Aug 23, 2011

Fascinating Science

At times I dig the website edge.org - at times I am grumpy … a bit like in a real relationship, I believe. As a constant I am at unease with their narcissistic appearance and the almost audible smack, when they believe they have said something really earthshaking - which is about every time they update their page. But, well, I come back almost daily...
So I was eagerly waiting for the latest oeuvre in classical print "Future Science, Essays From the Cutting Edge" - edited by Max Brockman (Vintage Books), son of John Brockman the legend; tore open the package the minute I fumbled it out of the mailbox and started reading on my way back up to the apartment.
The book comprises of eighteen essays from eighteen obviously brilliant, young researchers. Essays on their work and their plans.
The author list seems absolutely random to a European scientist and there might be a long list of equally impressive minds around, but, hey, this is a nifty little booklet!
As a physicist I would never have expected to get excited about "the coming age of ocean exploration" (Kevin.P.Hand), the empirical findings on human altruism ("Children's helping hands" - Felix Warneken) or "Molecular cut and paste…" (William McEwan). But I was! I read article after article, one by one - without the desire for a pause, feeling a heartbeat that I recognize whenever I encounter real science and real scientific enthusiasm.
Those fellows are scientists in the very best sense - they love what they do and they make you feel that!
(a drop of water in the wine is the preface by Max Brockman, who apparently has difficulties to fill the three pages he was allotted and unfortunately does nothing to draw the reader into the text).
If you look for a present for a scientist-friend: buy this. If you look for a present for yourself, don't wait until somebody get's the idea: buy this.

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