Natalie Angier is an American nonfiction writer and a science journalist for The New York Times Video: Natalie Angier – The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science (May 16, Panel discussion with Neil Turok, Michael D. Griffin, Nadia El-Awady and Stewart Brand, at the Quantum to Cosmos festival. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Science is underappreciated and undervalued in a The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science – Kindle edition by Natalie Angier. Download it once and read it on your Kindle. Natalie Angier, a science writer for the New York Times, has written a wonderful book called The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful.

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The author isn’t a scientist so she can still see complex topics from the layman’s viewpoint. Secondly, the author writes like a columnist. For example in chapter 4 physics does the imagined asteroid really have to resemble a t-rex, or a giant trilobite, or Steven Spielberg?


Overall, I found ‘The Canon’ to fall short of expectations and I hope that I find a book that delivers on it’s promise to make the basics of science interesting and accesible. The second chapter is 29 small-type pages about how science is cool.

Lists with This Book.

Unless you’re talking to an eight year old, sentences like “Star light, star bright, Brown wishes you’d try this trick at night” are not really appropriate. Seems a shame because now I find that stuff very interesting. I gave up on this one after about pages.

Well, that’s interesting, yes, but so what? The entire idea of the book is to teach science and yet I found myself floundering in a rant about how more people should just learn science and go into science and people really need to start valuing science and for This book just annoyed me.


Instead, I got a ‘science for beginners’. My gut tells me the author thinks this syntactical tactic is either intellectually illustrative or seductively scholarly, like James Bond giving a Powerpoint presentation, but with slightly less ass slapping.

Natalie Angier | LibraryThing

Dec 08, Elazar rated it did not like it. Really terrific narrative that puts much of the science world in a pragmatic easy read. The author gets the science right, and tells it in an lively, interesting way.

Back then I evaded chemistry by taking an earth science course Rocks for Jocks. Science maintains its outsider status not by means of a conspiracy against its nerdiness, but because, as its advocate readily enthuses, it is big, unwieldy, impossible to pin down.

She is very knowledgeable and I can trust she has done her homework and is writing caonn about her subject.

But again, to be fair, she is a science writer for a newspaper.

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

That was this book. In other words, Angier is preaching to the converted. Starting with the idea that ‘the best way to teach science to non-scientists is to go for depth over breadth’, Angier’s research takes her to numerous leaders in their field to find out what they wish people better understood.

May 31, Kate rated it did not like it. Perhaps I despised being talked to like a second grader because I actually know how to “think scientifically”.

I was really looking forward to reading this book, which ntaalie to be a layperson’s introduction to all things beautiful in science. But it just meanders from point to point, with no particu I was really looking nataliee to reading this book, which purports to be a layperson’s introduction to all things beautiful in science. From the Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author of Woman, a playful, passionate guide to the science all around us With the singular intelligence and exuberance that made Woman an international sensation, Natalie Angier takes us on a whirligig tour of the scientific canon.


She writes with such verve, humor, and warmth.

What great works define our understanding of the world? Jul 17, Peggie rated it liked it. Sometimes the best explainers of a topic are outsiders or laymen, rather than practitioners in the field.

Oct 08, Jessica rated it did not like it Shelves: I can’t imagine anybody who’s not already really interested in science struggling their way through it and those people are supposedly the intended audience ; and somebody who’s already interested and knows something about science isn’t likely to learn much. Stopping and starting and lurching and joking just distracts the mind from being absorbed in the wonders of the scientific landscape.

It’s like a mighty mastodon masticated a healthy handful of diamonds and then defecated onto my lawn.

When you focus your education on one area of science, others get missed — I’ve never taken courses in these fields and, sadly, I tuned out my dad’s hiking lectures on geology.