cover image The Best American Science and Nature Writing

The Best American Science and Nature Writing

. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $28 (330pp) ISBN 978-0-618-83446-4

Groopman (How Doctors Think) has collected a wide range of articles, covering futurology to forensics, for this sparkling entry in Tim Folger's annual series. In \x81gOur Biotech Future,\x81h Freeman Dyson claims that \x81gthe century of biology\x81h is upon us, when biotechnology follows the path of the computer industry, giving \x81gthe tools of genetic engineering\x81h to the average breeder of animals or plants. In a New Yorker article, Jeffrey Toobin compares forensic experts who actually give testimony in court to the characters in television's C.S.I. series. Christopher Conselice, in \x81gThe Universe\x81fs Invisible Hand,\x81h discusses how the 1998 discovery of \x81gso-called dark energy\x81h in the universe has led some scientists to create models predicting that its evolution might \x81grip apart\x81h existing galaxies. Robin Marantz Henig warns in \x81gOur Silver-Coated Future\x81h that there may be serious unforeseen risks in unchecked use of nanotechnology, especially the most commonly used, \x81gnanosilver,\x81h an \x81gantimicrobial\x81h added to many consumer products. Though prolific readers may argue over the \x81gbest\x81h moniker, each piece more than exceeds Groopman's standards (\x81gnovel and surprising arguments, protagonists who articulate their themes in clear, cogent voices, and vivid cinema\x81h), making this a delight for any fan of popular science.