Richard Preston’s PANIC IN LEVEL 4

29 03 2010

This one was not what I was expecting.

I picked it up thinking it would be one of those “cutting edge of science,” look! these are the new wonders of the world! kind of things–and that it would all be about diseases and life inside the lab.

It wasn’t.

Panic in Level 4 is actually a collection of essays, lightly edited, from some paper or other whose name I didn’t bother to remember. One deals with ebola and laboratories, sure, but the rest are from utterly varied topics and everything suffers from my biggest pet peeve with all journalistic endeavours: the inherent superficiality of the medium. Instead of the in-depth, technical look into one field I knew I would find interesting I was presented with a series of hummingbird-swift glances into a wide array of subjects. Everything had been dumbed-down in order to be accessible to the “average reader.” boo.

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