Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization

Holt. Sept. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781250861504. $28.99. SCI
In this book, named for the English title of Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius, Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry) once again earns his position as one of the foremost science communicators of the modern age. From the preface to the afterword, which he calls the overture and coda, every word and argument is beautifully balanced. The 10 chapters are themed to a cadence, with titles such as “Truth & Beauty,” “War & Peace,” and “Gender & Identity.” Tyson’s ability to simplify complex topics without seeming disparaging or condescending is refreshing, as is his willingness to approach such a broad range of topics in a forthright yet nonconfrontational manner. As Tyson states in his overture, this book truly is “a trove of insights, informed by the universe and brought to you by the methods and tools of science.” It will encourage readers to question the biases that determine how they react to information from a variety of sources, from textbooks to social media pundits.
VERDICT An excellent addition to any science collection that will encourage critical thinking by all who read it.
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