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Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by
Call Number: QC 24.5 R68313 2016
From NPR: "How to explain the magic of this book? This is physics as philosophy. It's a heartfelt appreciation of the power of the simple to explain the profound. Carlo Rovelli's seven life lessons — derived from explorations into the origins of the universe — are beautifully written meditations that can clear our minds and bring us to the edge of the divine."
The Glass Universe: how the ladies of the Harvard Observatory took the measure of the stars by
Call Number: QB 34.5 S63 2016
From NPR: ""Pickering's Harem" — the women hired as assistants at the Harvard Observatory — have existed on the fringes as fleeting mentions in contemporary scientific publications, or tucked into the footnotes of astronomy texts. So Dava Sobel's The Glass Universe is a parallel discovery — of the women, and of the work. Her subjects are supernaturally intrepid; Sobel teases out their doubts, frustrations and triumphs. But the sky comes first, and the book's true passion is the staggering impact of their work and the struggle to have it recognized. Pickering's Harem shaped the way we organize the universe; The Glass Universe makes that discovery a joy."
New Celebrity Scientists by
Call Number: Q 141 F24 2015
Fahy traces the career trajectories of Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, Stephen Jay Gould, Susan Greenfield, and James Lovelock. He demonstrates how each scientist embraced the power of promotion and popularization to stimulate thinking, impact policy, influence research, drive controversies, and mobilize social movements. He also considers critical claims that they speak beyond their expertise and for personal gain. The result is a fascinating look into how celebrity scientists help determine what it means to be human, the nature of reality, and how to prepare for society’s uncertain future.
Shortlist: Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize 2016 (formerly Winton Prize)
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's new world by
Call Number: Q 143 H9 W85 2015
2016 Prize winner
From Royal Society: "Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist. More things have been named after him than anyone who has ever lived – towns, rivers, mountain ranges, a penguin, a giant squid and even the mare Humboldtianum on the moon. He inspired generations of thinkers and writers – Darwin set sail on the Beagle because of Humboldt, Napoleon was jealous of him and Captain Nemo in Jules Verne’s famous Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea owned all of his books. Yet today he is almost forgotten. The Invention of Nature brings this remarkable man back to life."
Cure: A Journey into the science of mind over body by
Call Number: RC 489 M53 M36 2016
From Royal Society: "The field of mind-body medicine is plagued by wild claims that mislead patients and instill false hope. But that doesn't mean the mind plays no role in health. By taking a scientific approach to understanding how our mental state influences our physiology, can we finally live in tune with our bodies in a way that is based on evidence, not fantasy? Cure takes us on a remarkable journey and offers a new and thought-provoking view of what it means to be human."
The gene: an intimate history by
Call Number: RB 155 M85 2016
From Royal Society: "The story of the gene begins in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where Gregor Mendel stumbles on the idea of a ‘unit of heredity’. It intersects with Darwin’s theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. This is an epic, moving history of a scientific idea coming to life. But woven through The Gene, like a red line, is also an intimate history – the story of Mukherjee’s own family and its recurring pattern of mental illness, reminding us that genetics is vitally relevant to everyday lives. Majestic in its ambition, and unflinching in its honesty, The Gene gives us a definitive account of the fundamental unit of heredity – and a vision of both humanity’s past and future."
The Hunt for Vulcan: ...and how Albert Einstein destroyed a planet, discovered relativity, and deciphered the universe by
Call Number: QB 605.2 V85 L48 2015
From Royal Society: "In the early 19th century, astronomers realised that Mercury has a wobble: its orbit shifts over time. According to Newton’s theory of gravitation, this shouldn’t happen. In 1859, the brilliant French scientist Urban LeVerrier discovered the explanation: there had to be an unseen planet circling even closer to the sun, distorting the orbit of Mercury. He called the new planet Vulcan. There was only one problem. Vulcan does not exist – and was never there. The Hunt for Vulcan is a scientific detective tale at the intersection of theory, measurement, and belief; and a reflection on a bizarre period in which the power of conformity led very smart people to literally see a planet that wasn’t there."
The Most Perfect Thing: Inside (and Outside) a Bird's Egg by
Call Number: QL 675 B57 2016
From Royal Society: "How are eggs of different shapes made, and why are they the shape they are? When does the shell of an egg harden? Why do some eggs contain two yolks? How are the colours and patterns of an eggshell created, and why do they vary? And which end of an egg is laid first – the blunt end or the pointy end? These are just some of the questions The Most Perfect Thing answers, as the journey of a bird’s egg from creation and fertilisation to its eventual hatching is examined, with current scientific knowledge placed within an historical context."
The Planet Remade: how geoengineering could change the world by
Call Number: QC 903 M67 2016
From Royal Society: "Despite the on-going political debate, carbon dioxide emissions are rising even faster and new scientific research suggests that no feasible reduction can now effectively mitigate climate change. With limited time for action, an increasingly influential minority of climate scientists are exploring the possibility of human intervention in the biosphere to slow or prevent further warming: a stratospheric veil against the sun, the cultivation of photosynthetic plankton, a fleet of unmanned ships seeding clouds. The Planet Remade explores the science, history and politics behind these radical strategies and why we might want to use geo-engineering techniques as well as why others so passionately oppose them.