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Best Science Writing Online 2012 by, The [Paperback]

Bora Zivkovic
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

13 Oct 2012 Best Science Writing Online
Showcasing more than fifty of the most provocative, original, and significant online essays from 2011, "The Best Science Writing Online 2012" will change the way we think about science - from fluids to fungi, poisons to pirates. Featuring noted authors and journalists as well as the brightest up-and-comers writing today, this collection provides a comprehensive look at the fascinating, innovative, and trailblazing scientific achievements and breakthroughs of 2011, along with elegant and thought-provoking new takes on favourite topics. This is the sixth anthology of online essays edited by Bora Zivkovic, the blogs editor at Scientific American, and with each new edition, Zivkovic expands his fan base and creates a surge of excitement about upcoming compilations. Now everyone's favourite collection will reach new horizons and even more readers. Guest-edited and with an introduction by the renowned science author and blogger Jennifer Ouellette, "The Best Science Writing Online 2012" marries cutting-edge science with dynamic writing that will inspire us all.

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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: 22.9 x 16.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 548,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"[The Best Science Writing Online 2012] is full--stuffed--with excellent science writing, more than enough to keep you reading . . . Buy it. It is worth your time." --"Wired Science Blogs""A collection of fun and interesting science, from online writers around the world." --"The Guardian" (blog) "[A] potent mix of critical analyses, witty personal reflections, absorbing feature profiles, illuminating commentary on the intersection of science and social policy, and even long-form investigative journalism, covering everything from the last space shuttle launch to fluid dynamics to gender politics." --"Brain Pickings""A collection of solid science writing celebrating a diversity of topics, writer credentials and styles. Proof that science writing online is healthy and growing. For naive surfers, an anthology like this will help separate the wheat from the chaff."--"Kirkus"Praise for previous editions: "[C]onsistently picks the best of the best blogs. Read it." --Ivan Oransky, MD, Executive Editor, "Reuters Health" and Blogger, "Embargo Watch" and "Retraction Watch" "This is the best of the science blogosphere 2010, selected by experts, and features something for anyone and everyone curious about the natural world." --Sheril Kirshenbaum, author of "The Science of Kissing" and "Discover"'s "The Intersection" blog "Some of the smartest, best informed, and--yes--most entertaining writing about science today can be found in the vibrant community of science bloggers. Each year [the] series performs an invaluable service by pulling together some of the highlights--proof that the best blog posts can and should be savored long after they've scrolled off the bottom of the screen." --Scott Rosenberg, author of "Say Everything" and "Dreaming in Code," and co-founder of Salon.com"In each post I found honesty, passion, imagination, curiosity and creativity shining through in a way that the disinterested 'article mill' of traditional journalism is rarel

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
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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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Collection of Science Writing Online 2012 18 Sep 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
4.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
4.0 out of 5 stars 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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