Popular Science Journalism: Background information when reading Gulp

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Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

by Mary Roach

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  • First Published:
    Apr 2013, 336 pages
    Apr 2014, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Whitmore Funk

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Popular Science Journalism

Gulp is a book about the digestive system. Describe it this way and your friends are probably unlikely to read it. But if they're aware of the ways Mary Roach approaches her content by incorporating anecdotes, focusing on the unusual details, and including the memorable characters who have peppered her research, the whole experience becomes much more worthwhile.

Malcolm Gladwell The genre of popular science writing lies between academic literature and personal narrative. While Roach's particular brand of quirkiness is unique, a growing number of popular science writers are making the genre accessible to millions of readers. Among the contemporaries are Oliver Sacks, Dr. Atul Gawande and even Bill Bryson, who while more commonly perceived as a travel writer, has strong science writing credentials as well.

All these writers distinguish themselves by making science accessible to the layperson. Take for instance, Malcolm Gladwell, a staff writer at The New Yorker, whose technique of using ...

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