The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2010

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2010


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The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country's finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume's series editor selects notable works from hundreds of periodicals. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected - and most popular - of its kind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547327846
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 10/01/2010
Series: Best American Science and Nature Writing Series , #2010
Pages: 385
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

TIM FOLGER is a contributing editor at Discover and writes about science for several magazines. He lives in New Mexico.

FREEMAN DYSON, professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, has contributed to the fields of nuclear physics, astronomy, and biology, among others. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including Weapons and Hope, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1984.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Introduction Freeman Dyson xv

Part 1 Visions of Space

The Believer from GQ Andrew Corsello 3

One Giant Leap to Nowhere from The New York Times Tom Wolfe 16

The Missions of Astronomy from The New York Review of Books Steven Weinberg 23

Cosmic Vision from National Geographic Timothy Ferris 32

Seeking New Earths from National Geographic Timothy Ferris 40

Part 2 Neurology Displacing Molecular Biology

Don't! from The New Yorker Jonah Lehrer 47

Out of the Past from Discover Kathleen McGowan 61

Brain Games from The New Yorker John Colapinto 73

Part 3 Natural Beauty

The Alpha Accipiter from Minnesota Conservation Volunteer Gustave Axelson 99

Flight of the Kuaka from Living Bird Don Stap 106

Modern Darwins from National Geographic Matt Ridley 114

The Superior Civilization from The New York Review of Books Tim Flannery 122

Still Blue from National Geographic Kenneth Brower 133

The Lazarus Effect from Discover Jane Goodall 144

Darwin's First Clues from National Geographic David Quammen 149

Part 4 The Environment: Gloom and Doom

All You Can Eat from Orion Jim Carrier 161

A Formula for Disaster from Wired Felix Salmon 172

Not So Silent Spring from Conservation Magazine Dawn Stover 182

The Catastrophist from The New Yorker Elizabeth Kolbert 188

The Sixth Extinction? from The New Yorker Elizabeth Kolbert 202

Part 5 The Environment: Small Blessings

Scraping Bottom from National Geographic Robert Kunzig 229

A Life of Its Own from The New Yorker Michael Specter 239

Purpose-Driven Life from The American Scholar Brian Boyd 259

The Monkey and the Fish from The New Yorker Philip Gourevitch 272

Part 6 The Environment: Big Blessings

Graze Anatomy from OnEarth Richard Manning 301

Hearth Surgery from The New Yorker Burkhard Bilger 311

Green Giant from The New Yorker Evan Osnos 334

India, Enlightened from OnEarth George Black 352

Contributors' Notes 377

Other Notable Science and Nature Writing of 2009 383

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