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Coming of Age in the Milky Way

Timothy Ferris

Timothy Ferris is an author I was introduced to through this book.  I’ve since read many others by him.  Coming of Age… is a detailed account of science.  One of the reasons this book appeals to me to such a degree is the way it is written.  Ferris never writes down to his audience.  He keeps the dialog going as well.

Coming of Age… tells the story of science through many of the great scientists of the past, including Galileo, and Kepler.  You’d think with scientists like these peopling his book he would get verbose and write over his audiences head.  To Timothy Ferris’s credit he does not.  He writes in such a way that the lay person will understand what he is saying.  For anyone wanting an intimate knowledge of science from its very beginning, you certainly can’t go wrong with Coming of Age in the Milky Way.

A Brief History of Time
Stephen Hawking
Two books of somewhat the same nature as both our science related.  That’s where the similarity ends however.  Hawking, unlike Ferris is not writing for the layperson.  His language is tremendously challenging to comprehend. The themes hawking discusses are probably challenging for many scientists to understand as well.  Even after reading A Brief History of Time several times over I’m still not sure I grasp everything he discusses.  That being said, I must also say this is an important book to at least attempt a read through, even if you only understand a bit of what he says.  It also presents a dichotomy of two writing styles.  That in itself should be reason enough to read both of these books.

In the Shadow of Man
Jane Goodall
While attending Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Connecticut, I enrolled in many anthropology classes; So many in fact, that I could very well have minored in Anthropology.  In one of the classes we studied Jane Goodall extensively.

I’d always been fascinated by anthropology as a child.  I knew quite a bit about Lucy the Australopithecus from having studied on my own before attending Southern, knew she was discovered at Hadar in Ethiopia.

Jane Goodall has always been an important figure to me.  Having no degree, Ms Goodall was one of a select few to have been accepted at Cambridge University to receive a PhD.

In the Shadow of Man was one of the required readings from one of the Anthropology classes I took at Southern.  The book details Ms. Goodall’s life as Chimpanzee researcher.  Amazing detail of a chimps life is in this book.  Sharing so many qualities between human and chimp is what drew me into this fascinating character study.  And boy, each chimp that Goodall discusses in this and each of her books have distinct character traits.

If you are interested at all in the origin of Mankind, you can’t go wrong starting out by reading Jane Goodall.

Until next time…
…Turn the page.

Chris

Science

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