Ever wonder what draws someone to the field, say, of cytogenetics, the study of chromosomes? Or spectroscopy, the study of radiant energy emitted or absorbed by a burning chemical? In Sensational Scientists: The Journeys and Discoveries of 24 Men and Women of Science (Raincoast, $24.95) Barry Shell profiles the mature scientist and his or her life as a youngster, defines the science, and provides career advice for each field as well guidelines for hands-on activities and experiments.1-55192-727-6
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Great Canadian Scientists (Polestar $18.95)
Only 13 Canadians have ever won a Nobel Prize; ten of whom, including Dr. Michael Smith of UBC, are scientists profiled in Barry Shell's Great Canadian Scientists (Polestar $18.95).
Smith, a biochemist and molecular biologist, discovered site directed mutagenes - how to make a genetic mutation precisely at any spot in a DNA molecule. "If you ever see my behaviour start to change and I get a swelled head with all this attention," Smith said, after winning the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1993, "I want you to give me a good swift kick."
Initiated to increase awareness about the scientific community, Great Canadian Scientists combines an interactive website, a CD and a book as part of the Great Canadian Scientist project.
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SFU Author Nets Prize for Promoting Canadian Science
Simon Fraser University author Barry Shell is the recipient of the 2005 Science in Society book award, in the youth category, for his book Sensational Scientists. The award and $1,000 prize, presented on June 24 in St. John's, Newfoundland, honours outstanding contributions to science writing by Canadians and is given by the Canadian Science Writers' Association.
The book features profiles of 24 of Canada's greatest scientists. The book is based on personal interviews with the scientists, and expands on his work on the website science.ca, which profiles 248 Canadian scientists in 39 areas of expertise.
The website includes numerous science-based activities and questions, an ask-a-scientist facility and links to major Canadian science-related online resources. Funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council's PromoScience program will enable the launch of a French version of the site in September.
Shell, who lives in Vancouver, is also author of the book Great Canadian Scientists and a companion CD-ROM, which he created to promote the work and achievements of Canadian scientists.