I’m home from our vacation, and our painfully tiring redeye flight from Seattle, and I get a treat right as I step through the door: a copy of Natalie Angier’s The Canon(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll) arrived in the mail while I was away. What did I do? Right after we got all the luggage into the house, I flopped down on the bed with it and read it until the lack of sleep caught up with me — and it’s good enough that I actually made it through the first two chapters before passing out. It’s a passionate and enthusiastic survey of basic principles in science, and it’s fun to read.
Then I discovered that onegoodmove had a video interview of Angier talking about her book. She’s very good; check it out. She’s the kind of science journalist I want to see more of, and everyone should go out and buy her book to encourage her to do more.
One annoyance: several of the commenters at onegoodmove seem to be of the concern troll variety. Here’s this smart, fluent, talented writer who is also a world-class science geek and atheist, and they start picking over her appearance and body language — it’s rather dismaying, in particular since her gestures are no more flamboyant than those of her (male) interviewer. I’ve long thought that Natalie Angier would make an excellent spokesperson for godless science, and wondered why we don’t see more of her … and I wonder if part of the reason is that the same troglodytes who grunt in disgust at the sight of someone who doesn’t respect their sky-god are also appalled at the sight of a woman speaking confidently about high geek factor subjects and also dismissing their primitive superstitions.