Books in the Works

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Upcoming Books

Crafting carbon in prose

Three books are currently being written about deep carbon science. Each focuses on a different aspect of this new burgeoning field of science, and collectively they will serve to advance understanding the important contributing role of deep carbon in how Earth works. 
Principal Investigator and Executive Director of the Deep Carbon Observatory, Robert M. Hazen, is crafting Symphony in C: Carbon & the Evolution of (Almost) Everything. Hazen, both a scientist and musician, has authored more than 400 articles and 20 books on science, history, and music and has performed as a professional trumpeter for more than 40 years.  In this new work, he uses his knowledge of musical compositions as a muse to explain the complexities of carbon and why it is so important to life on Earth.
Hazen is composing Symphony in C in four movements, each of which explore carbon’s multi-faceted characteristics, as epitomized by the classical elements of the ancients—Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. The book will take readers on a fascinating journey about origins and evolution, stasis and change, science and technology, spanning almost 14 billion years of cosmic history, but utterly immediate and relevant today.

An early peek at a concept cover of Hazen's book, Symphony in C: Carbon & the Evolution of (Almost) Everything Credit: Robert M. Hazen

Hazen is uniquely qualified to write what promises to be a compelling, informative read. His work as a science writer has been recognized with the Distinguished Public Service Medal of the Mineralogical Society (2009), the ASCAP‑Deems Taylor Award (1989), the Educational Press Association Award (1992), and the Elizabeth Wood Science Writing Award (1998). His books have received widespread critical praise, most recently for The Story of Earth (Viking-Penguin 2012), which was a semi-finalist in the Winton (Royal Society) Science Book Prize, Finalist for the Sigma Xi Science Book Prize, and named to Kirkus Review’s list of the top 25 nonfiction books for 2012.
W. W. Norton & Company is publishing Symphony in C in early 2019.
Academic historian of science Simon Mitton is writing the second manuscript, Carbon from Crust to Core: A Chronicle of Deep Carbon Science. It will deliver the first history of deep carbon science, identifying and documenting the key discoveries, the impact of new knowledge, and the roles of deep carbon scientists and their institutions from the 1400s to the present. Cambridge University Press is publishing the book, which is slated for publication in 2019.
Mitton is the author or co-author of 15 science books for adults, the majority of which are in the fields of astronomy and planetary science. His history of science books include Fred Hoyle: A life in science (Joseph Henry Press, NAS Washington 2005; re-issued by Cambridge U Press 2011); Heart of Darkness: Unraveling the mysteries of the invisible universe (Princeton U Press, 2013); and an edited collection Cambridge Scientific Minds (Cambridge 2002). Mitton is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, Fellow of the Geological Society, London, and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
Whole Earth Carbon is a volume that will tell the story of what has been learned over the last decade about deep carbon in Earth: the magnitudes of fluxes of carbon between reservoirs; the different structural forms of carbon deep in the crust, mantle and core; the nature of carbon-bearing fluids; the extent and form of the deep biosphere; and how this picture of deep carbon has evolved over billions of years. The book will include applications of new instrumentation and monitoring that have arisen from DCO research, as well as links to online digital datasets and visualizations.
Set for publication in Fall 2019 by Cambridge University Press, the book will showcase the crosscutting, international research themes that have led to fundamental shifts in our understanding of the quantities, movements, forms, and origins of carbon in Earth’s system through space and time. As well as discussing the advances made in each area, the book will consider carefully the limits to knowledge for each research topic; and predictions of future developments and questions will round out the narrative.
Dr. Beth Orcutt (Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, USA), Prof Raj Dasgupta (Rice University, USA), and Prof Isabelle Daniel (Université Claude Bernard Lyon, France) are serving as editors of this edited volume of 22 chapters, written by DCO scientists. While conceived as an edited volume, the book will present the transformational achievements of the DCO not as a sequence of disparate papers, but as a coherent narrative. Each chapter will include a series of problem sets for use in graduate level coursework and graphics that can be integrated into deep carbon science curricula as well as downloaded for use in the research community.


1 November, 2016
Darlene Trew Crist, Synthesis Group 2019 manager

Robert M. Hazen is actively working on Symphony in C: Carbon & the Evolution of (Almost) Everything.  W. W. Norton & Company is publishing the book with a planned publication date in early 2019.
Simon Mitton is conducting interviews in preparation for writing Carbon from Crust to Core: A Chronicle of Deep Carbon Science.  Cambridge University Press is publishing the book, which is also slated for publication in 2019.
Check back regularly for updates of the authors’ progress.

Further Reading

Robert M. Hazen
Robert M. Hazen has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed articles on topics from mineralogy to geology to the origins of life and 20 books on science, history, and music. His work has been recognized by Fellowship in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Geological Society of America, the Geochemical Society, and the Mineralogical Society of America. He was the 2016 recipient of the Roebling Medal—the highest award in mineralogy, and has received many other science research awards.
The open access volume, Carbon in Earth, edited by Hazen, Adrian P. Jones, and John A. Baross, may be of particular interest to those awaiting Hazen’s latest manuscript. This volume serves as a benchmark for our present understanding of Earth’s carbon—both what we know and what we have yet to learn.

Hazen, R.M, 2012. The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet. Viking Penguin.

Trefil, J, and Hazen, R.M2012. The Sciences: An Integrated Approach. Wiley Plus.

Hazen, R.M, and Trefil, J. 2009. Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy. Anchor Books / Random House.

Hazen, R.M. 2005. Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origin. John Henry Press.

Trefil, J. and Hazen, R.M. 2004. Physics Matters: An Introduction to Conceptual Physics. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Hazen, R.M. 1999. The Diamond Makers.  Cambridge University Press.

Hazen, R.M. 1993. The New Alchemists: Breaking Through the Barriers of High Pressure. Times Books / Random House.

Hazen, R.M. 1988. The Breakthrough: The Race for the Superconductor. Summit Books / Simon & Schuster.

Hazen, R.M. and Singer, M. 1997. Why Aren't Black Holes Black? Anchor Books.

Hazen, R.M, and Trefil, J. 1991. Science Matters: The Principles of Science Simply Explained. Cassell.

Hazen, R.M. 1982. The Poetry of Geology. Unwin Hyman.


Simon Mitton
Simon Mitton is the author or co-author of 15 science books for adults, the majority of which are in the fields of astronomy and planetary science. The International Astronomical Union named the Minor Planet 4027 “Mitton” as a joint award to Simon and Jacqueline Mitton for “the dissemination of astronomy” through their writing and editorial activities.

Mitton, S. 2015. Fred Hoyle’s Birth Centennial. Astr. Geophys., 56: 6.10–6.14

O’Raifeartaigh, C., O’Keeffe, M., Nahm, W. and Mitton, S. 2015. Einstein's cosmology review of 1933: a new perspective on the Einstein-de Sitter model of the cosmos. Eur. Phys. J. H 40: 301–336

O’Raifeartaigh, C, and Mitton, S. 2015. A new perspective on steady-state cosmology: from Einstein to Hoyle. arXiv:1506.01651v1 (To be published in the
Proceedings of the 2014 Institute of Physics International Conference on the History of Physics', Cambridge University Press 2016, in press)

Southwood, D., Cowley, S. W. H., and Mitton, S, (eds). 2015. Magnetospheric Plasma Physics: The Impact of Jim Dungey’s Research. Springer, Heidelberg.

Ostriker, J. P. and Mitton, S. 2015. Heart of Darkness, Unlocking the Mysteries of the Invisible Universe. (paperback reprint of 2012 edition.) Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Mitton, S. 2015 Where is Fred Hoyle’s ‘Pale Blue Dot’ Prediction of 1948? Observatory, 134: 367–368.

O’Raifeartaigh, C., McCann, B., Nahm, W. and Mitton, S. Einstein’s steady-state theory: an abandoned model of the cosmos. Eur. Phys. J. H 39: 353–367

Mitton, S. 2014. How Beatrice Tinsley Destroyed Sandage’s Quest for a Standard Candle. Am. Astr. Soc., AAS Meeting #223, Abstract #90.06

Holder, R. D. and Mitton, S. 2012. Georges Lemaître: A Brief Introduction to His Science, His Theology, and His Impact. In Holder R. D. and Mitton, S (eds) Georges Lemaître: Life, Science and Legacy, Springer, Heidelberg, p 1–7.

Gold, T, and Mitton, S. 2012. Taking the Back off the Watch. Springer, Heidelberg.

Book image by Flickr user Banalities