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The Best American Science Writing 2012 (Best American Science Writing)

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  266 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
The Best American Science Writing 2012 is yet another endlessly fascinating and mind-expanding installment of the popular science series that Kirkus Reviews calls, “Superb brain candy.” Edited by renowned theoretical physicist and bestselling author Michio Kaku, co-founder of string field theory, this collection contains the most engaging and provocative science writing of ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Ecco
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Caitlin
Aug 14, 2013 Caitlin rated it really liked it
These books are always awesome. A couple of the articles became really hard to understand but most of them were written in an interesting and accessible way. I love how good science writers use imagery and metaphors to explain complex ideas (e.g. Douglas Fox explains: "Isolate a single ion channel on the surface of a nerve cell using a microscopic glass tube, sort of like slipping a glass cup over a single ant on a sidewalk."

I appreciate the range of stories included (from quantum mechanics and
...more
Simon
Jul 29, 2016 Simon rated it liked it

Another interesting run around contemporary scientific research across all its branches/useful snapshot of the interface between science and wider society. The stand out chapter by a million miles is a vitriolic piece by historian Jackson Lears on ‘The New Atheism’, an ideology that claims positivist scientific enquiry as the only route to objective truth and that has leached into unsavoury political arenas, with some New Atheists apparently wholeheartedly signed up to a neo-con agenda (despite
...more
Veach Glines
Feb 26, 2013 Veach Glines rated it liked it
The final essay, detailing the current measure of 'Insight' as today's means of determining mental health was - far and above - the most informative. Also helpful was the explanation about how we, as a society, got here from the day of mental health institutions that helped; thru those that housed and experimented in brutal ways; to how mentally impaired now are the responsibility of prisons, cause of more homelessness than every other cause, and the "right" to refuse treatment and refuse ...more
Margaret Sankey
Feb 26, 2013 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
Good science writing is vital to keep non-specialists engaged in and supportive of research and science, aware of the human implications and potential ramifications of things taking place at lab benches, at CERN and in malfunctioning nuclear reactors. This is a collection slanted this year harder towards physics and space because of the guiding hand of the guest editor, Michio Kaku, but it has a wide variety of subjects--teenage brain development, genetic therapies for cancer, the dangers of ...more
Matt
Jan 16, 2013 Matt rated it liked it
A strange collection of articles this year, some quite impenetrable, a characteristic which I have not come to expect from this series. In particular, every single article on astrophysics and quantum theory was too general for experts, too full of jargon for us laypeople, and too diffuse for just about anyone. Also surprising was the inclusion of Jeff Goodell's sensationalist screed from Rolling Stone on the Fukushima disaster. I'm on his side, but this temper tantrum of an article is not ...more
Patrick
Jan 12, 2014 Patrick rated it really liked it
It casts a wide net, including as many topics as possible and as such - it's only natural that some should interest me more than others. However, all are at least engaging or interesting on some level - even if they're not exactly one's proverbial cup of tea.

And, happily enough, the topics covered are arranged by their scale. I found myself drawn to the large-scale topics covered towards the end of the book, more so than the microscopic ones in the beginning, so this arrangement is nothing if n
...more
Toni Moore
Nov 16, 2014 Toni Moore rated it really liked it
I enjoyed all the articles in this anthology, except for the one by Steven Weinberg on symmetry. It's a difficult concept, but he didn't explain it well. Way too many particles! The more I read, the more I was confused. His article was too complicated for the general public. Most people would have quit reading after a couple of pages. So I don't understand how it ended up in an anthology like this, which is FOR the general public.
Kristin McPhillips
Nov 24, 2012 Kristin McPhillips rated it liked it
It is a little physics happy but I like that. I think my favorite articles were the physics ones. I particularly liked the one about the quantum universe--they talk to this one particularly quirky physicist who explains the implications of a quantum computer on the nature of time and the universe and whatnot but he does it in a way that is understandable and also interesting both because of the science and because this guy is so weird
HBalikov
Jan 16, 2013 HBalikov rated it it was amazing
Most of the real science writing isn't accessible for readers without serious science credentials. Thus, I was delighted to get this book as a gift.
Michio Kaku is a very talented scientist and science writer. As editor, he selects a great collection of recent layman-suitable science articles that both excite and astound.

Now I might start his book on Hyperspace

Ron
May 28, 2013 Ron rated it liked it
If this was the first "Best American Science" book I read I would have given it 4 stars. But since it's the 5th or 6th and it wasn't as consistently good as the others I have to drop the rating to just 3 stars. That being said these books are still fantastic ways to read a lot of articles on a lot of different subjects.
Stephen Dorneman
Nov 02, 2012 Stephen Dorneman rated it liked it
A somewhat below average edition of this usually excellent annual anthology. Too heavy on the physics side without much general reader appeal, and too many shorter pieces that, at their length, had little or no non-fiction narrative arc to keep my interest, were the main detractors. Here's hoping the 2013 collection is back to the usual standard of this series.
Paul
May 28, 2013 Paul added it
I enjoy these annual collections of science topics from popular sources--mostly magazines. The topics in this are wide ranging from those related to the human brain, space, symmetry, and religion. The discussion of symmetry by Steven Weinberg was not easy for me to follow.
Fraser Kinnear
Aug 02, 2013 Fraser Kinnear rated it liked it
Shelves: science
A gift from a close friend, it was a fun read. Essentially a collection of science long-form articles chosen by Michio Kaku. Honestly, I get the same caliber of science articles on a weekly basis from my various RSS feeds on the internet, but these articles were interesting in their own right.
Allison Jaynes
Jan 24, 2014 Allison Jaynes rated it really liked it
Recommended to Allison by: Matthew
Excellent flow of articles from all ends of the scientific community. My favorites were the particle physics and space exploration ones, of course. But I learned quite a bit from the bioscience discoveries too.
Ben
May 03, 2015 Ben rated it really liked it
Shelves: stem
Quite good! I enjoyed all the articles save for the fiction piece which did not belong in a curated collection of science writing.
Melissa
Jan 25, 2013 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I try to read this every year- fascinating blend of natural history, chemistry, psychology, evolution, biology, ecology, archeology. love it. My favorite annual december/january treat.
Deena
Jun 04, 2016 Deena rated it liked it
This series is usually enjoyable but there were too many baffling essays on quantum physics in this edition.
Jenny Larsen
Mar 12, 2013 Jenny Larsen rated it really liked it
So fun to read good writing. I loved the biology essays in the beginning, especially the teenage brain essay, and the last one about psychosis.
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(Arabic: ميشيو كاكو
Russian: href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/show... Каку
)
Dr. Michio Kaku is an American theoretical physicist at the City College of New York , best-selling author, a futurist, and a communicator and popularizer of science. He has written several books about physics and related topics of science.

He has written two New York Times Best Sellers, Physics of the Impossible (2008)
...more
More about Michio Kaku...

Other Books in the Series

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