Review – At the Edge of Uncertainty

Posted December 8, 2015 by Nicky in Reviews / 0 Comments

Cover of The Edge of Uncertainty by Michael BrooksAt the Edge of Uncertainty, Michael Brooks

I picked this up after attending the New Scientist “instant expert” workshop on consciousness. Michael Brooks introduced the lecturers and such, and chaired the Q&A session, and it was mentioned one of his books mentions epigenetics. Well, that’s possibly even more my thing than a workshop on consciousness, so of course I picked it up.

It’s an overview of the parts of science where we don’t quite know what’s happening. Where the story becomes blurred and you definitely don’t teach it in GCSE Physics, because even eminent scientists aren’t sure what to believe. It makes things we take for granted — the Big Bang, hereditary diseases mostly through DNA itself — a little shakier. So Brooks’ account is understandably speculative, just giving us a look at current thought in the field — the big ideas which could change the way we look at the world.

It’s reasonably easy to read, despite the big concepts, and I quite enjoyed it. If New Scientist works for you, then this is about the same level, to my mind. It covers a lot of areas of science and goes in-depth on none, so you certainly don’t need to be an expert. If you are finding the concepts a little difficult, I would suggest reading one chapter at a time and giving yourself time to digest the ideas — I did that with a couple of chapters.

Rating: 4/5

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