Synopses & Reviews
On the Nature of Things
commemorates a photojournalistic genius whose passion for his subject has rarely been equalled and whose pioneering techniques continue to define contemporary science/technological photography. Accompanied by commentary from Nobel prize-winning scientists, Goro's extraordinary images create a work of expertise and enchantment.
For almost fifty years, Fritz Goro gave Life magazine readers of all ages an eyewitness view of the greatest scientific and technological breakthroughs of our time. The splitting of the atom; the deciphering of DNA; the invention of the hologram; the coming of fiber optics, lasers, computers, microsurgery--these are only a handful of the momentous discoveries he captured in his consummately innovative photography, providing an intimate look at the way new phenomena work and revealing as never before the infinite shapes and dazzling lights and colors that comprise the universe.
It was Goro who went on-site with the Manhattan Project, actually standing on ground zero while it was still radioactive from the A-bomb test; who first photographed blood circulation in living animals; who documented a minute quality of plutonium as it was being produced, thus marking a milestone of the nuclear age; who captured a fetal image so hauntingly universal, it became the inspiration for the Starchild in Stanley Kubrick's film 2001. Perhaps most remarkable of all, he photographed the first model of explanation of the atom. Photographing subjects that were sometimes abstract and often evasive, Goro became a master of technical improvisation; in order to translate atomic physics visually, he used four lenses of different focal lengths, rotated the film position fifteen times, and made a total of thirty-three different exposures one one sheet of eight-by-ten color film.
Nearly a decade after his death, Aperture accords Fritz Goro the tribute he so richly deserves with the first comprehensive collection of his landmark work. More than a handsome book of 159 photographs, On the Nature of Things draws the reader into the environment of each depicted breakthrough with an immediacy intensified by the comments of eminent scientists--all international leaders in their respective fields, many of whom worked closely with Goro while he was visualizing their great achievements. Among them are Dr. Lennart Nilsson of Stockholm, one of the greatest of all medical photographers; Professor Ilya Prigogine, Nobel laureate in rotating chemical reactions; Professor Glenn Seaborg, Nobel prize-winner in medicine, neurology professor David Hubel; and Oliver Sacks, neurologist and celebrated author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Anthropologist Stephen Jay Gould, one of the most widely read scientific writers of our time, supplies an introduction; while Goro's grandsons, Thomas, Peter, and Stefan Goreau, all respected scientists, contribute to a biographical essay.
Beautiful, startling, enlightening, On the Nature of Things shines with a rare fascination.
About the Author
Stephen Jay Gould
is a professor of Geology and Zoology at Harvard University, and the Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and has taught at Harvard since 1967 as a professor of Geology, and since 1982 as a professor of Zoology. His books and magazine articles have made him one of the most widely read science authors of our time. Gould has received over thirty honorary degrees and numerous awards. Among his literary awards are the 1981 National Book Award in Science for The Panda's Thumb
; the 1982 National Book Critics Circle Award in general nonfiction for The Mismeasure of Man
; and the 1983 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association for The Mismeasure of Man
. In 1991 Gould was a nominee and finalist for the Pulitzer prize in nonfiction for Wonderful Life
. Gould has served on the editorial boards of Systematic Zoology
, and American Naturalist
. He currently is on the board of editors of Science
Thomas J. Goreau, Peter Goreau, and Stefan Goreau are the grandsons of Fritz W. Goro. Raised in Jamaica, they began swimming as soon as they could walk, accompanying their father, Thomas F. Goreau, on his pioneering diving research on coral reefs. All three were educated in Jamaican schools. Thomas J. received degrees in planetary physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in planetary astronomy from California Institute of Technology, and in biogeochemistry from Harvard. A former professor and researcher in the United States, Jamaica, and Brazil, and Senior Scientific Affairs Officer at the United Nations Center for Science and Technology for Development, he is now president of the Global Coral Reef Alliance, a nonprofit research and education organization focused on coral reef protection, and Scientific Advisor to the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society in Jamaica. Peter received degrees in geology from the University of Bristol, and in geophysics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. A former college professor, he now works mainly on sculpture, painting, and poetry. Stefan holds degrees in zoology and fisheries from the University of Washington. He has been a researcher at Sweden's National Fisheries Institute, and plans to pursue research in aquaculture.