PositiveThe Guardian (UK)There is a strong feminist slant here ... The best of these essays are the most personal, the ones in which Winterson’s life allows her to spot connections that others might miss ... All of this is thought-provoking and necessary—and sometimes very funny—but there’s no scenario here that someone hasn’t already imagined; no Shelleyan leap ... Then again, Winterson might be on to something when she suggests that in a future defined by connectivity and hybridity, love will be more meaningful than intelligence. Could love actually be intelligence, in a disembodied world? Maybe that’s romantic flim-flam. Maybe it’s a pointless question since it leads to another: what is love? But it has a certain appeal—not least because it could launch us on a new imaginative journey, and because in imagining something, we make it possible.
MixedThe Guardian (UK)The Crispr story is made for the movies. It features a nail-biting race, more than its fair share of renegades, the highest prize in chemistry, a gigantic battle over patents, designer babies and acres of ethical quicksand. It presents a challenge to a biographer, however, who has to pick one character from a cast of many to carry that story ... Focusing on Doudna also paints the Crispr story as more American than it was ... Isaacson remains a consummate portraitist...He understands the tensions that drive discovery and how flawed brilliant people can be. This story was always guaranteed to be a page-turner in his hands. It’s just that science has outgrown biography as a medium. His subject should have been Crispr, not Doudna.
PositiveThe Guardian (UK)Epidemic is a Greek word meaning \'on the people\', and until Hippocrates requisitioned it to refer exclusively to the spread of a disease, the Greeks applied it to anything that percolated through a population – from fog to rumour to civil war. What’s striking about Kucharski’s tale is how we’ve circled back to that pre-Hippocratic outlook ... One of the most interesting and topical parts of the book is about the mathematical modelling of fake news ... There may still be a lot of uncertainty around Covid-19, but one thing is clear: for Kucharski and his fellow modellers, it will be one more learning experience.