The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not 'Eureka!', but 'That's funny...
Praise for 13 Things that Don’t Make Sense
This entertaining and often provocative book examines such mysteries as dark matter and dark energy, the prospect of life on Mars, sex and death, free will and the placebo effect, among other head-scratchers...The book is at its best when Brooks throws himself into the action. He undergoes transcranial magnetic stimulation to test the assumption that he has free will, and subjects himself to electric shocks for a placebo-response test...This elegantly written, meticulously researched and thought-provoking book provides a window into how science actually works, and is sure to spur intense debate.
- New Scientist
A boundless enthusiasm resounds through this homage to the outstanding problems of science
– SEED magazine
Brooks expertly works his way through... hotly debated quandaries in a smooth, engaging writing style reminiscent of Carl Sagan or Stephen Jay Gould. At times, as I was deeply engrossed in parts of this book, I found myself as captivated and wide-eyed as I was decades ago when I picked up my first science books and found my calling. Mr Brooks has the ability to make his readers forget their surroundings – in my case a hectic newsroom – and train their minds' eyes on images as foreign as a vast Martian landscape or as distant as a roiling, infant universe. Every mystery is brought to life in vivid detail, and wit and humor are sprinkled throughout
– Anahad O'Connor, THE NEW YORK TIMES Science Times 'Really?' columnist and author of NEVER SHOWER IN A THUNDERSTORM
…perfect for drying off from a dip in the pool or arming yourself with cocktail party chatter at a Mensa event
– USA Today
WOW! is one of the things that Michael Brooks includes here – it is the signal from space that may have come from an alien civilization – but it’s also the way I feel about this book’s magical mystery tour. You will be amazed and astonished you when you learn that science has been unable to come up with a working definition of life, why death should happen at all, why sex is necessary, or whether cold fusion is a hoax or one of the greatest breakthroughs of all time. Strap yourself in and prepare for a WOW! of an experience
– Richard Ellis, author of THE EMPTY OCEAN and TUNA: A Love Story Story
Brooks provides cogent character sketches as he introduces the scientists involved in these investigations. He also effectively plays the gadfly, taking potshots at the scientific orthodoxy these phenomena call into question
– Kirkus reviews
These examples of the hard work of paradigm shift are truly fascinating. Brooks examines the uncomfortable phase that comes before a radical change in scientific thought—or the failure of a proposed model
- Library Journal