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The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing Paperback – Nov 19 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (Oct. 10 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199216819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199216819
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 3.3 x 15.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #232,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Review from previous edition: "A brilliant collection... If you could only ever read one science book, this should probably be it." --New Scientist 01/03/2008

"The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing edited by Richard Dawkins, come up trumps... It is to be hoped that many will not only read this excellent volume but will then go on to read in their entirety some of the individual works themeselves. That is the ultimate success of any anthology." --Mary Strickland. Chemistry World May 2008

"A sparkling anthology." --David Sinclair, Tribune 18/04/08

"The book makes for a fascinating browse, but it could also inspire as a bed-time volume, filling the readers' dreams with exploding stars and tiny atoms." --Peter Ranscombe, The Scotsman 19/04/08

"This is a superb collection... it's a damn good read even if you're only marginally interested in science. I love this book...it's a must-read that will surely make a major contribution to the public understanding of science." --BBC Focus (science and technology). John Gribbin 01/05/08

"For the science-savvy. it's like a gigantic prize-giving-cum-back-slap. For the science-phobic, it's a banner-waving call to come on in and give it a try." --Jonathan Gibbs, Metro London 19.03.08

"Beautiful volume...A labour of love." --Steven Poole, The Guardian 26/04/2008

"A glorius celebration of literary scientists." --Harry Richie Mail on Sunday 30/03/2008

"It is a real treasure trove of unexpected pleasures." --Sunday Telegraph. Kenan Malik 13/04/2008

"This isn't Dawkins as the centre of attention but as a benign and generous guide to the best science writing, with commentaries from the master." --Peter Forbes, The Independent 16 May 2008

About the Author

Richard Dawkins is the first holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, and a Fellow of New College, Oxford. His bestselling books include The God Delusion (2006); The Selfish Gene (1976); The Extended Phenotype (1982); The Blind Watchmaker (1986); Unweaving the Rainbow (1998); and The Ancestor's Tale (2004). Dawkins is a Fellow of both the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature. He is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including the 1987 Royal Society of Literature Award, the 1990 Michael Faraday Award of the Royal Society, the 1994 Nakayama Prize, the 1997 International Cosmos Prize for Achievement in Human Science, the Kistler Prize in 2001, and the Shakespeare Prize in 2005.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dawkins is more famous for his own eloquent science writing but in this case he has selected short exerpts from a wide range of science writers (not including himself) and compiled them into one highly readable book. All the essays are short and for the most part very interesting, drawn from infuential works in all areas of scientific endeavour. Each chapter is preceed by an introduction from Dawkins explaining the significance of the essay or some interesting aspect of the authors work that may pique your interest to read on. The chapters are loosely organized under fairly general themes but each stands alone and can be read independantly. I often pick up the book when I have a few idle minutes and want something quick and thought provoking to fill my time.
This would be a great Christmas gift for anyone with a broad general interest in science, whether or not they had any formal education in these fields of study.
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Format: Hardcover
The world as we don't know it is a miracle. The world as we know it is a miracle too. The greatest minds are open to us, once again, as soon as we open this marvelously conceived book of great scientist excerpts. Dawkins puts at work his huge experience as a scientist in studying literature (scientific and otherwise) and extracting the most significant and impressive passages. Dawkins' commentary on the selected pieces and the selected authors is in itself alone worth the value assigned to the whole book.

An eye opener, even for the most open minded and scientifically minded among us, this book was a joy for me to read and a source of exquisite literary jewels to which I will surely come back, frequently.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 38 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb examples of fantastic science writing March 21 2010
By Adam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I own a couple of Dawkins' books: "The God Delusion," "Evolution...," and "The Blind Watchmaker" (the latter is still unread). While he is a fantastic debater and critical thinker in his own right, this book represents an amazing anthology of illustrative scientific writing.

I work for a university and find myself writing about faculty's scientific work often. I bought this book and "A Field Guide for Science Writers" at the same time. While the field guide is directly applicable to my vocation, I had a hard time putting down Dawkins' book. It is an amazing collection of intriguing and, at times, exceptionally elegant writing.

I have read several of the selected works already and now have several more on my read pile.

Another reviewer gave this book lesser ratings because the binding was tight. I agree. If we are talking about the physical production, I would say that part of that is because the pages are sturdy - which is a good thing.

The only caveat I would offer is that without the context of the entirety of the selected works, a moderate amount of scientific literacy is necessary to fully appreciate some of the selections. If you enjoy learning and researching the things you don't already understand, even people who aren't well versed in science will appreciate the selections. Everyone should appreciate the prosaic treatment of such complex subjects.

If you enjoy science or good writing, this is a must have, IMO.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scientific Spirituality Jan. 11 2009
By Eugene R. Walker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This excellent compendium nicely gives the lie to all sorts of literary, religious, and pseudoscientific philistines who fancy themselves to be on some sort of higher spiritual plane than offered by a naturalistic worldview. All of these samplings are good, and many are inspirational. Please just enjoy these readings. My main quibble would be Dawkins's self-effacement in not including any of his own writings, perhaps from *Unweaving the Rainbow.* And maybe a Richard Feynman selection, or Michael Faraday's description of a burning candle. There is no blame in this, because scientific literature offers so many gems that it would be impossible to include them all in a book of reasonable length. May we hope for a second volume?
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It will intrigue you. no doubt. May 21 2009
By Chad Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is proof that Richard Dawkins really does cherish his role as "Professor for public understanding of science". He really does want the world to learn and not only from his mouth.

The book itself is a compilation of OTHER science writers about THEIR work.

Personally, my interests lie in biology, but this book has opened my eyes to the world of astronomy, physics and.. dare I say.. Mathematics?

Consider this book as a greatest hits CD of all the best musicians of this century, its worth it to read and the actual quality of the book itself is awesome. Very thick, quality pages.

This book makes me want to learn more, so In my eyes, it is an inspiration.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book of science Aug. 28 2008
By R. Erazo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for every science lover. Moreover for every person who is truly interested about the wonders, mysteries and surprises of science. A book of intellectual honesty that should belong to any private or public library.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, thought-provoking compendium of science Feb. 28 2010
By Science Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tbis is an excellent, carefully chosen anthology of wonderful science writing, suitable both for scientists and lay people. It will make you want to read the books from which many of the extracts were taken.

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