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Future Science: Essays from the Cutting Edge

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  203 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Editor Max Brockman presents the work of some of today’s brightest and most innovative young researchers in this fascinating collection of writings that introduce the very latest theories and discoveries in science.

Future Science features eighteen young scientists, most of whom are presenting their work and ideas to a general audience for the first time. Included in this c
Paperback, 272 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Ovidiu Neatu
Îi zice "Știința viitorului" dar un nume mai potrivit ar fi fost "Știința prezentului". Volumul nu își propune să descrie eu știu ce știință a viitorului ci vorbește despre experimente relativ recente și mai puțin de o anticipare a ceea ce ar putea deveni știința în viitor, deci titlul cărți este cam impropriu.

Dacă titlul nu se chiar potrivește cu conținutul nu înseamnă că este o carte de slabă calitate - e chiar contrariul. E vorba de o colecție de articole scrise de cercetători relativ tineri,
Just a compilation of 19 graduate and post-doc researchers' essays on a wide variety of topics; no sales pitch to cheapen or unify them.
the best part was the Perdomo painting on the cover
Gave up about 75% in as my brother took an interest in the book that I had long since lost. Billing itself as a series of essays by relatively young scientists working on the cutting edge of their fields, the back cover blurb mentions an interesting range of topics. Unfortunately the content doesn't reflect that at all. The vast majority of it is on mind and brain research and a smattering of other essays turn up on plant disease resistance, theoretical physics and analysis of large data sets. U ...more
David Everling
Like Brockman's other Edge Foundation based books, this one has lots of good, thought provoking essays. Quite a few from psychologists, I was pleased to discover. Naomi Eisenberger's essay on the science of rejection was very intriguing, in particular the finding that painkillers like Tylenol will also lessen the essentially physical pain of social rejection. Not every essay was as stimulating, but each author offered some insight into an interesting question.

I listened to the audiobook edition
Good hammock reading. A lot of fun thought experiments that pursue, as one of the essayists put it, "Squishy science." As fun for the rest of us to contemplate as it the scientists and researchers whose hard science make these flights possible.
Some essays are on the short side and could use more depth and data. The majority of them are nothing short of compelling however.
Greg Linster
This book is a collection of essays put together by the intellectual impresario John Brockman's son, Max Brockman. The essays included in the collection were written by young and upcoming scientists who discuss their work and its implications for the lay reader. While this book was interesting, I must admit that I was expecting more. A handful of the contributions seemed like fluff, but some of them I really enjoyed.

The more notable contributions (the ones I enjoyed the most anyway) were by the
Overall, a relatively snappy read, and occasionally some wonderful insights into current research. If, however, you're not particularly interested in neuroscience, you're going to find it a bit of a slog. The back of half of the book in particular seems almost exclusively focused on studies discussing various closely related issues in human psychology (including two - consecutive - near-indistinguishable essays on human morality). My personal favourite essay was William McEwan's "Molecular Cut-a ...more
This collection of essays from the forefront of science today is a fun read. The 10-page essays were written by enormously talented young researchers from top universities around the (mostly western) world. A majority of the authors do an admirable job of describing their area in an appetizing manner. My main gripe is the distribution of scientific areas. I'm as interested in behavioural science and neuroscience as the next scientist, but I think the editor could have found some cutting edge sci ...more
Bazıları ilgi çekici olsa da sonuca varmaktan uzak makaleler.
Mary Helene
I can imagine a wide variety of situations where one might want to skim this book first for topics to talk about - long car rides, extended airport waits, constrained dinner parties where one wants to stay away from discussions of politics or religion. Since reading this collection of essays, I've summarized 4 or 5 of them to start animated discussions of what discovering water on another planet might mean, how behavior might be inherited and how we make decisions about punishment. Feeling dull? ...more
Corinna Bechko
The essays were for the most part quite interesting, but they were far from varied. Perhaps 80% of this book was devoted to (human) psychology, neuroscience, and the study of diseases. The scant representation from other fields seemed out of place and lost. I had picked my copy up hoping for a broader array of disciplines and grew a bit weary of reading about people by the time I finished it. If you find humans fascinating though, this is the book for you.
Como todo buen pesimista, no poseo una opinión de la especie humana particularmente elevada. Es por ello que me gusta leer sobre ciencia, pues me muestra la cara menos pedestre de la humanidad, una cara que hasta cierto punto me lleva a tener "esperanza".

El único problema con el libro es la inconstancia en la calidad de los ensayos, pues mientras unos te muestran una perspectiva fascinante otros se quedan en meros comentarios técnicos.
Paul McNeil
A collection of fascinating essays from young scientists on their work- you get everything from the role of shame to life on one of Jupiter's moons to plant immunity to the way the universe is both finite and infinite. Not every essay was engaging or completely clear, and some were a bit too short for their subject matter, but enough were clear and interesting that I feel I can recommend this one to anyone interested.
Nikolai Joseph
Some of the essays were incredible, kept me up at night, and inspired long Wikipedia adventures. Some of the essays made me rethink the very idea of publicly funded research. The overabundance of soft science in this book made me wonder two things: a) are we no longer capable, as a society, of solving big problems? b) who picked out these stupid essays?
I listened to this as an audiobook, which i suspect is why it ended up being really hard for me to focus on. The subjects of the essays were fascinating, but when it comes to science - sometimes physically reading it on your own makes retention of the material better. But still, this was an ambitious set of essays across the gamut of studies.
A few essays were appealing. Others were the type where I jumped ahead to the last page to find out the results. It is not a "wealth of new and exciting ideas" as the back cover suggests. It is a book worth checking out of the library and glancing through in a couple eves or afternoon.
Dave Garnand
Wonderful little essays that point to where we are heading in understanding ourselves and our world. This are short, quick reads a la Scientific American, teasers. If you love executive summaries of fascinating topics, this is a great little read. I stress: short writings.
Chunyang Ding
It is books like these that sorta makes me want to give up on being an actual scientist and just read. But then I think about what amazing innovations these people have come up with, and I'm filled with energy to keep on researching.

Full Review:
Florin Pitea
Popular science articles from various fields. Some accessible, some.... rather difficult. Overall, it's OK to read it once. For a detailed review, please visit my blog:
Pedro Plassen
Positive side : some of the topics shake some established pre-conceptions giving that 'why... why not?' feeling
Negative side : too many essays delve on sociology/psychology/anthropology areas. Science is more than that
Kareen Boncales
Good compilation of scientific essays from various fields. I like that the essays were written by young scientists whose voices and ideas would normally be buried under the stuffy, restrictive channels of academia.
Keith Swenson
Interesting selection of essays by young scientists. Nothing particularly unexpected. It is a snapshot of research directions today. Perhaps my expectations were too high.
aPriL does feral sometimes
An interesting, science magazine style book for passing the time on a lazy afternoon. I read it this Sunday while my husband watched golf.
Jake Cooper
Decent showing with a couple 4-star essays, but this doesn't sway my position in the science-writers vs. scientists-as-writers debate.
a lot of good stuff in here: cutting edge academics, thinking about their fields in a more holistic and accessible way
Was really looking forward to this and so was very disappointed to not enjoy it at all.
Alexi Parizeau
Fascinating essays! Really enjoyed this collection!
Heinrich Souza
Imported from my LinkedIn reading list via Shelfari.
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