Stardust Revolution, by Jacob Berkowitz (2012)

Genre: Nonfiction
Interest Level: 15-Adult
Stardust Revolution I’m not sure why I keep stumbling across these, but here’s another absolutely brilliant pop science contribution by a Canadian. Berkowitz is a science writer from the Ottawa area, and the author of great nonfiction books for kids like Jurassic Poop: What Dinosaurs (and Others) Left Behind and Out of this World: The Amazing Search for an Alien Earth.. This new title introduces adult readers (though he’s long written for newspapers and magazines) to what may be the most beautiful hand at nonfiction writing I’ve ever seen. Whether it’s his description of the impact of Bunsen’s work or the search for exoplanets, Berkowitz does it elegantly, clearly and beautifully. At heart, he’s a storyteller, and turns what could be lifeless scientific information into a saga that amazes and enthralls. In Stardust Revolution, Berkowitz makes a compelling case that when it comes to science and origin of life, we are in the throes of a third intellectual revolution. First was the Copernican Revolution, which shifted our focus from Earth as centre of the universe to the Sun as centre of our world. Then the Darwinian Revolution, causing us to revise our view of biology from Divine to evolutionary. Now, we have the Stardust Revolution. In this highly readable tome, Berkowitz draws clear connections between historic scientists like Newton, Darwin, Bunsen, Curie and today’s researchers, who have taken the great work done before them and moved it right out into space, proving that not only are we made of the same stuff as stars, but we are in fact chemically connected to the universe like mother to daughter. Whoa. Berkowitz brings the reader right to the current decade, discussing the new work of the Kepler Mission of exoplanet research in the Kuiper belt and beyond.
Superb endnotes and a great index add even more value, though I would have liked a timeline listing the great thinkers (I had to keep flipping back to figure out who did what) and a periodic table of the elements, for those of us who don’t know it off by heart.
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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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