“The Disordered Cosmos” Review

Full Title: “The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey Into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred”
Written by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Published by Bold Type Books, March 2021
336 pages
Completed June 3, 2023

“In The Disordered Cosmos, Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein shares her love for physics, from the Standard Model of Particle Physics and what lies beyond it, to the physics of melanin in skin, to the latest theories of dark matter—along with a perspective informed by history, politics, and the wisdom of Star Trek.”

“One of the leading physicists of her generation, Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is also one of fewer than one hundred Black American women to earn a PhD from a department of physics. Her vision of the cosmos is vibrant, buoyantly nontraditional, and grounded in Black and queer feminist lineages.”

“Dr. Prescod-Weinstein urges us to recognize how science, like most fields, is rife with racism, misogyny, and other forms of oppression. She lays out a bold new approach to science and society, beginning with the belief that we all have a fundamental right to know and love the night sky. The Disordered Cosmos dreams into existence a world that allows everyone to experience and understand the wonders of the universe.”

Dr. Prescod-Weinstein included a chapter at the end of the book where she pointed out that while the book is challenging we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves if we don’t understand everything. Especially since it’s stuff that takes years for people to fully understand. The point is that we get ideas of different elements of physics and then learn more about the challenges anyone who is not white and male have faced when trying to become physicists. I got more out of that part of it than anything else really. The learning of how much needs to change to make learning more welcoming to all. It’s also always fun when a fellow Star Trek fan can use various quotes and ideas from the show to explain things or make a point. I do think some people will struggle to get through the beginning of the book as the language is a bit complex but physics is complex. I think this a book worth reading to learn about various issues.