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Best Science Writing Online 2012 by, The Paperback – 13 Oct 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (13 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374533342
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374533342
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.4 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 746,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A fun, enlightening read that's bound to have a little something for everybody who loves science.--Maggie Koerth-Baker "BoingBoing.net on Previous edition "

About the Author

Bora Zivkovic is the editor of the blog network at "Scientific American "and organizes the globally renowned Science-Online events. He lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Jennifer Ouellette is the author of "The Calculus Diaries "and other titles, and maintains the "Cocktail Party Physics "blog. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok on 24 Oct. 2012
Format: Paperback
The scientific blogosphere has died. The scientific blogosphere lives. "The Best Science Writing Online 2012 (Open Laboratory)" is an amazing, quite eclectic, collection of science writing, covering everything from our current understanding of genomic data in molecular biology, to the intricacies of human behavior, and even the likelihood that there are some elementary particles in physics capable of exceeding the speed of light. Series editor Bora Zivkovic, Scientific American's blog editor, and editor Jennifer Ouellette have done a masterful job, along with their assorted collaborators, in sifting through some of the best science writing that's available now on the scientific blogosphere, from new bloggers to notable ones like P Z Myers, Chad Orzel and Brian Switek and highly regarded science journalists John Rennie (former Scientific American publisher), Carl Zimmer and Ed Yong. There's a fine introductory essay on the current state of the scientific blogosphere from Jennifer Ouellette, who notes that reports of its demise are quite premature to say the least. Former vertebrate paleontologist - now science writer and blogger - Brian Switek - well known for his Laelaps blog and his book "Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record and Our Place in Nature" - delves through fact and mythology regarding the Dodo, the "poster child of extinction", in a memorable essay ("The Dodo is Dead, Long Live The Dodo!") possessed of superb literary quality comparable with anything written by Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould.Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Collection of Science Writing Online 2012 18 Sept. 2012
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The scientific blogosphere has died. The scientific blogosphere lives. "The Best Science Writing Online 2012 (Open Laboratory)" is an amazing, quite eclectic, collection of science writing, covering everything from our current understanding of genomic data in molecular biology, to the intricacies of human behavior, and even the likelihood that there are some elementary particles in physics capable of exceeding the speed of light. Series editor Bora Zivkovic, Scientific American's blog editor, and editor Jennifer Ouellette have done a masterful job, along with their assorted collaborators, in sifting through some of the best science writing that's available now on the scientific blogosphere, from new bloggers to notable ones like P Z Myers, Chad Orzel and Brian Switek and highly regarded science journalists John Rennie (former Scientific American publisher), Carl Zimmer and Ed Yong. There's a fine introductory essay on the current state of the scientific blogosphere from Jennifer Ouellette, who notes that reports of its demise are quite premature to say the least. Former vertebrate paleontologist - now science writer and blogger - Brian Switek - well known for his Laelaps blog and his book "Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record and Our Place in Nature" - delves through fact and mythology regarding the Dodo, the "poster child of extinction", in a memorable essay ("The Dodo is Dead, Long Live The Dodo!") possessed of superb literary quality comparable with anything written by Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould. In an emotionally riveting, quite powerful, condemnation of the Nazi-like indoctrination of young school children on the "truth" of creationism by Answers in Genesis creationist Ken Ham, noted New Atheist advocate and biologist P Z Myers writes a latter day "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" letter addressed to "Dear Emma B", explaining the wonders of science to the brainwashed Emma B in a surprisingly quite respectful tone that is one of the finest examples of blogging posted by Myers at his Pharyngula blog. Physicist Chad Orzel, like Myers, a well-known science blogger, discusses the faster than light neutrinos experiments conducted at CERN ("Faster Than A Speeding Photon"). Devoted fans of well-known bloggers like Myers and Orzel, and science journalists Rennie and Zimmer, will find this volume worthy of attention, and so, too, I predict, will many others who value superb science writing, regardless of its source.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A book about science blogs 20 Oct. 2012
By C. M. Stahl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Best Science Writing Online 2012 edited by Bora Zivkovic and Jennifer Ouellette. New York, Scientific American/FSG, 2012 328 pp. ISBN: 978-0-374-53334-2

Any compilation of independent stories is going to have some unevenness in terms of style and substance. Except this one. In this case the editors deserve kudus for extracting such a high level of writing. The individual authors likewise merit praise for their own writing. Out of the fifty one articles there was not a lousy one amongst them.

Fortunately for the reader not one of the articles was written by Malcolm Gladwell or Oliver Sachs. These were written for the most part writing for smallish audiences. There are a few bigger names including Carl Zimmer, Ann Finkbeiner or PZ Myers but most were authors that were not recognizable to me...until now.
The book has an interesting history. It was born out of an effort to gather blogs, review and select the best ones and publish a book of them. In a time when there are ever advancing technologies used in place of simple paper books that one opens and holds on their lap while they read downloaded books, this effort is the reverse. It takes the blogosphere to print. It is the sixth time they have done it and the first time I was aware of it. Of course my recognition of it came from reading a blog.

Most anyone who is reading this recognizes that the internet is loaded with lies, folklore and nonsense. They also realize that it can be a very fruitful place to get information. There is a lot of personal time spent on this computer searching for information and the results are typically science pages that link to blogs. Blogs link to other blogs and so on it goes.

Recently I went to Google to find out about Oxbow Lake in Maryland. I had never heard of it but birders are referring to it regularly. In my internet searches I found a little valuable information as well as a site for ardent believers that Bigfoot resides there. While that was interesting reading it reminded me of the foolishness that can exist on the web. It also reminded me that the efforts such as the one these editors and bloggers provided some really fine work.

An avid reader of science blogs this is an indispensable book. There are 51 articles referencing the blogs as well as others. As a resource tool it is great. The editors did what good editors ought to do and that is to make their selections of the best science writing from as many fields as possible and from as many perspectives.

Blogs typically lack the sometimes strident and always conforming style of professional papers. They are not peer reviewed. In the case of this compilation they are very informative. There are a lot of chuckles to be had and a lot of new things to learn; a lot of new things to research; a lot of new blog sites to explore.
The reader can learn about all sorts of different studies that are occurring and where. They can learn about up and coming minds that are to fill the world with many new findings and many more new question. They can do it while riding the train to work as I did. It is hard to find a more delightful compendium and to know that there are five more of them that I only recently discovered and will have to test. So kudus to all those that made The Best Science Writing Online 2012 occur.

[...]
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Best nonfiction I've read this year! 5 Dec. 2012
By K from Baltimore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Excellent collection of the works of great minds, selected carefully.
Vast collection of amazing topics distilled and digested so a layperson can understand it.
One gets quite a bit of cerebral euphoria reading these pieces... like cocaine in print form. Addictive.
Cannot wait for 2013.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Start here to develop an interest in science. 4 Nov. 2013
By A. Corbin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The best & most interesting writing on science. Most stories are written for anyone with an interest in science or scientific methodology.
Good collection of science writing 11 July 2014
By Donald F. Kochersberger - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Something for everyone. The stories are short enough that you get a quick survey of the subject matter. And, I did not feel guilty about skipping those that "just were not doing it for me". Great material for reading on a plane!
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