Volume 96 | Number 6 | November-December 2008
A review of The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation, by Steven Shapin. Have the advantages of entrepreneurial science been oversold? Are contemporary funding regimes subtly eroding the integrity of science? Quite possibly so, Porter concludes
A review of The Future of the Internet—And How to Stop It, by Jonathan Zittrain. The creative work inspired by the enormous flexibility of the Internet is threatened, says Zittrain, by a trend away from open platforms and toward what he calls "tethered appliances"
A review of Kelvin: Life, Labours and Legacy, edited by Raymond Flood, Mark McCartney and Andrew Whitaker. Why, asks Lindley, has Lord Kelvin's remarkable catalog of achievements left so little impression?
A review of A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir, by Donald Worster. Worster has expertly sifted and sorted the details of Muir's complex life story to produce an engaging biography that should be considered definitive, says Branch
A review of Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren’t Fair (and What We Can Do About It), by William Poundstone. Poundstone explores the unintended consequences of plurality voting and the pros and cons of the various electoral systems that have been proposed as alternatives
A review of Measuring the New World: Enlightenment Science and South America, by Neil Safier. Safier's account of the Geodesical Expedition to the Equator in 1735 thoughtfully examines how Enlightenment science fared in South America and how that continent was depicted in Europe as a consequence of this exploration
A review of Conversations with Wendell Berry, edited by Morris Allen Grubbs. These 17 interviews conducted over three decades show the prescience and consistency of Berry’s vision, says Casson, and they invite reflection on how little has been accomplished during that span of time
A review of Amazon Expeditions: My Quest for the Ice-Age Equator, by Paul Colinvaux. Colinvaux recounts his travels in search of lakes containing mud dating from the last glacial maximum, telling the tale with humor, ego and enthusiasm, says Baker
Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, by Oliver Sacks. Sacks sprinkles brief accounts of recent neuroscientific findings throughout the detailed descriptions of cases that are at the heart of this book, but he doesn't discuss the scientific issues in enough depth, complains Weinberger
Connect With Us:
Happy Birthday to Alvin! August 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Alvin, the submersible that has been so influential in ocean research, including the discovery of hydrothermal vents. In 2014, a retrofitted Alvin also took its first test cruise.
Heather Olins, a doctoral candidate at Harvard, studies microbial ecology at deep sea hydrothermal vents with the help of Alvin, and shares her personal tribute to the submersible on these landmark occasions.
To view all multimedia content, click "Latest Multimedia"!
A free daily summary of the latest news in scientific research. Each story is summarized concisely and linked directly to the original source for further reading.
An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns, Science Observers and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.News of book reviews published in American Scientist and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.
To sign up for automatic emails of the American Scientist Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an online profile, then sign up in the My AmSci area.