Mysteries of Life and the Universe: New Essays from America's Finest Writers on Science

William H. Shore, Editor
William H. Shore, Editor Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $24.95 (317p) ISBN 978-0-15-163972-4
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-15-600136-6
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Thirty contributors, including Diane Ackerman (on the Grand Canyon and geologic time), Martin Gardner (on artificial life) and James Trefil (on Neanderthal man) give this amiable collection of personal reflections a pleasantly challenging range. While surely not all of our ``finest'' science writers are represented, readers will find essays that spark and satisfy their sense of wonder in this assortment. Most of the pieces are fairly cozy, around-the-campfire observations in which the author reflects on his or her own experience: physicist Hans Christian von Baeyer contemplates nature while walking his dog; neurologist Harold Klawans stubs his toe and rediscovers the simplicity of pain as phenomenon. A few essays, such as David Freedman's ``Quantum Liaisons,'' are models of expository writing on deep science for a general audience. Shore is executive director of Share Our Strength, a hunger relief organization based in Washington, D.C., to which profits from this volume will be donated. (Nov.)
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