The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science

9781439559574: The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science

A playful, passionate, ebullient guide to the science all around us by a Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author.

Buckle up for a joy ride through physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy. Drawing on conversations with hundreds of the world's top scientists and her own work as an award-winning science writer, Natalie Angier does the impossible: She makes science fascinating and seriously fun, even for those of us who, in Angier's words, "still can't tell the difference between a proton, a photon, and a moron."

Most of the profound questions we will explore in our lives—evolution, global warming, stem cells—have to do with science. So do a lot of everyday things, like our ice cream melting and our coffee getting cold and our vacuum cleaner running (or not). What does our liver do when we eat a caramel? How does the horse demonstrate evolution at work? Are we really made of stardust? (Yes, we are.)

In The Canon, Lewis Thomas meets Lewis Carroll in a book destined to become a modern classic—because it quenches our curiosity, sparks our interest in the world around us, reignites our childhood delight in discovering how things work, and instantly makes us smarter.

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From the Back Cover:

With the singular intelligence and exuberance that made Woman an international sensation, Natalie Angier takes us on a whirligig tour of the major scientific disciplines: physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy. She draws on conversations with hundreds of the world's top scientists and on her own work as a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for the New York Times to create a thoroughly entertaining guide to scientific literacy.

The Canon is vital listening for anyone who wants to understand the great issues of our time—from stem cells and bird flu to evolution and global warming. And it's for every parent who has ever panicked when a child asked how the earth was formed or what electricity is. Angier's sparkling prose and memorable metaphors bring the science to life, reigniting our own childhood delight in discovering how the world works.

About the Author:

Natalie Angier writes about biology for The New York Times, where she has won a Pulitzer Prize, the American Association for the Advancement of Science journalism award, and other honors. Her three previous books are The Beauty of the Beastly, Natural Obsessions, and Woman: An Intimate Geography, a National Book Award finalist. She lives with her husband and daughter outside of Washington, D.C.

NIKE DOUKAS has appeared in numerous plays including Cyrano de Bergerac, Major Barbara, Much Ado about Nothing, Everett Beekin, The Beard of Avon, Pygmalion, How the Other Half Loves, Arms and the Man and Green Icebergs. She has also performed at A Contemporary Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, The Old Globe, Mark Taper Forum, Doolittle Theatre, Shakespeare Festival/LA, American Conservatory Theater, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and the California and VITA Shakespeare Festivals. Television and film credits include “Desperate Housewives,” “Almost Perfect,” “Without a Trace,” “Criminal Minds,” “Boston Legal,” “Malcolm in the Middle,” Little Girls in Pretty Boxes and Seven Girlfriends. Ms. Doukas has an MFA from the American Conservatory Theater and is a member of The Antaeus Company.

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