New research and innovations in the field of science are leading to life-changing and world-altering discoveries like never before. What does the horizon of science look like? Who are the scientists that are making it happen? And, how are we to introduce these revolutions to a society in which a segment of the population has become more and more sceptical of science? Climate change is the biggest challenge facing our nation, and scientists are working on renewable energy sources, meat alternatives, and carbon dioxide sequestration. At the same time, climate change deniers and the politicization of funding threaten their work. CRISPR, (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) repurposes bacterial defence systems to edit genes, which can change the way we live but also presents real ethical problems. Optogenetics will help neuroscientists map complicated neural circuitry deep inside the brain, shedding light on treating Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Zimmer also investigates phoney science ranging from questionable "health" products to the fervent anti-vaccination movement. Zimmer introduces readers to the real people making these breakthroughs. Concluding with chapters on the rise of women in STEM fields, the importance of US immigration policies to science, and new, unorthodox ways of DIY science and crowdsource funding, The State of Science shows where science is, where it is heading, and the scientists who are at the forefront of progress.
Marc Zimmer is the Jean C. Tempel '65 Professor of Chemistry at Connecticut College and the author of Glowing Genes, the first popular science book on jellyfish and firefly proteins; Illuminating Diseases (Oxford University Press 2015); and three books for young adults. His writing has appeared in USA Today and the Los Angeles Times, and he has been interviewed and quoted in the Economist, Science and Nature.