cover image Future Science: Essays from the Cutting Edge

Future Science: Essays from the Cutting Edge

Edited by Max Brockman. Vintage, $15.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-307-74191-2

When someone "hurts our feelings," do we feel physical pain? Is altruism the challenge to evolutionary tenets that many have claimed? How will plants adapt to global warming? Young scientists tackle these subjects and 15 others in this collection of essays edited by literary agent Brockman (editor of What's Next?: Dispatches on the Future of Science). Readers looking for prognostications on the future of technology should look elsewhere, since the book skews towards the behavioral sciences. Exceptions include: a thought-provoking essay by planetary scientist and astrobiologist Kevin Hand on why exploration of oceans on the moons of the giant planets may finally uncover extraterrestrial organisms; MacArthur "genius" Kirsten Bomblies on how plants respond to diseases in a changing environment; and physicist Anthony Aguirre on why infinity challenges our intellectual capability to grasp it, either in the palm of your hand or on larger scales. Readers curious about new frontiers in science and why we do the things that we%E2%80%94and other primates%E2%80%94do will enjoy this engrossing collection. (Aug.)