Christopher Hart in The Times:
For all the achievements of science during the 20th century, its great heroic age, there remains a surprising number of absolutely fundamental questions still to be answered. Questions as basic as What Is Life? and Why Do We Die?
In this fascinating, bang-up-to-date report from the outer limits of scientific knowledge today, New Scientist writer Michael Brooks examines 13 of the most urgent scientific mysteries in turn.
One of the great discoveries of 20th-century science was that our universe is expanding. The discovery, however, led straight to another puzzle. The puzzle is, there's nowhere near enough matter to prevent the expanding universe from blowing apart completely into a vast, sterile infinity of lifeless interstellar dust. So how come we live in a lumpy universe, one of the lumps being the planet on which we live? There must be more matter than we can see: the famous dark matter and, to go with it, something even more mysterious – dark energy.
To date, however, there's not a shred of evidence for either, even though teams of scientists have been looking for years.