Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIn a camp of nomads on the Kenya-Uganda border, a British economist designs a famine early-warning system; in Nigeria, a scientist searches for new viruses in a disturbed environment; at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (Nigeria), soil experts are developing various crop cycles to keep the land productive. For two years, Bass ( The Eudaemonic Pie ) traveled through Africa, attaching himself to scientific expeditions. He went diving in Lake Malawi on the border of Tanzania to observe Cichlid fish mating, visited an ecological project in Mali and a pest-control center in Kenya. He offers a gripping account of health and environmental issues that are unique to Africa; there is a sardonic piece on official visitors and what they are shown. Bass gives full marks to persevering scientists who overcome the collision between their Western training and African culture. (Feb.)
Library Journal - Library JournalFrom 1985 to 1987, Bass explored sub-Saharan Africa by observing and assisting African and Western scientists involved in research ranging from paleontology to tropical viruses, famine economics, and the sex life of cichlid fish. Bass found that most Western-style development projects have caused more harm than good in this region. However, he met Kenyan and Nigerian scientists (including a virologist son of a Nigerian chief, the ``prince'' of the title) who are attempting to foster an African scientific community and philosophy of science. This offers hope for eventual independence from Western aid. Bass explains many complex issues and ideas in science and current affairs. The book also works as insightful travel literature. Recommended for academic and public libraries.-- Beth Clewis, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community Coll. Lib., Richmond, Va.
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
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