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Volume 94 | Number 2 | March-April 2006

Short takes on five books

David Schneider, Roger Harris, Christopher Brodie

Trial of the Centuries

Peter Slezak

A review of Retrying Galileo, 1633-1992, by Maurice A. Finocchiaro. Finocchiaro's examination of Galileo's trial and its reverberations sheds light on the conflict between individual freedom and institutional authority

Global Warming's Early Roots

Wolfgang Berger

A review of Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate, by William F. Ruddiman. Anthropogenic climate change began long before the Industrial Revolution, when humans cleared the first forests for farmland

A Grand Enigma

Robert Webb

A review of Grand Canyon: Solving the Earth's Grandest Puzzle, by James Lawrence Powell. By focusing on one massive landform and the history of its interpretation, Powell showcases the development of the geosciences

It's Not Easy Being Green

Simon Stuart

A review of Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species, edited by Michael Lannoo. Frogs and salamanders are displaying deformities and decreasing in number, sometimes to the point of disappearing. Habitat loss is not the only culprit

Darwin on Display

Robert L. Dorit

A review of Darwin. An exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History, November 19, 2005, through May 29, 2006. Curated by Niles Eldredge; and Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life, by Niles Eldredge. A new Darwin exhibition and companion volume show us a visionary idea in the making

Reading the Greats

Chitra Ramalingam

A review of The Discoveries: The Great Breakthroughs in 20th-century Science, Including the Original Papers, by Alan Lightman. Lightman attempts to make the case that reading the original scientific papers of luminaries can offer a window into the minds of the authors

Why We Age

Kimberly Hughes

A review of The Long Tomorrow: How Advances in Evolutionary Biology Can Help Us Postpone Aging, by Michael R. Rose. Rose's premise is that the ultimate cause of senescence is natural selection

A Universe Tuned for Life

John Peacock

A review of The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design, by Leonard Susskind. The term landscape, coined by Susskind, alludes to the idea that the mathematical edifice of string theory predicts many possible consistent laws of physics—all of which may actually exist, in different regions of the multiverse. (Also see our interview with Susskind.)

Math as a Language in Its Own Right

Alfred Goldhaber

A review of Einstein's Heroes: Imagining the World Through the Language of Mathematics, by Robyn Arianrhod. James Clerk Maxwell transformed physics by using a whole new language—differential vector calculus—to express his electromagnetic theory

Total Records : 12


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