Book review – Science in Seconds by Hazel Muir


I cannot think of a better title for this than ‘Science in Seconds’. It literally does what it says on the tin (or in the title, but that’s less catchy!).

Every two pages in the book opens up into a mini encyclopaedia about a chosen scientific topic. In only a few sentences, the author managed to accurately sum up sometimes very dry and daunting topics into bite sized chunks that are way easier to stay engaged with. Every topic comes with a partnering simplistic diagram or schematic that marries everything together.

It really impressed me how many different areas this book managed to cover. Even within areas such as classic chemistry and futuristic spaceflight, there are a mixture of fundamental concepts and very specific topics. For instance, within the biology category there is a section on simply plants, yet also sections on kidney dialysis and extraterrestrial origins of life!

What’s more is there is a glossary and index at the back where you can look up assumed terms and track down the whereabouts of that pesky concept that you can’t find!

This book masters the art of public engagement with science in writing form, which I am extremely passionate about. It makes science fun and easy, contrary to the dull and elitist reputation it so often receives.

I have also since discovered that this book is part of a series of topics in seconds/minutes, with titles now available in philosophy, economics and psychology to name a few. So if you like the idea of ‘key concepts explained in an instant’ but for some reason think that another subject is BETTER than SCIENCE?!?! Then there are all sorts of other options out there too.

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