Monday, October 21, 2013

An Appetite for Science

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013 by Siddhartha Mukherjee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As always, a wonderful journey. Though technically I would title it The Best Science and Nature Essays 2013.

Once again gathered from trade publications as widely varied as the New Yorker, Outside, Playboy, Scientific American, Harper's, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and filtered by a highly qualified guest editor, in this case Siddartha Mukherjee, cancer physician and researcher and author of The Emperor of Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, the 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner for general nonfiction. His theme was "how science happens."

Is space digital? How do we measure the universe? How do you do triage for endangered species? What's the next pandemic? These are just some of the questions explored by the writers and scientists within these pages. Very fitting, since science and writing both very often start with questions. :)

I usually enjoy every essay and this year is no exception--even the very short ending essay about the social utility of psychopaths.

I'm sure it was reading this anthology year after year that led me to eventually subscribe to Science News, which presents a mostly distilled version of papers and abstracts across the sciences in articles unfortunately too short for inclusion in this anthology, though also for the lay reader.

Yes, buy it and read it!  It will whet your appetite for science writing.

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