The Best Science Writing Online 2012

The Best Science Writing Online 2012

Paperback(2012 ed.)

$15.30 $17.00 Save 10% Current price is $15.3, Original price is $17. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, October 22


Showcasing more than fifty of the most provocative, original, and significant online essays from 2011, The Best Science Writing Online 2012 will change the way we think about science— from fluids to fungi, poisons to pirates. Featuring noted authors and journalists as well as the brightest up-and-comers writing today, this collection provides a comprehensive look at the fascinating, innovative, and trailblazing scientific achievements and breakthroughs of 2011, along with elegant and thoughtprovoking new takes on favorite topics. This is the sixth anthology of online essays edited by Bora Zivkovic, the blogs editor at Scientific American, and with each new edition, Zivkovic expands his fan base and creates a surge of excitement about upcoming compilations. Now everyone's favorite collection will reach new horizons and even more readers. Guest-edited and with an introduction by the renowned science author and blogger Jennifer Ouellette, The Best Science Writing Online 2012 marries cutting-edge science with dynamic writing that will inspire us all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374533342
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 09/18/2012
Series: Best Science Writing Online
Edition description: 2012 ed.
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Bora Zivkovic is the editor of the blog network at Scientific American and organizes the globally renowned Science-Online events. He lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Jennifer Ouellette is the author of The Calculus Diaries and other titles, and maintains the Cocktail Party Physics blog. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Read an Excerpt





I was born a body of worlds

a carnal web of cosmic pearl

billions of stars that hold me to my bones,

and when one day their cores collapse

I will shed my skin in ash

and sleep among the mosses and the stone.

I’ll grow into the vine that licks the ruin

writhe beneath the savage moon

my scattered cinders eaten at the roots,

and when the ravaged willow moans again

she will take me in her veins

and shake me from her hair an astral fruit.

For we forgot a fact that we once knew,

the only ancient truth,

the knowledge of our primal origin:

That from the feral night we came as dust

born from stellar wanderlust

and unto the stars we will return again.

AUBREY SANDERS will graduate from the George Washington University in May 2012 with a B.A. in English and creative writing. She currently interns at the Grosvenor Literary Agency in Bethesda, Maryland, and is working on her first novel. She believes in the poetry of the cosmos and will be an astronomer in her next life.


Copyright © 2012 by Bora Zivkovic

Table of Contents

Preface Bora Zivkovic ix

Introduction Jennifer Ouellette xiii

1 Somata Aubrey J. Sanders 3

2 Make History, Not Vitamin C Eva Amsen 4

3 Saving Ethiopia's "Church Forests," T. DeLene Beeland 8

4 What It Feels Like for a Sperm Aatish Bhatia 15

5 Incredible Journey Lee Billings 25

6 In the Shadows of Greatness Biochem Belle 32

7 A View to a Kill in the Morning Deborah Blum 37

8 It's Sedimentary, My Dear Watson David Bressan 42

9 Menstruation Is Just Blood and Tissue You Ended Up Not Using Kate Clancy 48

10 Joule's Jewel Stephen Curry 53

11 Unraveling the Fear o' the Jolly Roger Krystal D'Costa 60

12 Free Science, One Paper at a Time David Dobbs 66

13 Tinea Speaks Up: A Fairy Tale Cindy M. Doran 81

14 Man Discovers a New Life-Form at a South African Truck Stop Rob Dunn 89

15 Moon Arts: Fallen Astronaut Claire L. Evans 95

16 Science Metaphors: Resonance Ann Finkbeiner 99

17 Bombardier Beetles, Bee Purple, and the Sirens of the Night Jennifer Frazer 101

18 Mpemba's Baffling Discovery Greg Gbur 108

19 Romeo: A Lone Wolf's Tragedy in Three Acts Kimberly Gerson 117

20 Rats, Bees, and Brains: The Death of the "Cognitive Map," Jason G. Goldman 124

21 Don't Panic: Sustainable Seafood and the American Outlaw Miriam C. Goldstein 131

22 On Beards, Biology, and Being a Real American Joe Hanson 139

23 . I Love Gin and Tonics Matthew Hartings 143

24 Adorers of the Good Science of Rock-Breaking Dana Hunter 148

25 "I Feel the Percussive Roar on the Skin of My Face," Karen James 154

26 Freedom to Riot Eric Michael Johnson 157

27 Inside the "Black Box" of Nuclear Power Plants Maggie Koerth-Baker 168

28 This Ain't Yo Mommas Muktuk Rebecca Kreston 173

29 Chessboxing Is Fighting for Good Behavior Andrea Kuszewski 180

30 Mirror Images: Twins and Identity David Manly 187

31 Did the CIA Fake a Vaccination Campaign? Maryn McKenna 194

32 Free Will and Quantum Clones George Musser Jr. 202

33 Dear Emma B PZ Myers 207

34 Faster Than a Speeding Photon Chad Orzel 211

35 Sunrise in the Garden of Dreams Puff the Mutant Dragon 218

36 Volts and Vespa: Buzzing About Photoelectric Wasps John Rennie 227

37 How to Stop a Hurricane Casey Rentz 231

38 Shakes on a Plane: Can Turbulence Kill You? Alex Reshanov 235

39 How Addiction Feels: The Honest Truth Cassie Rodenberg 239

40 Ten Million Feet upon the Stair Chris Rowan 244

41 Woof! Living Boldly as a "Free-Range Aspergian," Steve Silberman 247

42 The Dodo Is Dead, Long Live the Dodo! Brian Switek 255

43 Sex and the Married Neurotic Melanie Tannenbaum 262

44 Why Do Women Cry? Obviously It's So They Don't Get Laid Christie Wilcox 267

45 How to Take the Real Measure of a Man Allie Wilkinson 272

46 The Origin and Extinction of Species David Winter 276

47 Genome Sequencing and Assembly, Shakespeare Style Richard F. Wintle 281

48 The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Natural Selection Jeremy Yoder 288

49 The Renaissance Man Ed Yong 300

50 Fragmented Intimacies Shara Yurkiewicz 310

51 The Human Lake Carl Zimmer 313

Acknowledgments 323

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews