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Review: Inflight Science by Brian Clegg

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 6 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 6 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Inflight Science gives a brief tour of some major science concepts set loosely around the fact that you’re supposed to read it on a plane. There are miniature “experiments” to carry out whilst airborne (e.g. throwing a ball of paper in the air and noting that it doesn’t fly to the back of the plane), and all of the topics discussed are loosely associated with flying.

There’s nothing especially wrong with this concept. Its nature means that the explanations are brief, and the science discussed doesn’t go much above high-school level. Some of the links to being in-flight are tenuous at best: syphons are explained because toilets on planes don’t use them, for example.

My main complaints about this book are that it’s a touch simple, and a touch bland. There isn’t all that much about the science of flight, which is disappointing.

All-in-all, it’s a so-so book that whizzes through a few probably familiar scientific concepts. It might entertain you through a short flight, but you won’t be so riveted you’ll want to pick it up again once you land, and there are much better things you could be reading.

Inflight Science is available now from amazon.co.uk in paperback and on Kindle.

This 1,757th post was filed under: Book Reviews, .

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