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I'm a Science Teacher, Nature Photographer, Husband, Father, and Grandfather who loves to explore the natural world by traveling, photographing and thinking. 

MINDS WORK BEST WHEN OPEN!  

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Adventures Among Ants - a Brief Book Review.

Last year I had the great privilege to meet Dr. Mark Moffett, one of the world's leading researchers of ants when he came to speak to my students. He was one of the  most personable and exciting (and excited!) scientists I have ever met. His stories of life among  ants mesmerized my students and left them aching for more. In short, Mark made ants interesting and exciting to boys who usually saw them as little more than a backyard nuisance.

Image © 2010 David Kennerly

Mark recently released his latest book, "Adventures Among Ants - A Global Safari With a Cast Of Trillions" and I wrote a brief review for Amazon .com which I am sharing here as well. Mark's work and photography is absolutely amazing. If you are looking for a read that encompasses, science, adventure, war, labor relations, sex, slavery, and all the drama to be found in a mega society - this is your book! 

  • To visit Mark's blog you can click HERE.
  • Mark's main website is HERE
  • Mark's recent interview  with the LA Times is HERE


Adventures Among Ants - A Review

Adventures Among Ants is a very exciting book to me as a middle school biology teacher. In our modern world, most of the significant discoveries in the life sciences are made by teams working in university and corporate labs. While very important, the thrill of modern scientific discovery rarely makes its way down to the young, budding scientists in middle school. As a result, we see fewer and fewer students getting interested in science careers because they seem sterile to the 12-year-old mind.


Mark Moffett and this unique book help to reverse this trend. Mark and his style of sharing his research recalls a time when scientific discovery carried with it an air of exuberance and excitement. When you read this book, you care about the ant societies Mark chronicles and he helps you see the connections to our own societal triumphs and foibles.

In the modern world where young people with an "exploratory mindset" may feel that there are few "blank spaces left on the map", a person like Mark Moffett comes along and helps them see that the remaining "blank spaces" are still there just perhaps a bit more subtle than they were in the great age of exploration.

As an informational source, Adventures Among Ants is great, but It's greater value to science lies in its ability to inspire future scientists to embark upon adventures among their own interests. As such, it follows in the great tradition of works such as Jane Goodall's "in the Shadow of Man", Dian Fossey's "Gorillas in the Mist", or Richard Preston's "The Hot Zone". Due to its inspirational quality, I have added Adventures Among Ants to my recommended reading list.

Simply put, this book will change lives!


John S. Mead  May 29, 2010

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