It’s a thrill to find out that the New York Times Book Review has chosen Life’s Edge as a Notable Book of the Year! It’s the third time one of my books has made the list, along with Soul Made Flesh and She Has Her Mother’s Laugh. Thanks to Stephen Morrow, who edited all three. I sense a pattern!
It’s very gratifying to read a review from someone who not only enjoyed the book but gets the ideas that propelled me through the writing of it. Here’s Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene, writing about Life’s Edge for the New York Times Book Review:
“Zimmer is an astute, engaging writer — inserting the atmospheric anecdote where applicable, drawing out a scientific story and bringing laboratory experiments to life. This book is not just about life, but about discovery itself. It is about error and hubris, but also about wonder and the reach of science. And it is bookended with the ultimate question: How do we define the thing that defines us?”
You can read the whole review here. If it inspires you to get the book, here are a host of options.
“The Secret Life of a Coronavirus” is an essay I adapted from Life’s Edge for the Sunday Review in the New York Times. I consider whether viruses are alive–and how we set the line between the living and the non-living world. If you like the essay, you can order the book here.
I’m delighted to share the new cover of my next book, Life’s Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive. It will be on sale in March 2021, but you can pre-order it now. Not only can you strike it off your to-do list, but you’ll be doing me a big favor, because lots of pre-ordered books translates into extra attention when the book actually goes on sale. I’ll be updating my web site with more information about the book as the publication date approaches.
I was asked to give the keynote talk at “Science, Journalism, and Democracy: Grappling With A New Reality” at Rockefeller University on September 6, 2017 (video). This is what I said.
We’re here at this meeting to talk about science, journalism, and democracy. So let me begin by telling you about a newspaper article on a scientific experiment, an experiment that would end up having a major influence on government policy on a vital issue.
The vital issue was food. The experiment was carried out on wheat. Some varieties of wheat are known as spring wheat. They’re planted in the spring and grow soon afterwards. Winter wheat, on the other hand, is planted in the fall but does not produce its flowers till the spring. Winter wheat has the advantage of a much bigger yield. But there’s a catch. Continue reading “Let’s Not Lose Our Minds”