The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014

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by Deborah Blum

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Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author, edits this year's volume of the finest science and nature writingSee more details below


Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author, edits this year's volume of the finest science and nature writing

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This thought provoking, perspective shifting edition of a consistently strong series draws from well-known publications like Scientific American and The Atlantic, but Blum (The Poisoner's Handbook) has also reached out to newer online publications like Matter and Nautilus, bringing the best from those venues to a new audience. Making connections between seemingly unrelated topics can help expand thinking, as seen in the effects of automated navigation on both airplane pilot error and Inuit hunting accidents that Nicholas Carr explores in "The Great Forgetting." Sarah Stewart Johnson makes a similar connection between the loss of a 1912 Antarctic expedition and the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in "O-Rings." Blum features "stories of choices and of consequences," highlighting the Anthropocene-era world's rapid changes in response to human behavior. Essays like Virginia Hughes's "23 and You" investigates the effects of availability of individual genetic information on human interactions, while pieces like Maryn McKenna's "Imagining the Post-Antibiotics Future" and Kate Sheppard's "Under Water" remind us of unpleasant futures which we have in large part created ourselves. But Barbara Kingsolver's "Where it Begins," a lyrical musing on connectedness, or Wilson's optimistic, bug-loving "The Rebirth of Gorongosa," reveal that among the strange, shocking, or depressing, there is still unadulterated joy to be found. (Oct.)
Library Journal
★ 10/01/2014
These 27 essays include thought-provoking and socially relevant science journalism as well as more introspective work. Editor Blum (Helen Firstbrook Franklin Professor of Journalism, Univ. of Wisconsin; The Poisoner's Handbook), a Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist, has selected pieces with an eye toward the full range of the physical sciences and medicine, though genetics and climate change are a common theme. Most of the entries are actually interdisciplinary, linking multiple fields or looking at the philosophical or social implication of technology. Along with representing stalwarts of mainstream journalism and popular science, such as the New York Times and Scientific American, a handful of publications make their first appearance in the series, including the online source Matter. Series editor Folger recommends nearly 60 additional readings in an appendix. While almost all of the selections are currently available online, having a portable hard copy ensures continued access (though in a few cases the original illustrations and graphics would have enhanced this volume). VERDICT This carefully curated collection deserves a place on the shelves of libraries serving the scientifically curious public and fans of long-form, intellectual journalism.—Wade M. Lee, Univ. of Toledo Lib.

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Best American Science and Nature Writing Series
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Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)

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