2015 Winner: Young Adult Science Book
Extreme Medicine: How Exploration Transformed Medicine in the Twentieth Century, by Kevin Fong. The Penguin Press, 2014.
Kevin Fong is an anesthesiologist who is also trained in intensive care medicine. His work involves researching how humans survive extremes such as heat, cold, and trauma in environments that include outer space and the deep sea. In Extreme Medicine, Fong's strong narrative voice and his likening of medical discovery to extreme geographical exploration immerse the reader fully into a discussion of science, medical practice, and innovation.
He offers compelling stories of doctors and patients that include just enough detail to contextualize and educate without overwhelming, making this book a perfect choice for teen and young adult readers. Fong begins his story with the explorer Robert Falcon Scott's death by freezing in Antarctica in 1912 and ends with the medical issues presented by a future manned trip to Mars. His passion for his work as a doctor and his clear compassion for the ill (or harmed) shows in every case he describes. His curiosity taps the reader's curiosity. And, more than anything else, the unanswered questions invite young readers into the challenge of charting
About the Author
Kevin Fong, M.D., is the Consultant Anaesthetist at University College London (UCL) Hospitals and is Anaesthetic Lead for both the Patient Emergency Response Team and Major Incident Planning. He is an honorary senior lecturer in physiology at UCL, where he organizes and runs an undergraduate course, Extreme Environment Physiology. With degrees in medicine, astrophysics, and engineering, Fong is an expert on space medicine in the United Kingdom and is the co-founder of the Centre for Aviation Space and Extreme Environment Medicine at UCL. He is also known for his television appearances, particularly as a presenter of the long-running BBC2 science program, Horizon.