The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing by Richard Dawkins

The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing

Boasting almost one hundred pieces, The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing is a breathtaking celebration of the finest writing by scientists--the best such collection in print--packed with scintillating essays on everything from "The Discovery of Lucy" to "The Terror and Vastness of the Universe."Edited by best-selling author and renowned scientist Richard Dawkins, this sterling collection brings together exhilarating pieces by a who's who of ...

Details The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing

TitleThe Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing
Release DateJun 15th, 2008
PublisherOxford University Press, USA
GenreScience, Nonfiction, Biology, Writing, Essays, Physics

Reviews The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing

  • David
    I saw this in a Zurich bookstore about two weeks ago. It took me about 10 seconds to conclude that "this is my kind of book". I was not disappointed -- Richard Dawkins has hit a real home run here.This volume is chock-full of some of the most interesting, well-written and thought-provoking essays and articles you find find anywhere, written by some of the best minds of the 20th and early 21st century. There are articles by biologists, physicists,...
  • Kevin
    How do you pick the best science writing of the twentieth century? Really it all comes down to a matter of opinion, which almost always results in the complaint and special pleading for authors and works left on the cutting room floor (I mean no geology! Come on can’t we get just a little respect). Richard Dawkins never the less makes the noble and very worthwhile attempt to collect some of the very best that science has to offer from the scien...
  • Palmyrah
    Richard Dawkins has a serious claim to be the world's greatest living science writer. This is a title for which there are presently more claimants today than at any other era in history; popular science writing, once a minor genre targeted mainly at nerdy schoolboys, has burgeoned into a successful and prolific contemporary publishing industry. Here, Dawkins picks the cherries from the current crop, but he also casts his net back a good deal furt...
  • Koen Crolla
    Dawkins's anthology of 20th-century science writing.You get the impression some people were included just because Dawkins had some public disagreement with them, and now wants to show that there are no hard feelings, rather than because they had something interesting to say. If that's the case, I guess we should be happy he didn't include anything by Mary Midgley; but then, unlike Gould and Hoyle, she's (unfortunately) still alive.I suppose the b...
  • Mirek Kukla
    A solid collection of science writing, though not without its flaws. I have two primary complaints: the collection is organized rather arbitrarily, and it's heavily weighted towards biology. A better title might have been 'The Oxford book of Richard Dawkins' favorite science writing'.That said, none of the selections are excessively long, and most make for a good read. Dawkins' keeps his comments to a minimum - a paragraph or two with each select...
  • Steve Stuart
    If you want to be inspired, either by the majesty and beauty of science, or by the passion and skill of those who write about it, pick up this book and read a few sections. It contains scores of snippets, each just a handful of pages, on dozens of different subjects, by a range of different authors, and most of them are inspirational.When I bought the book, I didn't realize that the readings were all from popular science writing, for non-speciali...
  • Roger Bailey
    This is an anthology of essays edited by Richard Dawkins, one of the foremost promoters of the philosophical materialist view of the world currently writing. His choices and his short introductions to these essays continue his work. Despite the title which indicates a more general science approach this book does lean more toward the biological sciences and evolutionary biology in particular. Since biology is my area of formal training and since I...
  • Mike Suter
    The charm of anthologies like this is that they expose you to writers you might not otherwise encounter. Selected by Richard Dawkins, this book is weighted heavily toward Darwinian scientists. Inevitably, the selections are uneven... Steve Jones on genetics is fascinating; a section on the mathematical classification of spirals was less captivating. The section by Douglas Hofstadter ("Godel, Escher and Bach") was especially intriguing. This is an...
  • Jrobertus
    This is a compilation of essays by, and about science and scientists. I read it for a book group and it did provide the basis for a wide range of interesting discussions. It is not really a science book, but does related to the way scientists think, and what moves them. It has a spiritual sense about the grandeur of nature and the mind of man.
  • Nirmal
    Dawkins explains everything that is related to science, what scientists study, what they do and what they are happily doing.
  • Pam
    This book was perfect for my level of scientific understanding as a 'layperson' with knowledge of the scientific method. Books written by non-scientists about science or scientific discoveries are fascinating to me....possibly because of the irony of dissecting and studying those who do that for a living. But books written by scientists with the linguistic skills to communicate without jargon are a real treat. “This is a collection of good writ...
  • Martin Ridgway
    Four stars not five because a few (out of a hundred) didn't seem up to the quality of the majority. But that's a small quibble for a book like this. The categorisation is interesting, in that it's not be science category but almost by motivation. I think that helps because it keeps you guessing about what's coming next. So it keeps you going through the few lesser entries because there's always something more around the corner.
  • Julie Plummer
    This was excellent- borrowed it from a friend, then decided to get my own copy. So much beautiful writing and so illuminating. Quibbles: Too biology-heavy - even Ernst Mayr’s excerpt is about biology. And Einstein ‘s bit is about atheism. It’s interesting, but I was hoping it might be about, well, physics. On the whole, though, a superb introduction for this non-Science graduate.
  • Vikas Jaggi
    If a person were to read only one science book in his/her life, this should be it! A huge amount of effort put in by the esteemed author to bring to the genral reader the best from the world of science writings. This book should be made compulsory in the schools, it's simply that good.
  • Rituparna B
    A must read for science enthusiasts. I have found some of the articles a little difficult to understand, but overall a fantastic compendium of scientific writings.
  • James Cummings
    3.5 stars
  • Rayfes Mondal
    A great collection of excepts from other books. I didn't read all of them but there were several that led me to add the entire original book to my reading list.
  • Alex Telander
    THE OXFORD BOOK OF MODERN SCIENCE WRITING EDITED BY RICHARD DAWKINS: Richard Dawkins, author of The Selfish Gene, The Ancestor’s Tale, and The God Delusion, needs no introduction having established himself as a reputable voice when discussing science in its many forms. His latest effort is The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing, in a hefty tome, where Dawkins attempts to present a concise view of science to the world in many short passages f...
  • Holmes
    While I don't totally agree with Dawkins's selections (some articles I just didn't enjoy reading), there are gems that are so radiant that the anthology on the whole shines out in brilliance. There are excerpts that inform (e.g. Martin Rees's "Just Six Numbers"); there are excerpts that fascinate (e.g. Steven Pinker's "The Language Instinct"); there are excerpts that entertain (e.g. Douglas Hofstadter's "Godel, Escher, Bach"); there are excerpts ...
  • Folkert Wierda
    A birthday present from the kids, they were surprised about my intense enthusiasm when unwrapping the package. Reading this anthology confirmed my excited expectations: a collection of gems. Most authors were more or less known to me, at least by name. But only from few had I read original texts. This collection made up for that. And some of the authors I have now added to my must-read list.The selection made by Dawkins is, as can be expected giv...
  • Jim Mann
    Many people only know Richard Dawkins as the person who argues science vs. religion with fundamentalists. But he's also a great science writer and, as this book shows, someone who appreciates great science writing in all fields. This book features a selection of great science writers from the early 20th century through 2009, when it was published. It includes many great pieces, ranging form Alan Turing's article on the Imitation Game to Einstein ...
  • Jarrod Call
    Imagine a large city park with great open fields of green grass, a large pond fed by a careening, bubbling brook, a venue for chess players, and a small observatory. On every bench in this park resides a scientist with nothing better to do than wait for you to join him or her in conversation about life’s greatest mysteries and discoveries. This anthology, put together by Richard Dawkins, is this park and the reader’s mind will play in its abu...
  • Jason Yang
    I was given this as a present for defending my dissertation. Here, Dawkins selects excerpts from writings by many influential mathematicians/scientists spanning subjects from math to abstract physics to biology. It's hard to escape Dawkins' appreciation from some of the most exciting minds in our history. Their love and reverence for truth is truly inspiring and provoking. Unfortunately, I find this collection dense and difficult to read. Dawkins...
  • Ralph Hermansen
    If you like science, you should really enjoy this new book by Richard Dawkins. I know that I savored it! Being retired, I start the day looking out over Lake Isabella and surrounding Sierras from my eagle's perch view. With a cup of coffee, in my comfortable recliner, and with a good book, I experience the pleasure that I worked for those many years. This book was one of the better ones. Richard Dawkins showed a new side of himself. He shared his...
  • Doug
    Holy cow, that was a bit of a slog. Some pieces are much more readable than others, all written by scientists, some of which don't communicate ideas as well as others. Some pieces are brilliant, though from the authors you expect: Carl Sagan, Rachel Carson. Some was just plain dense and boring, though. Pick about 25% of the writing out and condense this tome, and you have a superb is, in my opinion, it's just too much for the gene...
  • Stephen Dawson
    A mixed bag. Some fascinating extracts from some great writing by modern scientists. But the first half of the book is almost completely dominated by the biological sciences - the selection of authors appeared significantly biased in favour of Dawkins' own interests. But in the later section the range rather spread, but still I was left feeling that the selection wasn't entirely representative. Nevertheless, some interesting and inspirational rea...
  • Zach Freeman
    Good collection of snippets of books and essays from various scientists. Not as boring as might think since each chapter has a brief opening paragraph from Dawkins, but also just as tedious as you might expect, since it's a collection of science essays. A good read, but some of the stuff got a little too specific for normal non-scientists like myself.
  • Madhumanti Chakraborty
    The collection of excerpts on different topics, from books authored by the very best and knowledgeable-makes this an interesting read. It is a true treasure that must be preserved for times to come; to enlighten the minds of those who are interested in learning and to perceive the existing environment around them from various perspectives.
  • Andrew Doran
    Very readable collection of excerpts from modern scientific works, broken out into four sections covering 'What Scientists Study', 'Who Scientists Are', 'What Scientists Think' and 'What Scientists Delight In'.As well as learning quite a bit, I found some of the descriptions of scientific phenomena to be incredibly elegant and beautiful. A great read.