- The current issue of The American Scholar (Winter 2012) contains a marvelous review of Physics on the Fringe by writer Sam Kean. Kean's extensive piece looks at two books, Physics on the Fringe, and The Infinity Puzzle by Frank Close. The latter is an account of the lives and work of physicists over the past half century who have been attempting to resolve major mathematical problems in theories such as quantum mechanics. Kean perceptively contrasts the different kinds of frustrations faced by outsiders and insiders, and ends by sympathizing openly with both sides.

"In the end, both books left me feeling pangs, but different pangs," he writes. "Scientists have built multi-billion-dollar particle accelerators to probe the limits of field theory, but many thousands of physicists working at accelerators have, sadly, become technical bureaucrats, with little autonomy or independence. However misguided, the characters in Physics on the Fringe are their own men, doing their own work, like Newton and Faraday, and other past heroes. In some ways, Wertheim's book is a a paean to small science."

Kean himself is the author of the entertaining book The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of Elements.

- In The Chronicle of Higher Education, science writer John Horgan has written an insightful essay about Physics on the Fringe and science outsiders. An "entertaining and philosophically provocative new book" Horgan declares.                                                                    [See previous post for text of full review.]

- Physics on the Fringe has also been sited on one of our favorite websites, HiLo-Brow.