For those who wonder whether polywater has anything to do with frogs or suppose that the global village is something geodesic, for lovers of language, for the serious student of science, and (of course!) for just plain Asimov fans—this is the book, an informal and entertaining survey of the language of modern science.
All sorts of words, everything from antideuterons to quarks, gerontology to gibberellin, hallucinogens, solar wind, sickle cell anemia, parapsychology, and pulsars find their way into this useful, enjoyable collection.
Two hundred and fifty page-long explanations, thoroughly indexed, open up to the ordinary reader over one thousand different terms from all fields of science. Drawing especially upon scientific fact and language history, they go far beyond narrow definitions to provide a feast of valuable information.
To readers who enjoyed WORDS OF SCIENCE (first published in 1959) MORE WORDS, a whole fresh collection of terms, will be especially welcome. Dr. Asimov, never one to let fascinating information go unshared, brings his audience happily up to date.
This is the last of the “word” books, a series which started a decade earlier with Words of Science. Here the Good Doctor takes us through some of the key terms of the various sciences which didn’t make it into the earlier book, either because there wasn’t room, or because the word hadn’t been invented yet, or because the word hadn’t come into prominent use yet. In general, it’s a virtual carbon copy of Words of Science in terms of quality. The one exception is that Asimov here abandoned cross-references between the various essays making up the book. This is done to make the individual essays more stand-alone and succeeds, but it also means that there is less possibility of starting out somewhere and embarking on a long journey of serendipity, ending up somewhere completely different. Still, that’s a quibble. It’s an excellent book.