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101 THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT SCIENCE: AND NO ONE ELSE DOES EITHER [Paperback]

JAMES S. TREFIL
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Facts can be fun Aug. 20 2002
Format:Paperback
I've always been interested in science but I cringe at reading boring scientific papers.
James Trefil does a real service for the rest of us by digesting significant scientific advances into a small 330 page book.
What I especially like is how the author doesn't drone on and on; He breaks down the topics and even breaks down the topics to questions such as "How many other stars have planets?" Even the questions are answered in an informal manner that makes for engaging reading.
Excellent book for anyone interested in science.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating reading, even a few years on Jan. 31 2002
Format:Paperback
It's fascinating to read this book just a few years after it was written and to see how things have changed in just that short period of time. It's essentially a snapshot of the state of science at the time, covering 101 open questions in three pages each. One wonders how much of it will need to be rewritten 25 or 50 or 100 years down the line.
The biggest short-term changes are in genetics: Trefil devotes one of his short chapters the Human Genome Project, then well underway and some years from completion. Now, of course, the "first draft" has been completed and geneticists are contemplating the next step. One obsolete fact has come out already: Trefil states that the human genome has about 80,000 genes when the HGP (and the private counterpart Celera) has discovered, surprisingly, that there are only 30,000.
Also, Trefil discusses the possibility of past or present life on Mars without mentioning the controversial Mars meteorite ALH84001, in which, some scientists claim, there are traces of life.
And the last chapter discusses the Y2K problem, then still looming on the horizon, now safely past (thanks to the hard work of many computer programmers, including me).
Other chapters, I think, will be much the same for many years: we still have a long way to go to understand consciousness, to figure out how life began, and to come up with a fundamental theory that covers all of basic physics, both relativity and quantum mechanics. Not surprisingly, all three of these Trefil puts in his "top ten" problems.
All in all, it's a fascinating read and a great bathroom book with its short chapters - for the nerds, at least.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally Dec 19 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is for people that like technology but don't have time to read every boring scientific paper.
The author has done this for us and come up with a cliff-notes on where lots of really big/interesting issues stand.
It's a really amazing book and I am here on the site looking to see if there is a new update yet. I hope the author keeps the book alive and current as it rocks. This is already the best book I have bought this year. I got it at the Air and Space museum in Washington D.C.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It really opened the mind May 2 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Well, I liked the book. My partner bought it into me when I was in hospital for a couple of days and I found it to be absorbing and it kept my mind off the things that were going on around me. Trefil really made a great job of putting into plain simple language some very difficult concepts and ideas. A snapshot of science today, and it will be interesting to see in 10 years how much the list he has chosen has changed.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting collection of ideas. June 9 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The book is a well written collection of 101 chapters, more of a reference book than a good read. Will go out of date relatively quickly. The things chosen make sense and each is well explained.
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