Cover image for The New York Times book of science literacy.
The New York Times book of science literacy.
Flaste, Richard.
Physical Description:
2 volumes : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
First volume (unnumbered) was prepared by the editors and reports of Science Times and edited by Richard Flaste; vol. 2 was prepared by the writers of Science Times and edited by Nicholas Wade, Cornelia Dean, and William A. Dieke.
[V. 1] What everyone needs to know from Newton to the knuckleball -- V. 2. The environment from your backyard to the ocean floor.
Added Uniform Title:
Science times.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Q162 .N438 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Q162 .N438 1991 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order


Author Notes

Born in Aylesbury, England, Nicholas Wade studies at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge. He has worked at nature and Science and is currently a science reporter for The New York Times. The author of four previous books, he lives in Montclair, New Jersey.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 6

Booklist Review

The title is a bit flippant. It seems to imply that this is a primer of basic science, such as Hazen and Trefil's Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy [BKL D 15 90]; it is instead a lighter, more entertaining volume: a compilation of articles from the weekly column "Science Times" in the New York Times from January 1987 to May 1990. This is science journalism at its best: clear, energetic, and questioning. Its currency focuses attention on controversies, discoveries, and newsy science. While Hazen and Trefil provide an invaluable look at fundamental scientific concepts, they don't write much about people. Here, the human perspective dominates. Flaste has included pieces on nutrition, dreams, sex differences, anthropology, and archaeology. Other equally engrossing topics include Pioneer 10, the amazing properties of clay, comets, and various environmental issues. Informative and enlivening coverage of what's going on in the scientific community and how it affects the rest of us. ~--Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

This candy-box assortment of some 100 short articles and accompanying sidebars and diagrams selected from ``Science Times,'' a weekly feature of the New York Times , fails to deliver the comprehensiveness promised by the title. Organized under seven headings such as ``The Promise of Technology'' and ``Our Troubled Environment,'' the 1500-word capsules remain purely topical and are often dated. Individual articles by the 21 journalists represented sometimes shine, e.g., James Gleick's ``Why Does the Knuckleball Behave That Way?'' But readers will find a fuller treatment of current science topics in Robert Hazen and James Trefil's Science Matters (Nonfiction Forecasts, Dec. 14). Notwithstanding the fine journalism evident here, the sum of these pieces is less than its parts. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

from Newton to the Knuckleball. Times Bks. Feb. 1991. c.448p. ed. by Richard Flaste. illus. index. LC 90-50244. ISBN 0-8129-1880-0. $24.95. sci This is a collection of columns that appeared over a three-year period in the science section of the New York Times . As such, there is no underlying theme, although the articles have been grouped by general subject area. Unlike Robert Hazen and James Trefil's Science Matters, ( LJ 1/90), this book does not attempt to give an overall view or abbreviated course in modern science. While readers won't automatically be scientifically literate, they will learn about some of the latest breakthroughs and current controversies in science. This is a worthwhile addition to any general science collection.-- Harold D. Shane, Baruch Coll., CUNY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

See Focus on p.1906.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Wade, editor of the New York Times science section; Dean, past deputy editor; and Dicke, present deputy editor, here collect approximately 120 of the environmental pieces that appeared in the paper between 1990 and 1993, along with a series of articles on the Brazilian rain forest that ran in 1988 and 1989. Written by 28 different authors, the pieces cover many aspects of the environment--from global warming to the use of disposable diapers. Articles range from three to seven pages. Although the book provides ample material for browsing, the repetition across pieces is annoying, as is the occasional disagreement over facts. And the editors have neither updated information nor provided relevant addenda. For example, we read in a piece dated April 1990 that villagers in the coal belt of what was then Czechoslovakia planned to petition their government to save their homes from destruction, but we are not told the outcome. In a March 1991 article, we learn of an imminent conference to discuss disposal of nuclear waste on the German frontier, but not whether the project has since begun. Nonetheless, a great deal of first-rate environmental journalism is represented here. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

This compendium of 112 short pieces originally appeared in the Science Times section of The New York Times. All were written by editors and reporters of the Times and are devoted solely to the environment, with topics ranging from the ecological niche occupied by dung beetles to the reintroduction of bison to the western plains. Starting with the interdependence of all life, succeeding topics deal with human stresses on the environment leading to species extinction and global pollution of the air, soil, and water. Several deal with how these problems may be either averted or rectified. The book should interest the "ecoliterate," a term coined on the jacket of the book, and shows that concern for the environment goes far beyond a small number of scientists and special interest groups. Because of the wide range of topics handled in the concise, factual style of the newspaper column, the book should also be a useful resource for any public or school library. All levels. C. G. Wood; Eastern Maine Technical College