The Best American Science Writing 2000

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9780060957360: The Best American Science Writing 2000

The first volume in this annual series of the best writing by Americans, meticulously selected by bestselling author James Gleick, one of the foremost chronicles of scientific social history, debuts with a stellar collection of writers and thinkers.  Many of these cutting-edge essays offer glimpses of new realms of discovery and thought, exploring territory that is unfamiliar to most of us, or finding the unexpected in the midst of the familiar.  Nobel Laureate physicist Steven Weinberg challenges the idea of whether the universe has a designer; Pulitzer Prize winner Natalie Angier reassesses caveman (and-woman) couture; bestselling author and Darwinian theorist Stephen Jay Gould makes a claim for the man whose ideas Darwin discredited; Timothy Ferris proposes a realistic alternative to wrap-speed interseller travel; neurologist and bestselling author Oliver Sacks reminisces about his first loves-chemistry and math.  This diverse, stimulating and accessible collection is required reading for anyone who wants to travel to the frontier of knowledge.

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Review:

Avid science readers know the value of good judgment. There's just too much out there to go through it all in one lifetime, so we learn to appreciate the recommendations of those we trust. Editors James Gleick and Jesse Cohen took it upon themselves to select 19 eclectic pieces for The Best American Science Writing 2000, resulting in a delicious, engrossing volume with something for nearly every reader. Whether relying on well-known authors like Stephen Jay Gould and Oliver Sacks or surprising us with a selection from humor publication The Onion ("Revolutionary New Insoles Combine Five Forms of Pseudoscience"), they choose works that combine the best of exposition and aesthetic delight. The scope of topics is broad: physician Atul Gawande reports on medical mistakes, Douglas R. Hofstadter ruminates on natural and artificial intelligence, and Deborah Gordon gives an inside look at southwestern American ant life. Though the editors cheerfully admit that they can't define science writing with any precision, they still please the reader with this important and enjoyable volume. --Rob Lightner

About the Author:

James Gleick's three books, Chaos, Genuis,and Faster,have been translated into nearly thirty languages. Gleick, a former reporter and editor of the New York Times,lives in New York.

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