- Series: The Best American Series Â®
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; 2015 ed. edition (October 6, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 054428674X
- ISBN-13: 978-0544286740
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 64 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015 (The Best American Series ®) 2015 ed. Edition
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From the Back Cover
The next edition in a series praised as Â“undeniably exquisiteÂ” (Maria Popova), The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015 includes work from both award-winning writers and up-and-coming voices in the field. From Brooke Jarvis on deep-ocean mining to Elizabeth Kolbert on New ZealandÂ’s unconventional conservation strategies, this is a group that celebrates the growing diversity in science and nature writing alike. Altogether, the writers honored in this yearÂ’s volume challenge us to consider the strains facing our planet and its many species, while never losing sight of the wonders weÂ’re working to preserve for generations to come.
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2015 includes
Sheri Fink, Atul Gawande, Leslie Jamison, Sam Kean, Seth Mnookin, Matthew Power, Michael Specter
Rebecca SklootÂ’s award-winning science writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere. Her book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, was an instant New York Times bestseller. It was named a best book of 2010 by more than sixty media outlets, including Entertainment Weekly and NPR, and by the National Academies of Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, among others. Skloot is currently writing a book about humans, animals, science, and ethics.
Tim Folger, series editor, is a contributing editor at Discover and writes about science for several magazines.
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And yet, here I am, again, disappointed. It turns out that this collection isn't really so much about science or nature as it is about people. For example, the story "Down by the River" is about the restoration of the landscape along the Colorado River in Yuma, AZ. However, there is almost nothing about the biology and ecology of the process. The story is almost entirely about the people involved and the impact on the community. Similarly, the story that follows, "The Empathy Exams," starts off as the story of a medical actor but quickly veers off into a very personal essay about the author's previous abortion, heart surgery, relationships, and emotional state.
In addition, I seem to define "science and nature" somewhat differently than the series and guest editors do. For example, I would describe "Waiting for Light," a story about a company that rents rechargeable LED lanterns to residents of villages in India that electricity has not yet reached, as a story about the impact of technology on people in developing nations, not really a story about science or nature. And, consistent with the theme, the story is much more about the people than it is about the technology.
This was my first encounter with any of the "Best American Science and Nature Writing" anthologies. Based on reviews written by people who have read previous year's editions of this collection, the stories in this one are consistent with the selections typically made. Given that, I won't be reading any more of these collections, as they are obviously just not my cup of tea.
In previous years, some of the contributions have been most thought provoking, for me anyway this was not the case for the 2015 collection. Maybe 2015 was a year with less choice for the executive editor....
A couple of the essays are quite good. The most riveting, 'Aftershocks,' describes in fascinating detail the conviction, for involuntary manslaughter, of a half dozen Italian seismologists for failing to warn the public about an earthquake that struck a remote area of Italy late in the last decade.