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Present at the Future: From Evolution to Nanotechnology, Candid and Controversial Conversations on Science and Nature

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Veteran NPR® science correspondent and award-winning radio and TV journalist Ira Flatow's enthusiasm for all things science has made him a beloved on-air journalist. For more than thirty-five years, Flatow has interviewed the top scientists and researchers on many NPR and PBS programs, including his popular Science Friday® spot on Talk of the Nation. In Present at the Futu Veteran NPR® science correspondent and award-winning radio and TV journalist Ira Flatow's enthusiasm for all things science has made him a beloved on-air journalist. For more than thirty-five years, Flatow has interviewed the top scientists and researchers on many NPR and PBS programs, including his popular Science Friday® spot on Talk of the Nation. In Present at the Future, he shares the groundbreaking revelations from those conversations, including the latest on nanotechnology, space travel, global warming, alternative energies, stem cell research, and using the universe as a super–super computer. Flatow also further explores his favorite topic of the science of everyday life with explanations on why the shower curtain sticks to you, the real story of why airplanes fly, and much more. From dark matter and the human consciousness to the surprising number of scientists who believe in a Creator, Present at the Future reveals the mysteries of science, nature, and technology that shape our lives.


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Veteran NPR® science correspondent and award-winning radio and TV journalist Ira Flatow's enthusiasm for all things science has made him a beloved on-air journalist. For more than thirty-five years, Flatow has interviewed the top scientists and researchers on many NPR and PBS programs, including his popular Science Friday® spot on Talk of the Nation. In Present at the Futu Veteran NPR® science correspondent and award-winning radio and TV journalist Ira Flatow's enthusiasm for all things science has made him a beloved on-air journalist. For more than thirty-five years, Flatow has interviewed the top scientists and researchers on many NPR and PBS programs, including his popular Science Friday® spot on Talk of the Nation. In Present at the Future, he shares the groundbreaking revelations from those conversations, including the latest on nanotechnology, space travel, global warming, alternative energies, stem cell research, and using the universe as a super–super computer. Flatow also further explores his favorite topic of the science of everyday life with explanations on why the shower curtain sticks to you, the real story of why airplanes fly, and much more. From dark matter and the human consciousness to the surprising number of scientists who believe in a Creator, Present at the Future reveals the mysteries of science, nature, and technology that shape our lives.

30 review for Present at the Future: From Evolution to Nanotechnology, Candid and Controversial Conversations on Science and Nature

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Ward

    More like a written collection of his radio program Science Friday. If you are from a scientific background then you probably will not find much new illumination in this book. (except String Theory which remains opaque). If you have little science in your background then a series of entertaining essays and not much else.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    Dec. 13, 2016: Last few weeks went back to this book and finished reading from where I left it last year. The essays are short and mostly are what other scientists are saying, Flatow is a journalist and primarily asks questions. Since this is science some is old stuff and since it's looking towards the future, on occasion that future has arrived, or very nearly. Still, a very worthwhile read. Oct 20, 2015: I enjoyed the first half of the book of essays here, just haven't returned since March so ma Dec. 13, 2016: Last few weeks went back to this book and finished reading from where I left it last year. The essays are short and mostly are what other scientists are saying, Flatow is a journalist and primarily asks questions. Since this is science some is old stuff and since it's looking towards the future, on occasion that future has arrived, or very nearly. Still, a very worthwhile read. Oct 20, 2015: I enjoyed the first half of the book of essays here, just haven't returned since March so marking as partial read. Perhaps will return and finish. The book is very much like Ira Flatow's radio science show - Science Friday found on NPR. Read partial: Feb-March 2015.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    I grabbed this book on a whim from the library when I saw it was written by the host of NPR's 'Science Friday' which is a program I try to catch every week. The book is basically a quick overview/discussion of science and technology issues of the day. Not very in depth, it's just 300 pages or so and tries to cover a couple dozen or so topics, but I found it entertaining and educational. It's definitely not the book for someone who keeps up to the second on these sorts of topics, but for someone I grabbed this book on a whim from the library when I saw it was written by the host of NPR's 'Science Friday' which is a program I try to catch every week. The book is basically a quick overview/discussion of science and technology issues of the day. Not very in depth, it's just 300 pages or so and tries to cover a couple dozen or so topics, but I found it entertaining and educational. It's definitely not the book for someone who keeps up to the second on these sorts of topics, but for someone like me, I think it was worthwhile.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jeffry

    As an avid listener of NPR's Science Friday, I really enjoyed reading Ira Flatow's essays about the forefront of science. I learned some cool new facts, including my favorite: that science teachers all over are wrong about how airplanes fly (Bernouli's Principle just doesn't fly.) However, I have to admit that there were a few places that I had to skim instead of reading intently (string theory...) Overall, a very good read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I'm about halfway through and enjoying it, although the descriptions of the science are more superficial than I expected. The section on the oceans was heartening that despite all our destructive efforts knowledgeable people still have hope for turning conditions around. Good information for my non-science self.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    This was written by the guy who does Science Friday on NPR. It was an interesting, easy read about a variety of scientific topics. I really liked the chapter on nanotechnology. Especially when it told me that Lancome makes an anti-wrinkle cream with nano-sheres that actually WORK to diminish wrinkles. Totally buying that next.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dean Gilbert

    For people who weren't as read up on most of the topics the book covered, it would be a better book. For me, I skipped large sections of it, simply because I knew what the author was talking about. However, it's great for the explanation on how a plane flies, and why 99% of the people who think they know how it happens, are wrong.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Keith Seekwhence

    Nano technology, economics, and human psychology are the major intertwining topics, hinting at the misuse of power and misfortunes of a global economy.....mind numbing and I have yet to advance from the second chapter.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vincent

    Summary of lots of science as current as the book. If you listen to the author's radio show, it's probably just a good review for you. Go Newton's Apple!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Max

    Very basic, brief touches on a wide variety of topics

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Fitzpatrick

    I thought the chapters on nanotech and string theory were interesting, but the rest was a review. If you already keep up with science current events then you won't encounter much new material here.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    If you listen to science friday religiously like i do, this is a good book to pick up and read a chapter here or there to remember good shows.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Christian Holub

    It could be a little dry at times, and unfortunately the most interesting parts (string theory/cosmology) were the shortest.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Library book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Avi

    about a four on a scale of 1-10. The topics are very interesting, but I wasn't thrilled with the writing, as the book read too much like an interview and not enough like...a book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Carlburdick

    Got my geek on with this one. Much fascinating science, that makes you yearn for what is to come next. Lots of short easily digestible segments covering a wide variety of scientific frontiers.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  18. 4 out of 5

    Margaret McCamant

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marc

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kellen

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hayden Trenholm

  22. 5 out of 5

    Holli

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mpeavler

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tom

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kris

  26. 5 out of 5

    Uzziah

  27. 4 out of 5

    Forrest

  28. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Brillante

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jovany Agathe

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stephie Williams

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