Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Zoobiquity by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers

Age Group: Adult
Genre: Popular Science
Pub Date: June 2012
Publisher: Virgin Books

A time ago I wanted to be a vet. So when I came across this book it sparked a curiosity in me. There are very few medical popular science books around, and even fewer veterinary related ones. And I have to say it was a truly illuminating book, and one anyone interested in medicine (be it animal or human) or science should read.

Although written by two authors, Zoobiquity is written from the perspective of Dr Natterson, a doctor, and her journey discovering comparative medicine. The book is very easy to follow, and you don't need a insane amount of scientific knowledge to read it (which in my experience, a lot of "mainstream" popular science requires). I'm only 19, but I could have easily read this book at 16.

Zoobiquity takes us on a journey comparing important issues in the medical community (obesity, cancer, STD's, mental health) with how they play out in the animal kingdom. And the facts you learn from it! Did you know dinosaurs got cancer? 

The way the book is written in an accessible way. The work doesn't feel "dumbed down", yet it doesn't make you feel stupid reading it. It's written in a friendly tone, with a few popular culture references, but sounds intelligent enough to be taken seriously.

More importantly, it feels like you're reading a revolutionary book. Right at the beginning, the book states that doctors and vets barely talk to each other, and I have the sneaking suspicion that she's right. This book is written to draw attention to the overlap between animal and human medicine, to encourage more discussion, and to look for ideas and cures outside the realms of the human hospital and into the natural world.

It is by no means an easy read, it requires you to think. But isn't that what you want from a good science book?

Rating: 9/10

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