The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2023

Mariner. Oct. 2023. 272p. ed. by Carl Zimmer & Jaime Green. ISBN 9780063293212. pap. $18.99. REF
.his 23rd volume collects 20 essays that were published in 2022 in both general-interest and popular-science publications, such as Harper’s, New York Times Magazine, Wired, Scientific American, Audubon, Quanta, and many more. Science journalist and New York Times columnist Zimmer (Life’s Edge) and science writer Green (The Possibility of Life) edit this latest edition. There are essays about headline news and ongoing topics—COVID and climate change, for example—that go beyond statistics. The book also focuses on lesser-known science stories about the cows of Cedar Island, NC; successfully tracking a disease outbreak in Provincetown, MA; and the moral injuries experienced by health care workers forced to ration care. Other highlights are texts examining wonder, brain implants that help paralyzed people to communicate, and the collective behavior of fireflies, plus personal narratives that reveal gaps in medical research and health care.
VERDICT Readers can catch up on a year’s worth of well-written discoveries and investigations in this collection. Appropriate for adults as well as readers as young as middle school.
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