could not be imitated or mistaken for anybody else s. The same can be said of all of the good writing contained in this diverse collection. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060936518

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