Nice work if you can get it..

I’ve just discovered that my review of Steven Weinberg’s new book “Cosmology” has been published today in the American journal Science. ( I think the link will only work if you or your institution has a subscription to the magazine.) It’s quite a nice job getting to review books like this, not because you get paid a lot (in fact, usually you don’t get paid at all), but because you get a free copy of the book and there is a clear incentive to read it. Reviews themselves are quite easy to do, as they’re usually only around a thousand words so don’t take more than an hour or so to rattle off.

The case of this particular book is quite unusual, thought, because Science usually only includes reviews of popular-level books, and this one is very technical. However, because Weinberg is such an eminent and well known physicist and this work is a long-awaited update of his classic Gravitation and Cosmology (published in 1972), it makes an interest subject for a review even if it is probably impossible for a non-specialist to actually read and understand all of it. It’s definitely not for the mathematically faint-hearted. In the review I stayed off the mathematical details and tried to explain how this book exemplifies the changes that have taken place in cosmology over the past thirty or forty years. Anyway, as you will see if you read the review, I liked the updated book a lot but I think it’s definitely for connoisseurs rather than absolute beginners.

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