Water, Ice, and Stone: Science and Memory on the Antarctic Lakes

Bill Green, Author
Bill Green, Author Harmony $23 (283p) ISBN 978-0-517-58759-1
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Each of the Antarctic lakes studied by geochemist Green is devoid of all but microscopic life. Nonetheless, in this ``minimalist's tableau,'' he finds a surprising wealth of scientific insight. The same can be said of this wonderful book. Ostensibly an account of a season in the field in Antarctica, it delivers so much more by exploring the nature of science in addition to portraying the rigors of research on the frozen continent. In evocative language, Green successfully moves between arresting natural history and sophisticated but accessible philosophy of science. Particularly satisfying is the discussion of how the author, his students and his colleagues came by their fascination with, and began their search for an understanding of, the natural world. With gripping accounts of a number of near-death experiences added to the mix, the whole is a thoroughly enjoyable and remarkably informative exposition of the life of a field scientist. (May)
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