Lost in Wonder: Imagining Science and Other Mysteries

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9781582435725: Lost in Wonder: Imagining Science and Other Mysteries

How do we make sense of the modern world? Science is a profoundly affecting aspect of contemporary life, and yet the gulf between experts and everyone else is widening. Colette Brooks bridges the gap by playing the role of curious layperson, serving as a tour guide to some of the most important discoveries and innovations of the last five centuries.

Through serious and absurd stories alike, Brooks takes readers back and forth in time, from dark, cavernous laboratories to the pristine facilities of the twenty-first century. Laugh along with Newton, peer at the moon with Galileo, work beside the Wright Brothers, ride with the astronauts of Apollo 11, watch for UFOs in the 1950s, probe the secrets of the fruit fly, visit Chernobyl, or examine suspicious packages in a Hazmat suit. With Brooks as the guide, it’s easy to become immersed in the twists, turns, and surprises of each imaginative leap forward.

Through a series of thought experiments,” Brooks also poses questions and offers helpful tips that ease the reader’s way into this strange but provocative territory. Bringing her unique perspective to the larger cultural conversation about science, Brooks ultimately unleashes the most powerful force of all: our own wonder.

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From Publishers Weekly:

What is science, and what makes scientists so different from the rest of us? Brooks (In the City: Random Acts of Awareness) poses, but never really answers these questions in her argument for everyone learning the language of science. We must get over our fear of math, Brooks claims. Elaborating on the gap between scientists and laypeople, the author describes how the Wright Brothers' sister Katherine was mystified by their obsession with flight, and the superstitious Anna Roentgen was nervous as her husband, Wilhelm, used her hand to make the first X-ray image. Often, Brooks trivializes great work by juxtaposing it with the mundane: the creators of foam rubber slippers and Stove Top stuffing share a short chapter with Ada Lovelace (Lord Byron's daughter), who invented computer programming for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine. Many chapters offer little more than name-dropping, whizzing, for example, from Isaac Newton through Galileo to Werner von Braun and remarking that scientists are lonely men. Although Brooks writes of wanting to bridge the gap between experts and everybody else, this book merely skims the surfaces of ideas and the people behind them. (June)
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Review:

Praise for In the City

This book is one of a kind: a view straight through the stone and steel, an X-ray of the city's consciousness. Colette Brooks writes like someone telling a secret.” Luc Sante

A lively mix of narrative, catechism, reportage, memoir, and meditative essay. This is an engaging book, so fraught with self-consciousness as to bring into question our notions of writing and literary structure.” Billy Collins

"I've read In the City three times and expect to read it again. In lovely, exact prose Colette Brooks has fixed her experience of urban life with insight and compassion and humor and a sense of the encompassing mystery." Stanley Kauffmann

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Book Description Counterpoint. 1 Paperback(s), 2010. soft. Book Condition: New. Science is a profoundly affecting aspect of contemporary life, and yet the gulf between experts and everyone else is widening; Colette Brooks bridges the gap by playing the role of curious layperson, serving as a tour guide to some of the most important discoveries and innovations of the last five centuries. Using both serious and absurd "thought experiments," Brooks takes readers back and forth in time, to laugh along with Newton, peer at the moon with Galileo, work beside the Wright Brothers, ride with the astronauts of Apollo 11, probe the secrets of the fruit fly, visit Chernobyl, and examine suspicious packages in a hazmat suit. 234. Bookseller Inventory # 72335

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Book Description INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. How do we make sense of the modern world? Science is a profoundly affecting aspect of contemporary life, and yet the gulf between experts and everyone else is widening. Colette Brooks bridges the gap by playing the role of curious layperson, serving as a tour guide to some of the most important discoveries and innovations of the last five centuries.Through serious and absurd stories alike, Brooks takes readers back and forth in time, from dark, cavernous laboratories to the pristine facilities of the twenty-first century. Laugh along with Newton, peer at the moon with Galileo, work beside the Wright Brothers, ride with the astronauts of Apollo 11, watch for UFOs in the 1950s, probe the secrets of the fruit fly, visit Chernobyl, or examine suspicious packages in a Hazmat suit. With Brooks as the guide, it s easy to become immersed in the twists, turns, and surprises of each imaginative leap forward.Through a series of  thought experiments, Brooks also poses questions and offers helpful tips that ease the reader s way into this strange but provocative territory. Bringing her unique perspective to the larger cultural conversation about science, Brooks ultimately unleashes the most powerful force of all: our own wonder. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781582435725

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Book Description INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. How do we make sense of the modern world? Science is a profoundly affecting aspect of contemporary life, and yet the gulf between experts and everyone else is widening. Colette Brooks bridges the gap by playing the role of curious layperson, serving as a tour guide to some of the most important discoveries and innovations of the last five centuries.Through serious and absurd stories alike, Brooks takes readers back and forth in time, from dark, cavernous laboratories to the pristine facilities of the twenty-first century. Laugh along with Newton, peer at the moon with Galileo, work beside the Wright Brothers, ride with the astronauts of Apollo 11, watch for UFOs in the 1950s, probe the secrets of the fruit fly, visit Chernobyl, or examine suspicious packages in a Hazmat suit. With Brooks as the guide, it s easy to become immersed in the twists, turns, and surprises of each imaginative leap forward.Through a series of  thought experiments, Brooks also poses questions and offers helpful tips that ease the reader s way into this strange but provocative territory. Bringing her unique perspective to the larger cultural conversation about science, Brooks ultimately unleashes the most powerful force of all: our own wonder. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9781582435725

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