The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2007

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2007

by Richard Preston
     
 

"Science is about not knowing and wanting badly to know. Science is about flawed and complicated human beings trying to use whatever tools they've got, along with their minds, to see something strange and new. In that sense, writing about science is just another way of writing about the human condition."—from the introduction by Richard Preston

The

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Overview

"Science is about not knowing and wanting badly to know. Science is about flawed and complicated human beings trying to use whatever tools they've got, along with their minds, to see something strange and new. In that sense, writing about science is just another way of writing about the human condition."—from the introduction by Richard Preston

The twenty-eight pieces in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2007 span a wide range of topics, from the farthest reaches of space to the everyday world around us to the secrets hiddin in our own bodies. Michael Lemonick travels to an extinct volcano in Hawaii, where telescopes at the summit are providing researchers with a glimpse of the most distant galaxy ever seen—and profound new insights into the creation of the universe. Neil deGrasse Tyson takes a sharp, witty look at Americans' delirium over space travel. And with surgical precision Michael Perry describes how a medical autopsy is performed. Dead men can tell tales.

Here we also see examinations of the sometimes harmful impact of science on the natural world. Susan Casey gives an alarming portrait of plastic waste pollution in the world's oceans, including a dead zone in the mid-Pacific that's twice the size of Texas. Michael Shnayerson heads to West Virginia, where the Appalachians are being blasted at the rate of several ridgetops a week, all in the pursuit of ever-elusive coal. And Paul Bennett goes deep beneath Rome's streets, where cutting-edge excavation techniques are revealing newfound treasures in one of the world's oldest cities.

A profile of a late, distinguished British ornithologist by John Seabrook reveals that the man's personal collection of bird skins, now in the British Natural History Museum, was largely stolen or bought and intentionally mislabeled. Richard Conniff visits a former Brooklyn social worker turned primatologist who has become a fierce advocate of the lemur. And Patricia Gadsby takes us into the kitchens of Europe's finest chefs to explain how the new field of molecular gastronomy is revolutionizing fine cuisine.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618722310
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/01/2007
Series:
Best American Science and Nature Writing Series
Edition description:
None
Pages:
338
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.76(d)

Table of Contents


Foreword     x
Introduction   Richard Preston     xiii
In Rome's Basement: from National Geographic     1
Plastic Ocean: from Best Life     9
For the Love of Lemurs: from Smithsonian     21
The Rabbit on Mars: from Isotope     31
Fishering: from Ecotone     34
Dinosaur Shocker!: from Smithsonian     36
Cooking for Eggheads: from Discover     43
Cyber-Neologoliferation: from The New York Times Magazine     51
The Final Frontier: from Discover     60
How to Get a Nuclear Bomb: from The Atlantic Monthly     71
The Effeminate Sheep: from Seed     97
Let There Be Light: from Time     105
The Nature of Violence: from Orion     115
The Germs of Life: from Orion     123
Neanderthal Man: from Smithsonian     127
Health Secrets from the Morgue: from Men's Health     135
Hitler's Willing Archaeologists: from Archaeology     144
Sex, Lies, and Video Games: from The Atlantic Monthly     153
The Flu Hunter: from Smithsonian     169
Notes on the Space We Take: from Ninth Letter     178
The Olfactory Lives of Primates: from The Virginia Quarterly Review     186
Ruffled Feathers: from The New Yorker     191
In the Company of Bears: from Anchorage Press     213
The Rape of Appalachia: from Vanity Fair     228
First Soldier of the Gene Wars: from Archaeology     249
A Plan to Keep Carbon in Check: from Scientific American     259
Delusions of Space Enthusiasts: from Natural History     268
DNA Is Not Destiny: from Discover     276
Contributors' Notes     291
Other Notable Science and Nature Writing of 2006     298

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