Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
The Beak of the Finch is a revolutionary work of scientific inquiry that tells the story of two evolutionary biologists engaged in an extraordinary investigation among the very species of Galapagos finches that inspired Darwin's early musings on the origin of species. For more than twenty years, Peter and Rosemary Grant of Princeton University have been monitoring generation after generation of these finches, observing them in the special circumstances that make the Galápagos archipelago a paradise for evolutionary research: an isolated population of birds that cannot easily fly away and mate with other populations and a food supply changing radically in a response to radical variations of climate. Thus the Grants have been able to see the size and shape of the beak of the finch adapt in a brief span of time, and have documented this evolutionary change through the birds' own DNA. As brilliantly recounted by Jonathan Weiner it is a dramatic story of groundbreaking scientific research that shows that natural selection is neither rare nor slow: it is taking place in real time, and we can watch.
PRAISE FOR Beak of the Finch:
"An engaging narrative of a modern scientific study that will forever change the way that we view evolution.... This is a rare book: The Beak of the Finch is at once absorbing scientific history, deftly crafted popular science treatise and engagingly personal narrative.... It has an important story to tell, not only of Darwin's finches and evolution but also of the way that forefront scientific research is carried out."
--The Los Angeles Times Book Review
"This book is an extraordinary achievement. It is carefully researched, impeccably crafted, unflinchingly dramatic, yet conscientiously scientific."
--School Library Journal
"The style and presentation of this book are first class. It is one of the best pieces of scientific writing that I have read in a long while."
"Evocative writing, exhaustive research, and Weiner's memorable portrait of the engaging Grants assure The Beak of the Finch membership in the select pantheon of science books that spark not just the intellect, but the imagination."
--Washington Post Book World
"Wise and intelligent.... Weiner's engrossing book shows just how profoundly Darwin underestimated the power of his own ideas."
"Admirable and much-needed...superb at explaining very complex scientific and philosophical concepts in lucid prose.... His triumph is to reveal of evolution and science work, and to let them speak clearly for themselves."--
The New York Times Book Review
NOMINEE - ALA Best Books for Young Adults
WINNER 1995 - Pulitzer Prize
Jonathan Weiner, formerly a writer and editor for The Sciences, is the author of Planet Earth, Time, Love, Memory, and The Next One Hundred Years. He lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with his wife and their two sons.