Reviews and Press

For press inquiries about Physics on the Fringe, please contact:

Sara Mercurio, Walker/Bloomsbury USA.
Phone: 310.822.4536


See here for a video interview  where Margaret discusses the book, with excerpts from her film about Carter's life and work, from ABC Radio National's program The Science Show.


- "Margaret Wertheim writes beautifully, passionately, and with great humanity about a most unusual mind. This book is ultimately about big things: What is science? What is the universe? And who says?" — Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein.


- "Margaret Wertheim's book discusses her encounters with natural philosophers. She is interested in them as characters in a human tragedy, with the seriousness and dignity that tragedy imposes." -- Review by Freeman Dyson, The New York Review of Books.


“With insight, wit, and warmth, Wertheim offers a look into the hearts and minds of the “outsider” physicists.”

“[A] witty review of ‘outsider physicists’ ... a potent reminder that today’s cranks may be deemed tomorrow’s geniuses.”

“[A] compassionate look at those on the fringe .... an accessible guide to the world of the weird."

- Wall Street Journal
“In an elegant narrative Ms. Wertheim has taken on one of the knottiest conundrums in the philosophy of science, the demarcation problem—that is, how to find criteria to define the boundary between science and pseudoscience... [a] splendid book." -- Review by Michael Shermer.

"[An] entertaining and philosophically provocative new book." -- Review by John Horgan

"Fascinating, bizarre, and provocative…[a] brilliant thesis…Any reader who found pleasure and excitement in The Men Who Stare at Goats or Sex and Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons will derive similar joy from this finely wrought, sympathetic, and stimulating survey of gonzo ingenuity in the service of science.” -- Review by Paul Di Filippo.

- NATURE  -- Q+A with author Margaret Wertheim. 

- NEW SCIENTIST  -- Opinion Piece by Margaret Wertheim

- NPR's "ON POINT" -- Radio interview with Margaret Wertheim.

- TALK RADIO NETWORK -- Michio Kaku interviews Margaret Wertheim.

"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." -- Review by Sam Kean

"Wertheim really likes Carter. And, reading this at times beautifully written book, we like him too, and we like her for liking him." -- Review by Michael Gordin, Professor of History, Princeton University.

"Wertheim approaches these 'outsider physicists' with sincerity and generosity."-- Review by Lizzie Wade.

- THE AGE (Melbourne, Australia)
"After reading this stimulating book, I might be tempted at least to open the next offbeat email or tatty envelope that comes my way."  -- Review by Peter Spink.

"Physics on the Fringe" is a portrait of the contemporary community of outsider physicists, but it is also a work of history and philosophy. Wertheim shows that there always have been passionate amateurs storming the gates of mainstream science, and she considers the profound need these outsiders have to define the world on their own terms." -- Review by Rebecca Oppenheimer.

- KCET  
What makes the book such a treat is Wertheim's fundamental respect for outsider theorists, her obvious affection for Carter, and her aesthetic appreciation of the often extraordinary visual renderings of the oddball theories put forward." -- Review by Holly Willis.

- NOT EVEN WRONG website   
"An important book, one which raises in an interesting way fundamental issues about how people think about and conduct research into fundamental theoretical physics." - Review by Peter Woit, Professor of Mathematics, Columbia University.

“A deeply humanistic study that celebrates the independent investigations of historical and contemporary self-made scientists."-- Review by Lisa Stone, in the leading journal of outsider art.

“Wertheim raises an important question with broader ramifications: Since ‘anyone can publish a theory of physics online, what can be, or will be, or should be, our criteria for credibility in this field?"

Essay by Margaret Wertheim about Jim Carter's theory of cosmic creation.

- Physics on the Fringe on website HiLo-Brow.

- Physics on the Fringe discussed on Bloggingheads TV.


- "With a vivid storyteller's glee, Margaret Wertheim spins us one of those wide looping yarns that starts out all in good antic fun, only to become more and more confoundingly profound." — Lawrence Weschler, author of Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder.


- "Wonderfully captures both the pathos and the brilliance hidden in a venerable tradition of science: the quixotic amateur who thinks he might have figured out the answer to the mysteries of the universe." Paul Collins, author of The Murder of the Century.


A chapter from Physics on the Fringe is included in the volume Best Australian Science Writing 2012. In reviews Physics on the Fringe is singled out for praise:

Canberra Times review: "The most stylish inclusion is extracted from Physics on the Fringe by Margaret Wertheim."

Cosmos review: "a compelling exploration of scientific imagination and eccentricity amid the new physics."

Australian Review of Books review: "one of the gems comes from Margaret Wertheim."


For Rights and Permission about Physics on the Fringe, please contact:

Michelle Tessler
Tessler Literary Agency
27 West 20th Street, Suite 1003
New York, NY 10011

Phone: (212) 242-0466