THE BOOK OF POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC SCIENCE by Sean Connolly

THE BOOK OF POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC SCIENCE

50 Experiments for Daring Young Scientists
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

Presented with humor and a bit of ballyhoo, this collection of 50 demonstrations of scientific tools, phenomena and principles includes a description of the history and science behind each topic. The chronological organization offers a nice way to chart the progress of science in many areas, from Stone Age tool-making through Zhang Heng’s seismometer, Jenner’s vaccine, Darwin’s “revolutionary evolutionary book,” Yeager’s sonic boom and the science-in-process of the Large Hadron Collider. With occasional, possibly frustrating exceptions, the experiments have clear directions and helpful sketches provided by James. Presented like recipes, they require relatively easily found materials. Each includes a “catastrophe meter,” pointing out difficulties and the possibility for injury, and a “Take Care!” label, identifying potential trouble spots. Occasionally, Connolly’s breezy explanations are careless or incorrect: Fossils can be traces of a soft-bodied creature; ligons (lion/tiger hybrids) have occurred in nature, not just from DNA manipulation. But overall this is both entertaining and instructive, a welcome follow-up to The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science (2008) and useful for science-fair projects, classroom or recreational group activities and home explorations. (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 5th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7611-5687-1
Page count: 391pp
Publisher: Workman
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2010




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