Principal Investigator and Executive Director of the Deep Carbon Observatory, Robert M. Hazen, has crafted a delightful exploration of carbon, entitled: 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.
Symphony in C in segmented into 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 takes 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. W.W. Norton and Company is publishing the book, with a public release in June 2019. The book also has been picked up by British (Harper Collins Publishers Limited), Chinese (Phoenix Science Press), and Russian distributors and will be the main selection of the June catalog for the Library of Science book club.
Here's a look at some early reviews:
Beyond the science, Hazen brings the process of scientific investigation to life. Whether he’s describing the way researchers measure the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by volcanoes, and the grave risks associated with such endeavors, or how animals first produced calcium carbonate shells for protection, Hazen conveys the delight he finds in the process of understanding the world around him. Even while demonstrating just how much humanity has learned about the “element of life,” his enthusiastic survey also shows the limits of existing knowledge and the potential for future discoveries in an exciting field. Publishers Weekly.
An appealing popular-science account of carbon, the “giver of life.”.....A skillful account of the central element in our lives. Kirkus Reviews
Hazen's 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. Hazen was the 2016 recipient of the Roebling Medal -- the highest award in mineralogy -- and has received many other science research awards. His scientific knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject matter shine through in this, his latest, book.