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Publisher's Summary

These 18 lucid essays on chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy and biology will help listeners comprehend today's science news.
©2009 James Trefil and Robert M. Hazen; (P)2009 Random House
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Critic Reviews

"Lucid and lively. Hazen and Trefil have a particular genius for picturing even formidably abstract ideas in concrete images.... Science Mattersis as good as they get." (The Washington Post Book World)
"Hazen and Trefil are unpretentious, good, down-to-earth, we-can-explain-anything science teachers, the kind you wish you had but never did." (The New York Times)
"Easily one of the finest available single-volume introductions to science." (Kirkus Review)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Joshua on 09-18-09

Everything I thought I knew, brilliantly told.

When I graduated MIT in 1984 with a degree in Biology, mine was the first class to be offered a laboratory course in genetic engineering. The rest, as they say, is history. This is the best, most fascinating intro and review of the highlights of all branchs of modern sciences since Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. Compared to that wonderful book, this one has less history and more theory - and is more current and succinct, but never dry. This is the book for the curious mind, whether or not you've every studied the laws of thermodynamics or plate tectonics. As the authors point out, even professional scientists rarely know the latest theories that are outside their own narrow field of study. Here's the chance for layman and scientist to get up to speed. C'mon, now, its the 21st century, and with this book there's no excuse not to be up-to-date.

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32 of 32 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Daniel on 10-14-09


You won't believe how interesting science is until you're introduced to it by the likes of Trefil and Hazen! If you want to inspire someone in the area of the sciences, or even of the great potential and value of learning and education, convince them to just give this a try! You'll be doing them a real favor.

I've given away 4-5 copies of the book and everyone has been surprised by how much they like it. I have both the audio and paperback for myself.

The narration fits the book perfectly.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Darren on 08-27-09

Good book for understanding general science.

Got this book as I am interested in some areas of Science but did not feel my school education had left me with a good base on which to build on. I would often be reading about a subject and then a concept would be thrown in to which I was not familiar. Funnily enough the book introduction talks about how some experts in one field of science can often be near clueless on subjects outside their own field of study! So it seems I'm not the only one!

The book is reasonably easy to follow and explains everything you'd need to know to get by in reading most scientific articles.

The only minor criticism I have with it is that it frequently uses imperial measurements, which is something that I feel should be avoided. The reason they have done this is that the book is targeted towards an American audience who will be more familiar with imperial measures.

The above aside I would recommend this to anyone looking to brush up on their knowledge of science in general.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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