Review: Why are Orangutans Orange? (2011)
Why are Orangutans Orange? is yet another instalment in the popular Last Word series from the New Scientist. I say yet another as this is a series that could go on endlessly, given science never runs out of questions. Thankfully these questions and answers are entertaining and therefore that is no bad thing.
This follows the previous format where a question is provided by a reader and answered by readers, some of whom are experts, some of whom have a layman’s knowledge but some personal experience. A slight difference in the format is this title in the series includes photographs – a nice addition to the book.
They do say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and this applies here. They have the winning format, with a variety of questions on various topics and a good array of answers.
Indeed about the only issue I have with the book is that sometimes the array of answers can create confusion about what the correct answer is, therefore don’t read this book expecting to come away with definitive knowledge. You may be left wondering about the exact answer, given that some of the reader responses go in very different directions. However, that in itself is something that has always been a bonus in the Last Word column.
Science is all about questions and all about questioning answers and nowhere more aptly demonstrates this than in the Last Word. Embracing the culture of constantly seeking to challenge, constantly looking to know more, constantly questioning and welcoming participation, this is a great example of science at its best. Interesting, fun, collaborative and entertaining – another excellent instalment.
Book Source: NetGalley