What’s Out There Now

There are nearly a dozen books published by Richard Dawkins on the shelves today, each built with passion, eloquence, and facts to expand your mind and instill a fresh respect for science and the world around us. What is different about his most recent book The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True, is that it is aimed for readers of a much younger age than his typical audience. The book is illustrated by Dave McKean, who created images so stunning and artful on their own that you almost don’t realize how helpful and supportive they are of the written material. Along with the illustrations, there are website links that Dawkins includes, and even an iPad app for the book that help make the reading experience more interactive for the younger reader growing up in a technological generation.

One might wonder at what age Dawkins’ current adult readers gained an interest in science, and what is the appropriate age to introduce science to children? Dawkins is taking a proactive stance with The Magic of Reality, and proving that a wonder for science can start at any age, given the right tools. The youth of today have an advantage today relative to the youth of a generation ago in that ease of acquiring knowledge about our world is at their finger-tips. But our youth are also at a disadvantage for several reasons. For one the recent economic problems have caused massive cuts in school funding which in turn often leads to a reduction in educational quality. In addition, some individuals misuse advancements in science and technology to spread non-science based information and entertainment. These problems have generated obstacles in successful and appropriate applications of our new and improved database of knowledge. Although these seem innocuous at first glance, the end result may be costly for everyone.