Penn State

Jennifer Miksis-Olds - Associate Professor of Acoustics, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

Author: Christopher Moore

Book Description:

I read Fluke at the very begininning of my graduate career. The book is a comical depiction of the field of marine mammal behaior and communication. Many of the names and institutions mentioned in the book are people and places I have come know, respect, and love in the course of my career. The author captures many of the same thoughts that I have had during fieldwork and interactions with marine mammals.  I often can't help but put myself in an animal's position and wonder what the animal thinks of the strange humans around it.  The author also perfectly captures that "Ah Ha" moment when a scientist observes something new and exciting and wants to share it with the world.  This moment is also usually followed by caution and doubt, "Is this really right?"

This is a must read for any scientist looking for a comic releif from the trials and tribulation of research.  Humor often provides perspective, and I found this book replenished my enthusiam for exploring the unknown.

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