This Time It's NOT Personal

Why Science Says Get Over Yourself

Non-Fiction - General
194 Pages
Reviewed on 05/11/2015
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Author Biography

Sam Hicken, Ph.D. has received two national awards for research related to the psychology of computer use. His 1991 doctoral dissertation was designated best in its field. He’s been a university professor, Director of Informatics for a cutting-edge biotech company, and a consultant to the Infectious Diseases Division of the New Mexico State Health Department. His work spans computer science, cognitive psychology, and molecular biology, plus he’s authored dozens of computer databases and two pieces of commercial mathematics software. (EasyQuant was one of the first simple-to-use statistics programs for personal computers.)

He currently writes scientific and other fact-based humor, including This Time It’s NOT Personal, a book that Kirkus Reviews called “funny,” “irreverent,” and a “must read for the scientifically curious,” and which was a “very highly recommended” Reviewer’s Choice at Midwest Book Review. The book also received a gold medal award from Readers’ Favorite in the Non-Fiction -- Humor category.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Roy T. James for Readers' Favorite

Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, This Time It's NOT Personal: Why Science Says Get over Yourself by Sam Hicken Ph.D. is an inherently captivating read that is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. However, the author begins with an insurance, I suppose, by saying, 'There are flights of absurdist fancy interleaved with the science,' giving himself an escape route if things don’t go well. No, this well written work does not seem to be in need of any such thing, stating in the beginning, 'for a scientist the bitterest truth is better than the sweetest lie,' and thus it takes all issues head on.

Sam Hicken Ph.D. dwells on the origins of the universe and life, describing experiments of passing an electric spark to a mixture of carbon, hydrogen, etc. to find out how organic molecules came to life. Interwoven with a respectable amount of humor, he reminds us of a common research pitfall. While looking for connections when some things show up on the day of a full moon, people think, “Ah, full moon,” but on the other 28 days nobody thinks, “Ah, not full moon.” He has demonstrated the perspective view of the book’s theme; the descriptions are full of uncommon aspects of events and occurrences with, for example, people investing their IQ in buttressing their own case rather than in exploring the matter more thoroughly and evenhandedly.

With plenty of references to popular literature in related fields, and invoking all the known experts in its genre like Richard Dawkins, this book has the potential to hold the attention of many a reader. Easy to understand and with a flowing narrative, this is a good addition to one's library. The book ends with a comment that is so true: Life is the dancer, lighten up and enjoy the show.