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on 11 December 1998
The purported subject of this book is facinating, however most of the book seems to be about something else. The author lectures about current poor ecological practices (which were "news" about ten years ago). I found very little in this book regarding actual progress in technologies that were inspired by biological systems. Rather disappointing.
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on 12 September 2002
I wanted to like this book, but it does not do anything like justice to the important ideas it is trying to introduce, and I had to stop reading it. I would not recommend it, especially to anyone with a scientific background as it is badly written, imprecise, subjective and bulked out by irrelevant and lame descriptive information, an infuriating mess through which the reader must struggle to pick out the facts. When trying to explain scientific concepts such as photosynthesis, the author seems to think that this can be done by mixing as many metaphors as possible. The author should have decided whether she was writing a book about a personal voyage of discovery or an objective factual book.
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on 27 July 1998
Solar cells modeled after green plants, fibers stronger than steel, chemical factories without pollution, ceramics as hard as abalone shell. Nature has invented many things that outperform engineering feasts, and this is book about nature's innovations.
Biomimicry is a hard book to classify: it is partly a popular science book (ca. 50%) but also a manifesto for sustainable development, a collection of miniportraits of scientists, and wild speculation of future engineering applications. All of this is embedded in the Benyus' personal odyssey of figuring out what biomimetics is all about. Lack of clear focus makes this book a difficult read: in the middle materials science exposee Benyus has decided to describe rock climbing hobbies of some prominent materials scientists.
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on 10 August 1999
Halfway finished, I am putting this book down. It's very rare that I don't finish a book. If you have a strong science background, you will be very disappointed in what this book has to offer. The alleged topic is fascinating, and I think I will go find a book that really discusses it.
The photosynthesis chapter screams for pictures and diagrams, but the author has provided none. The reader will read thousands clumsy words trying to describe complex geometries, waiting for a clarifying picture that never comes.
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on 19 July 2012
Have just finished reading this book. It's fantastic. The chapter on 'How will we feed ourselves now?' (over 50 pages long) has to be the best overview and analysis of what's gone wrong with our food system and how we might remedy it that I have read (and I am particularly well read in this area). The book is well worth buying for this chapter alone. Other chapters of this book also stand out - the 'How will we heal ourselves?' chapter and the 'How will we conduct business?' being just two other examples that deserve a mention.

The authors understanding of ecology and love of nature shine throughout this exceptional work and her writing syle and narrative approach makes what could have been a very high brow subject matter very accessible and interesting. Recommended!
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on 23 November 1998
Biomimicry gives an insight into where future technology could take us without getting too technical on it's explainations. Benyus takes us into a variety of different natural world arenas and shows us how scientists are working to use millions of years of evolution in our everyday lives. Mother Nature is a smart cookie. We all should listen.
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on 13 July 1999
With the eloquence of an angel, Janine Benyus captures and describes the rapidly emerging field of biomimicry. In this beautifully written "seed of hope", Janine reveals how Nature--in her complexity and intricacy--can provide the innovative solutions we as a society desperately seek as we strive for sustainability. Through clear, clever, and enjoyable writing, Janine tackles difficult scientific information and presents it in a manner digestible to even those that fear science! The book is full of wonderful examples ranging from biomimetic materials to agricultural systems to pharmaceuticals to industrial ecology. After reading this book, I can no longer look at the natural world in the same way. With over 3.8 billion years of research and at least 30 million case studies, Nature probably has the answer we are looking for. Every roadblock presented to me is now countered with the following question: "What would Nature do if she had to tackle the same problem?" As a biologist and a business person, I'm finding that the two have more in common that I previously thought. This book is on my number one list for life. I find myself carrying my page worn copy everywhere I go just so I can recommend it to everyone, including strangers! This book gives me hope for our society. If we can learn to look towards Nature as model, measure, and mentor, we might just stand a chance.
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on 28 May 1998
The details are complex but well explained, making for a very exciting and satisfying read. Biomimicry is elegantly written (not just a collection of separate chapters), with a soft personal side to the story. The science will make you want to run out and invest some money! Chapter on photosynthesis is life-changing!
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on 24 August 2013
I liked the fact video's could be accessed and loved the lead up to all the innovative stuff and most of all it left feeling hope. A good informative book. Would now like to follow it up with earth dance.
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on 16 July 1999
Where can we find the best solutions to the many technical, environmental, social and economic problems that beset us?
In this wonderful book Benyus shows us that nature can teach us valuable lessons. "In the 3.8 billion years since the first bacteria, life has learned to fly, circumnavigate the globe, live in the depths of the ocean and atop the highest peaks, craft miracle materials, light up the night, lassoo the sun's energy, and build a self-reflective brain...living things have done everything we want to do, without guzzling fossil fuel, polluting the planet, or mortgaging their future. What better models could there be?"
By adopting a little humility and treating nature as a model, a measure, and a mentor, she argues, we can catch up on the lessons nature has had millions of years to learn. Benyus writes like an angel, her prose conjuring vivid images as she takes us with her on a journey to explore what Biomimics are doing in material science, medicine, computing, energy, agriculture, and business. Her journalistic style does not shrink from the intricacies of photosynthesis and relishes the wonders of mussel tethering techniques, but always keeps the wider picture in view.
I found myself wanting to push the fast-forward button - to the time when prarie-style agriculture is widely adopted; materials are made at room-temperature in life-friendly conditions with no toxicity; and our economy is modelled on a rainforest, not a ragweed. Readers of this book could be those who will help get us there faster. Enjoy!
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