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James Lovelock: In Search of Gaia Hardcover – 20 Apr 2009


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Review

[A]bsorbing. -- Sunday Times


This masterful but accessible take on the life and work of James Lovelock, inventor of the Gaia concept, is the work of seasoned science writers, married duo John and Mary Gribbin. Beginning with a history of Earth Systems Science, the Gribbins go on to chart the youth, education, rebellion and independent thinking of the man who would give birth to a new field of science. . . . The Gribbins provide an excellent breakdown of his work, showing his concepts in action. With complete access to Lovelock and his papers, the Gribbins avoid a laudatory treatise with a careful study of the scientist's mind and the evolution of a breakthrough. -- PublishersWeekly.com



[A] new and highly readable biography . . . fascinating for what it reveals of the man himself. -- Financial Times



[A]bsorbing. -- Sunday Times



[An] absorbing new biography . . . the Gribbins' enormous scientific knowledge and clarity of expression make equally comprehensible Lovelock's initial Gaian vision, and the frightening conclusion to which it has now led him. -- Independent



[O]ne of the great scientific biographies, featuring a brilliantly lucid account of the evolution of the Gaia theory. -- Literary Review



[G]ives a good sense of Lovelock's inspirational, independent spirit. -- Sunday Telegraph



Writers John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin present Lovelock's life story in a very open manner, blending the economic consequences of his life decisions with personal and scientific themes. They present a historical narrative of the development of the Gaia theory, but in doing so they achieve a far richer outcome--a clear understanding of the core elements of the Gaia theory itself. -- Choice


[A] new and highly readable biography . . . fascinating for what it reveals of the man himself. -- "Financial Times

[G]ives a good sense of Lovelock's inspirational, independent spirit. -- "Sunday Telegraph

[A]bsorbing. -- "Sunday Times

[O]ne of the great scientific biographies, featuring a brilliantly lucid account of the evolution of the Gaia theory. -- "Literary Review

This masterful but accessible take on the life and work of James Lovelock, inventor of the Gaia concept, is the work of seasoned science writers, married duo John and Mary Gribbin. Beginning with a history of Earth Systems Science, the Gribbins go on to chart the youth, education, rebellion and independent thinking of the man who would give birth to a new field of science. . . . The Gribbins provide an excellent breakdown of his work, showing his concepts in action. With complete access to Lovelock and his papers, the Gribbins avoid a laudatory treatise with a careful study of the scientist's mind and the evolution of a breakthrough. -- "PublishersWeekly.com

[An] absorbing new biography . . . the Gribbins' enormous scientific knowledge and clarity of expression make equally comprehensible Lovelock's initial Gaian vision, and the frightening conclusion to which it has now led him. -- "Independent

Writers John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin present Lovelock's life story in a very open manner, blending the economic consequences of his life decisions with personal and scientific themes. They present a historical narrative of the development of the Gaia theory, but in doing so they achieve a far richer outcome--a clear understanding of the core elements of the Gaia theory itself. -- "Choice

John and Mary Gribbin lead us on an exploration of how Lovelock came to his perspective of Earth. . . . They offer valuable insights not only into how Lovelock came up with the idea for Gaia but more generally how his mind works and where the ideas for his scores of inventions come from.--Lee R. Kump "Science "

As we try to assess Lovelock's highly individualistic work and decide whether his message is worth listening to, there is not better guide than John and Mary Gribbin's "James Lovelock: In Search of Gaia". Essentially a dual biography, it deftly recounts in alternating chapters the development of climate change theory and the life of Lovelock himself.--Tim Flannery "New York Review of Books "

In their fascinating new biography, "James Lovelock: In Search of Gaia", the science writers John and Mary Gribbin introduce us to a man who endorses this metaphor with much enthusiasm.--Michael Ruse "Chronicle of Higher Education "

It is engaging, well researched, well written and accessible to non-specialists. Anyone who is interested in life on Earth, or in the achievements of a remarkable man who has done much to deepen our understanding of life, should read the Gribbins' homage to Lovelock. It is a delight.--William Grey "Australian Review of Public Affairs "

The Gribbins are the best science writers around. . . . [A]s a one-stop source on the life and works of one of the greatest figures of 20th-century thought, this book is unmissable.--Henry Gee "BBC Focus "

The Gribbins have written a friendly, affectionate account of Lovelock interspersed with a useful history of earth system science.--Roger Gathman "Austin American-Statesman "

This carefully crafted book outlines the history of ideas on global change along with Lovelock's life and contributions. It is well written, accessible to educated readers with a general science background. . . . I recommend it highly.--R.F. Diffendal, Jr. "Great Plains Research "


As we try to assess Lovelock's highly individualistic work and decide whether his message is worth listening to, there is not better guide than John and Mary Gribbin's "James Lovelock: In Search of Gaia". Essentially a dual biography, it deftly recounts in alternating chapters the development of climate change theory and the life of Lovelock himself.
--Tim Flannery "New York Review of Books "


John and Mary Gribbin lead us on an exploration of how Lovelock came to his perspective of Earth. . . . They offer valuable insights not only into how Lovelock came up with the idea for Gaia but more generally how his mind works and where the ideas for his scores of inventions come from.
--Lee R. Kump "Science "


In their fascinating new biography, "James Lovelock: In Search of Gaia", the science writers John and Mary Gribbin introduce us to a man who endorses this metaphor with much enthusiasm.
--Michael Ruse "Chronicle of Higher Education "


The Gribbins are the best science writers around. . . . [A]s a one-stop source on the life and works of one of the greatest figures of 20th-century thought, this book is unmissable.
--Henry Gee "BBC Focus "


The Gribbins have written a friendly, affectionate account of Lovelock interspersed with a useful history of earth system science.
--Roger Gathman "Austin American-Statesman "


It is engaging, well researched, well written and accessible to non-specialists. Anyone who is interested in life on Earth, or in the achievements of a remarkable man who has done much to deepen our understanding of life, should read the Gribbins' homage to Lovelock. It is a delight.
--William Grey "Australian Review of Public Affairs "


This carefully crafted book outlines the history of ideas on global change along with Lovelock's life and contributions. It is well written, accessible to educated readers with a general science background. . . . I recommend it highly.
--R.F. Diffendal, Jr. "Great Plains Research "

One of "Choice"s Outstanding Academic Titles for 2009

"[A]bsorbing."--"Sunday Times" (London)

"[An] absorbing new biography . . . the Gribbins enormous scientific knowledge and clarity of expression make equally comprehensible Lovelocks initial Gaian vision, and the frightening conclusion to which it has now led him."--"Independent"

"[G]ives a good sense of Lovelocks inspirational, independent spirit."--"Sunday Telegraph"

One of "Choice"'s Outstanding Academic Titles for 2009

"[An] absorbing new biography . . . the Gribbins? enormous scientific knowledge and clarity of expression make equally comprehensible Lovelock's initial Gaian vision, and the frightening conclusion to which it has now led him."--"Independent"


One of "Choice"'s Outstanding Academic Titles for 2009


"[A]bsorbing."--
"Sunday Times" (London)


"[A]bsorbing."--"Sunday Times" (London)


"As we try to assess Lovelock's highly individualistic work and decide whether his message is worth listening to, there is not better guide than John and Mary Gribbin's "James Lovelock: In Search of Gaia." Essentially a dual biography, it deftly recounts in alternating chapters the development of climate change theory and the life of Lovelock himself."--Tim Flannery, "New York Review of Books"

"This masterful but accessible take on the life and work of James Lovelock, inventor of the Gaia concept, is the work of seasoned science writers, married duo John and Mary Gribbin. Beginning with a history of Earth Systems Science, the Gribbins go on to chart the youth, education, rebellion and independent thinking of the man who would give birth to a new field of science. . . . The Gribbins provide an excellent breakdown of his work, showing his concepts in action. With complete access to Lovelock and his papers, the Gribbins avoid a laudatory treatise with a careful study of the scientist's mind and the evolution of a breakthrough."--"PublishersWeekly.com"

"John and Mary Gribbin lead us on an exploration of how Lovelock came to his perspective of Earth. . . . They offer valuable insights not only into how Lovelock came up with the idea for Gaia but more generally how his mind works and where the ideas for his scores of inventions come from."--Lee R. Kump, "Science"

"[A] new and highly readable biography . . . fascinating for what it reveals of the man himself."--"Financial Times"

"In their fascinating new biography, "James Lovelock: In Search of Gaia," the science writers John and Mary Gribbin introduce us to a man who endorses this metaphor with much enthusiasm."--Michael Ruse, "Chronicle of Higher Education"

"[An] absorbing new biography . . . the Gribbins' enormous scientific knowledge and clarity of expression make equally comprehensible Lovelock's initial Gaian vision, and the frightening conclusion to which it has now led him."--"Independent"

"[O]ne of the great scientific biographies, featuring a brilliantly lucid account of the evolution of the Gaia theory."--"Literary Review"

"The Gribbins are the best science writers around. . . . [A]s a one-stop source on the life and works of one of the greatest figures of 20th-century thought, this book is unmissable."--Henry Gee, "BBC Focus"

"[G]ives a good sense of Lovelock's inspirational, independent spirit."--"Sunday Telegraph"

"The Gribbins have written a friendly, affectionate account of Lovelock interspersed with a useful history of earth system science."--Roger Gathman, "Austin American-Statesman"

"Writers John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin present Lovelock's life story in a very open manner, blending the economic consequences of his life decisions with personal and scientific themes. They present a historical narrative of the development of the Gaia theory, but in doing so they achieve a far richer outcome--a clear understanding of the core elements of the Gaia theory itself."--"Choice"

"It is engaging, well researched, well written and accessible to non-specialists. Anyone who is interested in life on Earth, or in the achievements of a remarkable man who has done much to deepen our understanding of life, should read the Gribbins' homage to Lovelock. It is a delight."--William Grey, "Australian Review of Public Affairs"

"This carefully crafted book outlines the history of ideas on global change along with Lovelock's life and contributions. It is well written, accessible to educated readers with a general science background. . . . I recommend it highly."--R.F. Diffendal, Jr., "Great Plains Research"

From the Back Cover

"This book is an homage to Lovelock. The Gribbins have spent time with him, looked at his personal archives with him, and obviously the book is coming out of a deep admiration for his work. The biographical chapters are interspersed with science chapters, including a good one on the history of our understanding of the greenhouse effect, and others that cover Earth's biogeochemical cycles."--Tyler Volk, author of "CO2 Rising"

"James Lovelock is one of the great thinkers of our time. His ideas and inventions have opened up new insights into our planet and the way it works, and the story behind them will appeal to a very wide audience. I am pleased to recommend this book."--Chris Rapley, director of the Science Museum, London

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars prophet honoured 19 April 2009
By Charlie T. - Published on Amazon.com
From Buddy Holly to James Lovelock in one easy bound! John Gribbin's versatility shines through in this book, suitably matching the versatility of his subject -- the some time chemist, physician, space scientist, inventor, Earth scientist and now would be astronaut (at the age of 90!) whose vision of Gaia has changed thinking about the planet we live on. This is the best explanation of Gaia theory around, as well as being an intriguing biography of one of the great figures of twentieth century science. Lovelock, it seems, has always questioned authority and never accepted received wisdom without checking it for himself. Independent-minded and working independently of any academic system, he is more like an eighteenth century scientist than a modern one, and his iconoclastic attitude has led him to his most powerful insights. This reader, at least, can only conclude that the academic system has made a wrong turning somewhere along the line.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic 6 Feb. 2011
By Krackenback - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
What more can be said about this book other than it is an insightful classic. Whilst I disagree with the author on nuclear power (which has a net 2% gain over coal!), much of his information is solid, verifyable and well written for a lay audience.

I especially like that he takes the focus off the 'easy' climate change issues and highlights the more disturbing and immediate threats which will see the planet's environment altered significantly far sooner that global warming. An approachable and well written book.

For anyone interested in plaetary ecology, environmental science, climate change, mechanisms of large scale climate change or even the life and times of James Lovelock himself, this book is a worthy addition to the library.
5.0 out of 5 stars well documented life story 28 Mar. 2016
By Penny Shurtleff - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
A very complete biography that would probably only interest those who know of the author, his work & his views.
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