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The Best American Science Writing 2004

Edited by Dava Sobel

This book represents the best science articles printed in 2003. The articles cover many disciplines from psychiatry to particle physics. All have these things in common: they begin with a sentence that grabs your attention; they are not simply boring recitations of dry facts; and they all are packed with interesting information.

The book opens with Stripped for Spare Parts, by Jennifer Karn. In this article, she describes her experience of watching a team of nurses keep a dead man’s body functioning while they waited for a surgical team to salvage the usable organs. The next article is Desperate Measures, by Atul Gawandi. It details some of the experiments in medicine carried out in the 1940s and 1950s to perfect surgical techniques in transplant surgery, burn treatments and other medical procedures we take for granted today.

Then, there are articles on particle physics, such as K. C. Cole’s Fun with Physics, detailing the study of neutrinos. Strange Nuggets, by Oliver Morton, tells of the study of dark matter, the stuff that fills the blackness between the stars. That is a very interesting article.

There is something for every science lover here, articles on medicine, economics, people who have been kidnapped by aliens, the big bang theory, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and much more. I found all of them absorbing reading, a book I will use in the future. I feel it is something everyone who has an interest in science will enjoy again and again. It will be an invaluable book for those in school who have science reports to write. These articles are up-to-date; at least they were in 2003. Pick up a copy for your family. You will all enjoy it and benefit from it.

The Book

Ecco (An Imprint of Harper Collins)
September 1, 2004
Nonfiction / Science
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The Reviewer

Jo Rogers
Reviewed 2005
© 2005