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Metascience

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 317–320 | Cite as

The usual suspects

Richard Dawkins (ed.): The Oxford book of modern science writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, xviii+419 pp, £9.99 PB
  • Mark Erickson
Book Review
  • 71 Downloads

In this collection Richard Dawkins has compiled over 70 pieces of writing from a range of familiar writers. His brief, to assemble ‘good writing by professional scientists, not excursions into science by professional writers’ (xvii) from the last century, is arranged into four themes: what scientists study, who scientists are, what scientists think and what scientists delight in (presumably, as this is a different theme from the first, scientists do not delight in what they study?). It is worth noting at the outset that these themes are not addressed by the writers themselves. Rather, we have Dawkins’s interpretation of what the writers were really expounding in their original texts. Dawkins provides a brief, lively, and always illuminating introduction to each piece; these are often written from a personal perspective and are illustrated by anecdotes and insights into his own thinking.

Dawkins’s project is both modest and ambitious. It is modest in the sense that it confines itself to...

References

  1. Baldamus, W. 2010. The exoteric paradox: A contribution to Ludwik Fleck’s theory of science. In The sociology of Wilhelm Baldamus: paradox and inference, ed. M. Erickson, and C. Turner, 87–106. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  2. Erickson, M. 2005. Science, culture and society: understanding science in the 21st century. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  3. Hollands, K., D.J. Lee, G.S. Lloyd, and S.J.W. Busby. 2009. Activation of σ28-dependent transcription in Escherichia coli by the cyclic AMP receptor protein requires an unusual promoter organization. Molecular Microbiology 75: 1098–1111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Applied Social ScienceUniversity of BrightonFalmer, BrightonUK

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