Timothy Ferris

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Timothy Ferris

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Miami, Florida, The United States


Member Since
November 2009


Timothy Ferris is the author of a dozen books (most recently The Science of Liberty), plus 200 articles and essays, and three documentary films—"The Creation of the Universe," “Life Beyond Earth,” and “Seeing in the Dark”—seen by over 20 million viewers.

Ferris produced the Voyager phonograph record, an artifact of human civilization containing music and sounds of Earth launched aboard the twin Voyager interstellar spacecraft.

Called “the best popular science writer in the English language” by The Christian Science Monitor and “the best science writer of his generation” by The Washington Post, Ferris has received the American Institute of Physics prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of

Average rating: 4.12 · 8,757 ratings · 483 reviews · 30 distinct worksSimilar authors
Coming of Age in the Milky Way

4.15 avg rating — 2,814 ratings — published 1988 — 23 editions
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The Whole Shebang: A State-...

4.06 avg rating — 2,332 ratings — published 1997 — 12 editions
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The Science of Liberty: Dem...

3.95 avg rating — 467 ratings — published 2010 — 14 editions
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Tribe of Mentors: Short Lif...

4.15 avg rating — 8,971 ratings — published 2017
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The World Treasury of Physi...

4.12 avg rating — 457 ratings — published 1991 — 6 editions
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Seeing in the Dark: How Ama...

4.09 avg rating — 390 ratings — published 2002 — 10 editions
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The Red Limit

3.97 avg rating — 248 ratings — published 1977 — 4 editions
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The Mind's Sky: Human Intel...

3.83 avg rating — 152 ratings — published 1992 — 9 editions
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4.53 avg rating — 49 ratings — published 1980 — 9 editions
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The Best American Science W...

3.94 avg rating — 51 ratings — published 2001 — 2 editions
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“We stand at the onset of a great age of adventure—and always shall, so long as we keep doing science.”
Timothy Ferris

“We tend to quarrel most bitterly with those who most nearly resemble ourselves.”
Timothy Ferris, Coming of Age in the Milky Way

“I placed some of the DNA on the ends of my fingers and rubbed them together. The stuff was sticky. It began to dissolve on my skin. 'It's melting -- like cotton candy.'
'Sure. That's the sugar in the DNA,' Smith said.
'Would it taste sweet?'
'No. DNA is an acid, and it's got salts in it. Actually, I've never tasted it.'
Later, I got some dried calf DNA. I placed a bit of the fluff on my tongue. It melted into a gluey ooze that stuck to the roof of my mouth in a blob. The blob felt slippery on my tongue, and the taste of pure DNA appeared. It had a soft taste, unsweet, rather bland, with a touch of acid and a hint of salt. Perhaps like the earth's primordial sea. It faded away.

Page 67, in Richard Preston's biographical essay on Craig Venter, "The Genome Warrior" (originally published in The New Yorker in 2000).
Timothy Ferris, The Best American Science Writing 2001

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