Ed Regis is a longtime science writer and the author of seven books, including What is Life?, The Info Mesa, and Who's Got Einstein's Office?. Most recently he was co-author, with George Church, of Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves.
ADVANCE PRAISE FOR MONSTERS A must for any aeronautical history buff, this book is as readable and entertaining as a high octane spy thriller and as informative as a semesters worth of graduate level seminars. Regis is a gifted writer with empathy for his subjects, even if they do sound bonkers. --Library Journal Wonderful... one of the most readable accounts of airship history that has recently been published. --Airships.net Much more than another book about the Hindenburg disaster. --Maclean's An engaging history of humankind's technological hubris. --Science News Fascinating... a fine history of Zeppelin and his disastrous airships. --Publishers Weekly A fine account of the rigid airship and... a thoughtful meditation on out-of-control technology. --Kirkus Reviews Monsters is both a fascinating historical narrative and a wakeup call to the dangers of technologies that capture our collective imagination--but come with staggering risks that seem obvious only in retrospect. As we move into an era of rapid advance in fields like genetic engineering, synthetic biology, and artificial intelligence, the forgotten lessons from technology's past are sure to become ever more relevant. --Martin Ford, author of Rise of the Robots Ed Regis has written an important book, one that should be required reading for scientists, engineers, politicians, and policy-makers pursuing The Next Big Thing. Focusing on the alluring and tragic Hindenburg, but examining as well such costly projects as the abandoned Superconducting Supercollider, Project Plowshare (earth moving using nuclear bombs!) and proposed Space Arks roaming the Cosmos, Regis shows how fascination with ill-considered mega-technology has generated both waste and human tragedy. This is a sobering yet fascinating picture of the human and material costs incurred when the unchecked dreams of zealots run amok. --Richard P. Hallion, Senior Adviser for Air and Space Issues, Directorate for Security, Counterintelligence and Special Programs Oversight, The Pentagon Monsters provides a very thoroughly researched and well-written explanation for how a nation, an industry, and wealthy passengers saw only the benefits of traveling in hydrogen-filled dirigibles and overlooked the potential hazards until the Hindenburg literally exploded on the news. Regis shows how the tunnel-vision lessons from this 1937 tragedy went unheeded in projects like using atomic bombs to excavate canals and harbors and DARPA's 100-year starship. --David Lochbaum, Director, Nuclear Safety Project and co-author of Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster The inevitability of the Hindenburg or a similar disaster serves as the centerpiece in Ed Regis's masterful and tragically humorous envisioning of our myopic infatuation with grandiose yet dangerous scientific projects. In the background lies the question of risks that may be suppressed in pursuit of large-scale contemporary technological ventures. --Wendell Wallach, author of A Dangerous Master