In a Flight of Starlings: The Wonders of Complex Systems

Penguin Pr. Jul. 2023. 144p. ISBN 9780593493151. $24. SCI
The entire premise of Parisi’s tome is this: that both citizens and politicians need to trust scientists and allow the scientific community to assist in making objectively sensible decisions, for everything from climate change to the COVID pandemic. Nobel Prize in Physics winner Parisi (theoretical physics, Sapienza Univ. of Rome) enthusiastically guides readers on a journey traversing the fields of statistical and experimental physics. The author is happy to travel down memory lane—from his roots as a physics student in Italy 50 years ago to the time when he narrowly missed an opportunity to further explore order and disorder as found in nature and experienced in a wide variety of circumstances. While each chapter might feel like its own in-depth lesson or anecdote, the summations are wise and bring readers back to the author’s original premise: people must trust science (and scientists) to make recommendations on how to improve the earth’s circumstances going forward.
VERDICT While the scientific lingo can feel a little overwhelming at times, readers who persist through to the end will likely find themselves enlightened and eager to listen and learn.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing