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The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013 (2013)

von Siddhartha Mukherjee (Herausgeber), Tim Folger (Series Editor)

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1303170,275 (3.89)6
Presents fictional and non-fictional stories written by American authors that discuss topics in science and nature.
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I've been slowly making my way through these Best American Science and Nature Writing collections from a few years ago. So far I've read the 2011, 2012, and now the 2013 editions. I've enjoyed all of them, but I think this might be my favorite of the three. Some of these essays, admittedly, have more worthwhile things to say than others, but I found all of them interesting, at least, and many of them very well-written. 2013's editor, Siddhartha Mukherjee, says he mostly tried to pick pieces he felt were about the process of doing science, rather than just about interesting results, which I approve of. But even more than that, it seems to me that most of these essays and articles feature, or at least tie in to, the asking of very big, broad questions about life, humanity, the universe, and the future. Also, for what it's worth, while the previous two volumes seemed to skew very heavily towards technology and biological and environmental sciences, this one has at least a fair bit of representation for subjects like physics and cosmology as well. ( )
  bragan | Aug 23, 2017 |
Some too difficult for me. ( )
  mahallett | Feb 7, 2017 |
The 2013 installment of the annual series, edited this year by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee (author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer), contains 27 essays drawn heavily from Scientific American and The New Yorker plus a dozen other prominent publications. (An Appendix references another 40 “Notable” essays for further exploration.)

I dipped in and out of the anthology and, because most of the entries are short (10-12pp), I usually read two or three each time I dipped in. They’re accessibly written and smart; surprisingly (and probably due to editor Mukherjee’s influence), I’d also characterize them as gentle. Some address hard science but many have themes of psychology, sociology, philosophy and ethics. Several paired well with books I’ve read this year -- for example, the employer of autistic persons in Gareth Cook’s “Autism Inc.” and a similar employer in Temple Grandin’s The Autistic Brain; the evolution in Robert Sapolsky’s “Super Humanity” and the health effects on contemporary humans explored in Daniel Lieberman’s The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease.

One essay that seemed barely on-topic -- Brett Forrest’s pursuit of a reclusive Russian math genius (“Shattered Genius” from Playboy) -- emerged as my favorite with its tender and compelling narrative; I want to read more by him. In fact, I wonder why I let some years slip by without reading this series, and this excellent volume inspires me to remedy that.

(Review based on an advance reading copy provided by the publisher.) ( )
  DetailMuse | Dec 8, 2013 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Mukherjee, SiddharthaHerausgeberHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Folger, TimSeries EditorHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
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Presents fictional and non-fictional stories written by American authors that discuss topics in science and nature.

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500 — Natural sciences and mathematics General Science General Science

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