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116 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Science Writing
This is a varied collection of articles by just about every great modern science writer you can think of. The articles range in size from about 8 pages to as little as half a page, and each is preceded by a short, interesting introduction by Dawkins.

I read a lot of popular science books so inevitably there were a few items which I had already read, but it was...
Published on 20 Mar 2008 by Mr. A. J. Clark

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dawkins
I enjoyed this book - as someone entirely non-scientist there was bits I didn't understand, but the range covered was impressive. My only qualification was that there were so many extracts that there was not much of any of them - I think rather fewer and rather longer would have been an advantage.

I passed it on to a distinguished scientist friend.
Published on 9 Nov 2010 by Stephen


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116 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Science Writing, 20 Mar 2008
By 
Mr. A. J. Clark (Liverpool UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a varied collection of articles by just about every great modern science writer you can think of. The articles range in size from about 8 pages to as little as half a page, and each is preceded by a short, interesting introduction by Dawkins.

I read a lot of popular science books so inevitably there were a few items which I had already read, but it was nice to be reminded of them, such as Haldane's delightful poem which begins with the words "I wish I had the voice of Homer, to sing of rectal carcinoma!" The items vary considerably in difficulty - some could be understood by a child, others require concentration - and some topics were familiar to me, others were not, so although all the articles are good it is inevitable that the reader will enjoy some articles much more than others. They also vary considerably in subject matter - some are about what science has discovered, others about how scientists work, or the philosophy of science, or amusing anecdotes.

I think anyone interested in Science should get a lot out of the book, and I have been stimulated to seek out more writing by some of the authors. Highly recommended.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect bedside reading, 27 Jun 2008
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This mighty tome makes excellent bedside reading. You are unlikely to have the musclepower to take this commuting or to the beach (need to wait for the paperback edition for that) but propped up in bed with a cup of cocoa/glass of whisky (delete as appropriate) by your side, this is an excellent book for dipping into and as a previous reviewer says, will encourage you to seek out the books the excerpts come from. In this regard may I be so bold as to recommend any of the books by Richard Feynman. Dawkins himself supplies witty and erudite introductions to each essay so all in all there is absolutely nothing to criticise in this book - unless you hate science that is and even then this book might convince you otherwise.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection, 12 Nov 2009
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This review is from: The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (Paperback)
An excellent collection of the writings of some of the greatest names in science of the last 100 years, or so. The excerpts are divided into four sections; 1. What scientists study; 2. Who scientists are; 3. What scientists think and 4. What scientists delight in. There is, perhaps understandably, a definite bias toward evolutionary and biological sciences but there should be enough breadth to entertain anyone who has an interest in science, whatever their preferred subject.

To lift a quote from Sagan's excellent The Demon-Haunted World, which I happen to own already; "Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality.". A fact that will not be lost on anyone who reads this collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science and pure wonder, 11 Jun 2009
By 
Stephen Parry "Author of Sense and Respond" (Lean Service Transformation Designer London) - See all my reviews
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This selection by Richard Dawkins is full of wonder and magnificent prose. It also conveys the great sense of awe, excitement and sheer pleasure you encounter when exploring how the world works.

As a way of thinking the scientific method is probably the greatest invention of mankind. This collection of science papers makes me proud to be human and proud to be part of our never ending quest for knowledge.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Review from the USA, 3 April 2008
By 
J. Blilie (Twin Cities, MN) - See all my reviews
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This is a wonderful book. The level of the writing and the subject matter chosen by Dr. Dawkins are truly great. This book has already "forced" me to purchase a number of other books there are excerpted in the text ...

I have read all of his other books and enjoyed them very much, so when I saw that Dr. Dawkins had a new book only available in the UK, I ordered it from Amazon UK for a scary shipping charge. I couldn't wait for the U.S. edition. It was well worth it! I've read many collections of non-fiction writing. This one is outstanding. Another coup for Dr. Dawkins in the effort to help the public understand science.

Each excerpt from longer pieces (mostly books) in this book is preceded by an interesting essay-let where Dr. Dawkins gives historical, literary, scientific, and sometimes personal setting for the piece. These, as always from Dr. Dawkins, are superbly well written.

Highly recommended, enjoy.
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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pelucid writings from brilliant minds, 1 July 2008
By 
Charles Gidley Wheeler (Kempsford, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
As one who is convinced that Spinoza's monism provides the philosophical basis for all the sciences, reading The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing and seeing Spinoza's view (that God and Nature are one and the same thing, under the dual aspects of thought and matter) confirmed over and over again was enthralling.

While reading it I repeatedly inserted markers into articles that I wished to re-read. In fact, I shall probably read the whole book again and refer to it repeatedly. What particularly fascinated me was the revelation that a quantum of energy appears to us under two aspects: as a wave or as a particle, but never both at the same time. This discovery accords perfectly with Spinoza's dual aspect theory.

My selection of five-star articles is as follows: 'Life Itself', by Francis Crick;`One Self: a Meditation on the Unity of Consciousness' by Nicholas Humphrey; `The Language Instinct', by Steven Pinker; `Avoid Boring People' by James Watson; `Consciousness Explained' by Daniel Dennett; `The Fantastic Combinations of John Conway's new solitaire game "Life"' by Martin Gardner; `Computing Machinery and Intelligence' by Alan Turing; `The Goldilocks Enigma' by Paul Davies; `The Elegant Universe' by Bryan Green, and `Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid' by Douglas Hofstadter.

Having been brought up in an evangelical environment, and having had a taste of Roman Catholicism as well, I can only say that there is no contest between the brilliance, lucidity, humility and open-mindedness of the scientists quoted in this anthology and the tendentious, hubristic, convoluted, ill-founded speculations of theologians - few of whom will have the courage to read this book.

The introductions by Richard Dawkins are excellent. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

Basic Flying Instruction: A Comprehensive Introduction to Western Philosophy

Iota: God as Nature, Nature as God
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6+ stars, 13 Dec 2008
By 
S. Maxwell "Sam Maxwell" (Newark England) - See all my reviews
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This is one of the few books I feel that the star rating system fails. 5 stars is simply not enough!
So enjoyable and thought provoking. It has made me want to revisit the works of authors I already knew, but they'll have to wait until I have read those authors that are new to me!
I, like a previous reviewer, noted the lack of women writers represented, but when I looked at my bookshelves there was only Olivia Judson that stood out as fitting into the area of the books' remit.I wonder if the lack of females in the authors represented is only a reflection of the dearth of female "populising" science authors.
That little caveat aside, it is a wonderful book and an excellent addition to anyones bookshelves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Selection of Modern Science Writing, 1 April 2014
By 
Mr. S. Lawless "stevelawless" (brighton UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (Paperback)
I have read a lot of "popular" science writing recently so bought this book. Dawkins does not include any excerpts from his own books but does give an excellent introduction to each piece. Of course the authors are all highly eminent and significant for their contributions to science, Einstein and Oppenheimer to Crick and Watson, but the quality of the writing is mostly superb, in places poetic. It has given me some real insights into the thinking of these scientists who have changed civilisation. To haver read them all individually would have taken much longer although I will now go and read many of them. My only disappointment was that James Lovelock was missed out. I am sure others could mention other scientists they would have liked included. Such is the nature of selections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the non Scientific., 12 Jun 2011
This review is from: The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (Paperback)
This book is good for anyone who is not a scientist but who has curiosity about the world about them. As it is a collection of articles and excerpts from a wide range of work published by eminent scientists, that are accessible to the lay person. It is a book that may be dipped into and the contents read in any order as the mood takes the reader.Buy a copy for yourself or a friend and enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The shoulders of giants, 1 May 2011
This review is from: The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (Paperback)
In his role as Professor for Public Understanding of Science, Richard Dawkins provides a myriad of popular science pieces to whet the appetite of the interested layman.

Over eighty different authors contribute, and Dawkins provides a brief commentary on each selection.

The compendium is a celebration of the cutting edge of scientific discovery; a glimpse of life at the frontiers of intellectual exploration; and an insight into what makes scientists tick.

He successfully conveys the poetry, romance and elegant beauty of science, and the love, excitement and humility felt by its acolytes.

He adds epithets to some of the extracts : `Science doesn't have all the answers, but its good at spotting the important questions'. `Science....sees that what is `obvious' to common sense can be wrong'.

The book does what it says on the tin, and would be enjoyed by anyone, whatever their existing interest or expertise in the subject.
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The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing
The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing by Richard Dawkins (Paperback - 10 Sep 2009)
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