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Imagine a book that walks you through different branches of science, giving you not just a cursory glimpse into them, but a solid one, that touches on the different branches within that area of science? Enter in Seeing Science by Iris Gottlieb. Her goal is to stoke the readers interest into science using art and illustrative language.
From the cover:
Science is really beautiful. With original illustrations that deftly explain the strange-but-true world of science, Seeing Science offers a curated ride through the great mysteries of the universe. Artist and lay scientist Iris Gottlieb explains among other things: neap tides, naked mole rats, whale falls, the human heart, the Uncertainty Principle, the ten dimensions of string theory, and how glaciers are like Snickers bars. With quirky visual metaphors and concise factual explanations, she offers just the right amount of information to stoke the curious mind with a desire to know more about the life forces that animate both the smallest cell and the biggest black hole. Seeing Science illustrates, explicates, and celebrates the marvels of science as only art can.
What you get:
Written with a sense humour and every day language, Iris Gottlieb brings us into her world as she talks about science. We learn interesting tidbits about the author as she expresses her keen interest in the different fields of science.
Three main sections of the book: Life science, earth science and physical science. Each of these sections is further divided into subsections of the field. For instance physical science covers astronomy, chemistry and physics.
Pages filled with lots of information. Some was very familiar to me, other information gave insights otherwise unknown. She did a good job of explaining the different areas covered, giving good coverage to the different aspects of evolution and explaining what specific terms means. Not just linking them the evolution but showing a broader picture.
Copious illustrations fill the pages. Some in full colour, others in monochrome. All illustrations were well-detailed and furthered the message of the text.
My son, being the ant focused lad that he is, was delighted that part of this book was given over to the world of ants. She did a nice job of giving a bit of a run down on ants but “she didn’t say a whole lot mom! There’s so much more to say!” but hey… if talking a generic science book you can’t say EVERYTHING there is to say about one portion of it. 🙂
I was pleasantly surprised to not see a big push for evolutionary theory, though different methods of how species evolve were explained. There are some evolutionary ideas presented but not like it was the only thing. I can’t say I agree with the evolutionary ideas that were presented, but it wasn’t a heavy overload in my opinion.
You do need to be aware of she does use some inappropriate language, but not an over abundance, more like a slip of the tongue. You may wish to preview the book if offering to children younger than 13.
There were so many areas where the information presented was just fascinating. Trees are way more interesting than I would have thought. Pigeons served in World War 1 (cool fact to remember for my son). Did you know the magnetic north is not always in the same place?
A highly interesting book that is sure to please the science minded among us and just may spur on an interest in those not quite sure. Definitely a book to leave laying around.
Seeing Science: An Illustrated Guide to the Wonders of the Universe
Hardcover, 152 pages,
Science, Chemistry, Biology
life science, earth science, physical science
Reviewed for Raincoast Books.
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