Logo IMG

Volume 97 | Number 1 | January-February 2009

Post Hoax, Ergo Propter Hoax

Michael Bérubé

A review of Beyond the Hoax: Science, Philosophy and Culture, by Alan Sokal. In his new book Sokal leaves the terrain of literary theory, says Bérubé, and enters “realms where the distinction between justified and unjustififed belief actually matters to the world—specifically, the history and philosophy of science . . . and religion.”

Einstein's Worldview and Its Effects

Daniel Kennefick

A review of Einstein for the 21st Century: His Legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture, edited by Peter L. Galison, Gerald Holton and Silvan S. Schweber. Twenty essayists consider what elements formed Einstein’s view of the world and what effects his work and persona have had

Monumental Geometry

Alasdair Whittle

A review of Solving Stonehenge: The New Key to an Ancient Enigma, by Anthony Johnson. Johnson argues that the builders of Stonehenge had an understanding of the geometry of squares and circles that allowed them to lay out the different elements of the stone monument with impressively regular proportionality

Love, Death and Darwinism

Sander Gliboff

A review of The Tragic Sense of Life: Ernst Haeckel and the Struggle over Evolutionary Thought, by Robert J. Richards. This book marks a major rehabilitation of Haeckel as a mainstream Darwinian, says Gliboff

The Worst Is Yet to Be

Charles Perrow

A review of Global Catastrophes and Trends: The Next Fifty Years, by Vaclav Smil. By enriching our understanding of the complexity of nature and society, Smil shows that we have much more to fear than accumulating carbon dioxide

Ambition, Distraction, Uglification and Derision

John C. Butcher

A review of Lewis Carroll in Numberland: His Fantastical Mathematical Logical Life. By Robin Wilson. Wilson’s brief life of Charles Dodgson explains for a general audience his work as a mathematician and includes samples of the problems and puzzles found in his books on recreational mathematics

From Planar Patterns to Polytopes

Jaron Lanier

A review of The Symmetries of Things, by John H. Conway, Heidi Burgiel and Chaim Goodman-Strauss. “This book is a plaything,” says Lanier, “an inexhaustible exercise in brain expansion for the reader, a work of art and a bold statement of what the culture of math can be like, all rolled into one”

Hubble: Toil and Trouble

Michael J. Disney

A review of The Universe in a Mirror: The Saga of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Visionaries Who Built It, by Robert Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s blow-by-blow account of how the Hubble got built is a cracking good read, says Disney

Innovators and Iconoclasts

Audra J. Wolfe

A review of Rebels, Mavericks, and Heretics in Biology, edited by Oren Harman and Michael R. Dietrich. Highlighting the value of dissent, these 19 essays open a new conversation on the nature of scientific innovation, says Wolfe


Brian Hayes

A review of The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges’ Library of Babel, by William Goldbloom Bloch. This mathematical companion to Borges’ austere fable offers new ways to engage with the themes of the fiction

Total Records : 12


Connect With Us:


Sigma Xi/Amazon Smile (SciNight)

Subscribe to Free eNewsletters!

RSS Feed Subscription

Receive notification when new content is posted from the entire website, or choose from the customized feeds available.

Read Past Issues on JSTOR

JSTOR, the online academic archive, contains complete back issues of American Scientist from 1913 (known then as the Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.

The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.

View the full collection here.

Subscribe to American Scientist