Saturday, May 16, 2009

Eugenie Samuel Reich

Eugenie Samuel Reich is a former editor at New Scientist. She has written for Nature, New Scientist, and The Boston Globe, and is known for her hard hitting reports on irregular science. Several of her reports have resulted in institutional investigations.

Her new book is Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World.

A few days ago I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I just finished Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, a detective story set in a fourteenth century monastery. Crammed with challenging linguistic references, history of medieval Europe, and unfamiliar religious details, the book is hard work to follow, but it’s worth it. The story follows two monks, William of Baskerville and his apprentice, Adso of Melk, who are invited to visit an Italian monastery to solve a suspected case of suicide. As more deaths occur the two are swept into an intrigue that revolves around the monks’ rich but inaccessible library.

I really appreciated the pacing of the narrative: with clues coming slightly slower than events, there is no way to avoid the apocalyptic ending.
Learn more about Plastic Fantastic and the author's other work at Eugenie Samuel Reich's website.

--Marshal Zeringue