The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013

Series: Best American   

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Annotation: Presents fictional and non-fictional stories written by American authors that discuss topics in science and nature.
Catalog Number: #5630999
Format: Paperback
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2013
Pages: xxi, 339 p.
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-544-00343-8
ISBN 13: 978-0-544-00343-9
Dewey: 500
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
An anthology of some of the finest writing (if not the best) on science, nature and mathematics from American publications in 2012, selected and edited by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Mukherjee (The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, 2010). Are these essays really "the best?" The evident narrowness of the criteria for selection would seem to argue against it. Nearly all of the entries are from a limited circle of print magazines, with Scientific American and the New Yorker leading the pack. Four pieces are by previous guest editors of the series. In a sense, then, this book celebrates the already celebrated and might, therefore, seem to present nothing new or all that different on first view. But the proof of this pudding is in the reading. Mukherjee's introduction ("On Tenderness") provides a hint of the diverse excellence to come. Some subjects--interspecies communication, the (possibly digital) nature of physical reality, the use of immunology to battle cancer, the deadliest viruses--warrant two or more essays. Other singular highlights include J.B. MacKinnon's critique of naïve views of nature as a peaceable kingdom; Oliver Sacks' account of his personal experimentation with psychotropic substances; Elizabeth Kolbert's visit to a "rewilding" project aimed at populating a reclaimed wilderness in the Netherlands with species resembling its original Pleistocene denizens; Keith Gessen's adventure on an iron-ore freighter plying the newly de-iced (thanks to climate change) Northeast Passage between Murmansk, Russia, and the Bering Sea; and Mark Bowden's profile of computer scientist Larry Smarr and his visionary program to attain total information awareness of his body and its bacterial ecosystem, a program Smarr believes is the prototype of the health care system of the future. Other contributors include Rick Bass, Alan Lightman and Nathaniel Rich. A stimulating compendium.
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Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. [337]-339).
Reading Level: 9.0
Interest Level: 9-12

Pulitzer Prizewinning author Siddhartha Mukherjee, a leading cancer physician and researcher, selects the year's top science and nature writing from journalists who dive into their fields with curiosity and passion, delivering must-read articles from a wide array of fields.

False idyll / J. B. MacKinnon
The last distinction? / Benjamin Hale
Talk to me / Tim Zimmermann
Beyond the quantum / David Deutsch and Arthur Ekert
Is space digital? / Michael Moyer
The sweet spot in time / Sylvia A. Earle
Machines of the infinite / John Pavlus
Which species will live? / Michelle Nijhuis
The larch / Rick Bass
Shattered genius / Brett Forrest
The T-cell army / Jerome Groopman
The artificial leaf / David Owen
The deadliest virus / Michael Specter
Our place in the universe / Alan Lightman
Out of the wild / David Quamman
Altered states / Oliver Sacks
Recall of the wild / Elizabeth Kolbert
Polar express / Keith Gessen
The crisis of big science / Steven Weinberg
Autism Inc. / Gareth Cook
The life of pi, and other infinities / Natalie Angier
Super humanity / Robert M. Sapolsky
The patient scientist / Katherine Harmon
Can a jellyfish unlock the secret of immortality? / Nathaniel Rich
Is Facebook making us lonely? / Stephen Marche
The measured man / Mark Bowden
The wisdom of psychopaths / Kevin Dutton.

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