Book Review: About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang

When introducing his book “About Time: Cosmology and Culture at the Twilight of the Big Bang,” author Adam Frank tells us that he is setting out to “unfold the grandest conception of the universe we human beings have been able to imagine and explore. At the same time embracing our most intimate and most personal experience of the world — the very frame of human life.”

“This book is about time, both cosmic and human.”

For those interested in the complex journey of humanity through the cosmos, Frank does not fail in his quest to unravel the unique web of ‘time’ into a thread of understandable science. That is, if you can take a partially solved puzzle and write a book that connects the proverbial dots of known science and cultural anthropology with the partially understood theories of cosmology and related sciences.

Mission accomplished by Frank.

Upon first receiving this book, I was hopeful that Frank would present the material of thousands of years of science in a unique and interesting way; setting his writing apart from the hundreds of other astronomy books I’ve read. Frank, being a seasoned writer and astrophysics professor, did not disappoint. Frank takes you on a conversational journey, filled with real life examples, both personal and historical, to share his view of some of the most multifarious ideas being considered in our galaxy today.

The first few chapters are a review of compound science related to our galaxy, but Frank quickly dives into a discussion of how culture has been affected by the world around it. From there Frank draws a picture from intricate ideas and theories of how society fits in the larger puzzle of cosmology. All while focusing on the measurement of time.

If you are looking to take your perspective of cosmology to a new and deeper level, allow Adam Frank to steal some of your time and read his book “About Time”. Frank will surely have you viewing your society, history, and clock in a whole new perspective. Not to mention putting you on the forefront of scientific theories and cultural progress being considered in the world of cosmology.

Adam Frank is Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Rochester and a regular contributor to Discover and Astronomy magazines, and is the co-founder of National Public Radio’s popular 13:7 Cosmos & Culture blog. He won an American Astronomical Society Prize for his scientific writing. His first book was The Constant Fire: Beyond the Science vs. Religion Debate.