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Litmus: Short Stories from Modern Science by…
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Litmus: Short Stories from Modern Science

by Ra Page (Editor)

Other authors: Frank Cottrell Boyce (Contributor), Kate Clanchy (Contributor), Annie Clarkson (Contributor), Stella Duffy (Contributor), Maggie Gee (Contributor)12 more, Sarah Hall (Contributor), Tania Hershman (Contributor), Trevor Hoyle (Contributor), Michael Jecks (Contributor), Zoe Lambert (Contributor), Alison MacLeod (Contributor), Sara Maitland (Contributor), Adam Marek (Contributor), Brien O, Sean (Contributor), Christine Poulson (Contributor), Jane Rogers (Contributor), Emma Jane Unsworth (Contributor)

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This collection features short fiction, each with a theme of a significant scientific discovery. The idea is to tell a compelling story, yet be more realistic about the 'eureka moment', without resorting to the frequent (but false) trope of a lone genius being gifted with a stroke of insight by the universe. Each story was written in consultation with a scientist in a related field (sometimes the story subjects themselves!), who have also contributed afterwords. Unfortunately, in my opinion, many of the stories miss the mark and some of the afterwords are more compellingly written.
+ means hit, - means miss:

+ The Pitch by Frank Cottrell Boyce, aftw by Kathryn Harris
Jeremiah Horrocks observes the transit of Venus.
- Patience by Jane Unsworth, aftw by Dr Zoe Schnepp
Mendeleev realizes that a pattern with gaps fits best.
+ Swan, 1914 by Sean O'Brien, aftw by John Clayson
Electric light by trial and error of Joseph Swan.
- The Special Theory by Michael Jeks, aftw by Prof Jim Al-Khalili
Special Relativity and family tragedy.
- Everything is Moving, Everything is Joined by Stella Duffy, aftw by Dr Robert Appleby
Herman Minkowski, his space-time and the romance of his parents.
+The Woman Who Measured the Heavens with a Span by Sara Maitland, aftw by Dr Tim O'Brien
Henrietta Leavitt's pioneering work on Cepheid variable stars.
- What Kind of Dog by Annie Clarkson, aftw by Dr John Wearden
Pavlov and his dogs.
+ Crystal Night by Zoe Lambert, aftw by James Sumner
Lise Meitner and the fission of nuclei, as well as that of human dignity.
- Morphogenesis by Jane Rogers, aftw by Dr Martyn Amos
Alan Turing's idea symmetry breaking in biology via chemical signals.
+ The Heart of Denis Noble by Alison MacLeod, aftw by Prof Denis Noble
Beating hearts and salacious legal proceedings.
- We are all Made of Protein by Tania Hershman, aftw by Nick R. Love
Squeezing jellyfish for Fluorescent Green Protein.
+ In Search of Silence by Adam Marek, aftw by Dr Tim O'Brien
Cosmic Microwave Background discovery as a children's science project.
+ Living with Insects by Maggie Gee, aftw by Dr Matthew Cobb
W.D. Hamilton and altruism: fitness is more than survival.
- Bride Hill by Kate Clancy, aftw by Sarah Fox
The hippocampus, memory, Alzheimer's.
+ What If? by Christine Poulson, aftw by Dr Angharad Watson
Polymerase Chain Reaction and the eureka moment of Kary Mullis.
- Monkey See, Monkey Do by Trevor Hoyle, aftw by Prof Giacomo Rizzolatti
Mirror neurons, from a primate point of view.
- That is the Day by Sarah Hall, aftw by James Higgerson
AIDS, today and yesteryear. ( )
  igor.kh | May 13, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Page, RaEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boyce, Frank CottrellContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clanchy, KateContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Clarkson, AnnieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Duffy, StellaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gee, MaggieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hall, SarahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hershman, TaniaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoyle, TrevorContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jecks, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lambert, ZoeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacLeod, AlisonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Maitland, SaraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marek, AdamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
O,Brien, SeanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Poulson, ChristineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rogers, JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Unsworth, Emma JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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