Peter Dizikes: Writings on Science and Society


E. Coli and You
Review of Microcosm: E. Coli and the New Science of Life, by Carl Zimmer.
By Peter Dizikes. The New York Times, June 29, 2008

Microcosm: E. Coli and the New Science of Life, by Carl ZimmerFrom Victorian England to contemporary America, creationists have often denied that we are related to other primates. But the hard truth of our genealogy does even greater damage to human pride. We are cousins of every living thing, including the billions of E. coli bacteria in our intestines. This kinship may not be flattering, but it is useful. By studying these tiny creatures, we learn about other organisms, including ourselves. As the French biologist Jacques Monod once said, “What is true for E. coli is true for the elephant.”

Carl Zimmer effectively applies this principle in his engrossing new book, “Microcosm,” relating the study of these microbes to larger developments in biology and thoughtfully discussing the social implications of science. If you must limit yourself to only one title on bacteria this year, “Microcosm” is a good pick.

The New York Times


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My work has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Slate, Salon, Technology Review, and numerous other publications. You can learn more about me here.

SELECTED ARTICLES BY PETER DIZIKES

E. Coli and You
The New York Times, June 29, 2008

The Meaning of the Butterfly
The Boston Globe, June 8, 2008

Joseph Needham's Grand Question
Seed, May/June 2008

Pure Science
The New York Times, April 13, 2008

Nature Nurtures Learning
The Boston Globe, December 31, 2007

Genes Open New Frontier in Privacy Debate
The Boston Globe, September 24, 2007

Cambridge Scientists Put on a Show
Nature Network Boston, May 1, 2007

Edward O. Wilson Sees Accord on Climate Action
The Boston Globe, January 29, 2007

Genome Human
The New York Times, July 30, 2006

Galileo Groupies
Slate, February 3, 2006

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Peter Dizikes: Writings on Science and Society


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Measure for Measure
Technology Review, July/August 2010

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