The Canon (Natalie Angier book)

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The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science
The Canon.jpg
Author Natalie Angier
Language English
Publisher Houghton Mifflin / Mariner Books
Publication date
2007 / 2008
Media type Hardcover / Paperback
ISBN 978-0-618-24295-5
LC Class Q162 .A59 2007
Preceded by Woman: An Intimate Geography

The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science is a book written by American science author Natalie Angier.


The Canon presents a summary of some of the different areas of science, as well as extensive descriptions of, and interviews with, contemporary scientists who work in these fields. Angier’s tenet is that an understanding of the basics of major areas of science can assist with providing a means by which to understand current scientific issues, and that this process should be fun. In her Introduction, Angier writes:

Of course you should know about science, for the same reason Dr. Seuss counsels his readers to sing with a Ying or play Ring the Gack: These things are fun, and fun is good.

Angier included quotes from the scientists she interviewed throughout her descriptions of different scientific topics in an attempt to show how scientists experience and think about their work, and why they do it.

Scientists interviewed[edit]

To obtain material for The Canon, Angier interviewed a number of scientists, professors, and other science professionals, and incorporated their stories and quotes into her work. She asked them questions such as, "What does it mean to think scientifically?" and "What should nonspecialist nonchildren know about science, and how should they know it, and what is this thing called fun?" Most of these scientists are presently active in their field of research. In addition, many of these scientists have extensive bodies of work listed in detail elsewhere. The below list links the science professionals who Angier interviewed for The Canon with additional details relating to their work:

External links[edit]