Do spiders get thirsty? How long would it take a cow to fill the Grand Canyon with milk? How do they get the stripes on toothpaste? Plus 107 other questions answered."Do Polar Bears Get Lonely?" is the third compilation of readers' answers to the questions in the 'Last Word' column of "New Scientist", the world's best-selling science weekly. Following the phenomenal success of "Does Anything Eat Wasps?" (2005) and the even more spectacularly successful "Why Don't Penguins' Feet Freeze?" (2006), this latest collection includes a bumper crop of wise and wonderful answers never before seen in book form.As usual, the simplest questions often have the most complex answers - while some that seem the knottiest have very simple explanations. "New Scientist's" 'Last Word' is regularly voted the magazine's most popular section as it celebrates all questions - the trivial, idiosyncratic, baffling and strange. This all-new and eagerly awaited selection of the best again presents popular science at its most entertaining and enlightening.
The Faith of Scientists is an anthology of writings by twenty-one legendary scientists, from the dawn of the Scientific Revolution to the frontiers of science today, about their faith, their views about God, and the place religion holds - or doesn't - in their lives in light of their commitment to science. This is the first book to bring together so many world-renowned figures of Western science and present them in their own words, offering an intimate window into their private and public reflections on science and faith. Leading religion scholar Nancy Frankenberry draws from diaries, personal letters, speeches, essays, and interviews, and reveals that the faith of scientists can take many different forms, whether religious or secular, supernatural or naturalistic, conventional or unorthodox. These eloquent writings reflect a spectrum of views from diverse areas of scientific inquiry. Represented here are some of the most influential and colossal personalities in the history of science, from the founders of science such as Galileo, Johannes Kepler, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein, to modern-day scientists like Carl Sagan, Stephen Jay Gould, Jane Goodall, Freeman Dyson, Stephen Hawking, Edward O. Wilson, and Ursula Goodenough. Frankenberry provides a general introduction as well as concise introductions to each chapter that place these writings in context and suggest further reading from the latest scholarship.
Title: sCIENCE-rELIGI0N-eNLIGHTENMENT/DP/o199236194/REF=SR_1_2?IE=utf8&S=B00KS&QID=1216893534&SR=1-2">Bodies of Thought
Author: Ann Thomson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Examining the development of a secular, purely material conception of human beings in the early Enlightenment, Bodies of Thought provides a fresh perspective on the intellectual culture of this period, and challenges certain influential interpretations of irreligious thought and the 'Radical Enlightenment'. Beginning with the debate on the soul in England, in which political and religious concerns were intertwined, and ending with the eruption of materialism onto the public stage in mid-eighteenth-century France, Ann Thomson looks at attempts to explain how the material brain thinks without the need for an immaterial and immortal soul. She shows how this current of thinking fed into the later eighteenth-century 'Natural History of Man', the earlier roots of which have been overlooked by many scholars. Although much attention has been paid to the atheistic French materialists, their link to the preceding period has been studied only partially, and the current interest in what is called the 'Radical Enlightenment' has served to obscure rather than enlighten this history.By bringing out the importance of both Protestant theological debates and medical thinking in England, and by following the different debates on the soul in Holland and France, this book shows that attempts to find a single coherent strand of radical irreligious thought running through the early Enlightenment, coming to fruition in the second half of the eighteenth century, ignore the multiple channels which composed Enlightenment thinking.
In April 1932, about forty mostly young scientists attended Niels Bohr's Copenhagen Institute for their week-long once-a-year freewheeling physics conference. For many, it would come to represent the last gathering where they were able to conduct such discussions in the spirit of camaraderie and in a milieu that felt safe. There was much talk that April about new findings, about their careers and about political events in their own countries, but the core of their discourse was physics. The neutron had been discovered two months before the meeting and the first experimentally induced nuclear transmutation had been achieved just the week before they gathered in Copenhagen. The era of nuclear physics, of nuclear power, of big science and of large-scale experiments had begun. The events of 1932 would change the direction of their research and of their lives.These discoveries also brought with them the first glimmerings of the nuclear weapons that would move physicists into the arena of international power struggles. "Faust in Copenhagen" centres on the lives and careers of seven physicists.
Six of them - Niels Bohr, Paul Ehrenfest, Lise Meitner, Wolfang Pauli, Werner Heisenberg and Paul Dirac - had been sitting in the front row at the Copenhagen meeting, and were already in the pantheon of physics greats. The seventh, Max Delbruck, was the author of a skit concluding the meeting, in which the junior physicists poked fun at their elders. As a version of Goethe's "Faust", adapted to embrace the complexities of contemporary physics, the skit eerily foreshadows many events that unfolded in subsequent years. Indeed it touched upon the very soul of science: a Faustian struggle between good and evil, between peaceful uses of scientific discovery and destructive ones and on the interface of the political and scientific worlds.
From the universally praised New York Times science writer George Johnson, an irresistible book on the ten most fascinating experiments in the history of science—moments when a curious soul posed a particularly eloquent question to nature and received a crisp, unambiguous reply: Galileo: The Way Things Really Move; William Harvey: Mysteries of the Heart; Isaac Newton: What a Colour Is; Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier: The Farmer’s Daughter; Luigi Galvini: Animal Electricity; Michel Faraday: Something Deeply Hidden; James Joule: How the World Works; A. Michelson: Lost in Space; Ivan Pavlov: Measuring the Immeasurable and Robert Millikan: In the Borderland.
100 All-Time Greatest Popular Science Books
Browse our collection of more than 8,100 free audio and video courses from top-ranked universities worldwide and download them straight to your computer or portable device.
Advice to Guide You
Find college advice for online students, including tips for picking a school, saving money, and studying hard.
Online College Rankings
These great popular science books offer accessible science to readers from all levels of knowledge. There's something here for everyone, whether you're interested in environmental science, kitchen chemistry, or just want to try out some fun experiments with your kids over the summer. Check out our picks for the best in popular science, and see how you can use them to better understand and explore our world.
2 The Annotated and Illustrated Double Helix by James Watson
Your day job is as a geneticist studying the sense of smell but you also write and translate history books. What is it that draws you to history and, in particular, the history of science?
It’s a bit of a cliché, but if we don’t understand where we’ve come from, it’s very hard to know where we are going. Just as Dobzhansky said, “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” I don’t think much makes sense about all aspects of human culture, including science, unless you know something about its history and where it came from.
Is there anything particular about science where its history tends to get ignored? It’s important to understand the history — because that’s how we know what we know, right?
The key thing about scientific knowledge is that science is cumulative: we now know more about the world, in a better way, than we did 100 years ago. That doesn’t hold for artistic creation. So, for example, we can’t prove that Keats was a better writer than Shakespeare. ‘Better’ doesn’t really mean anything in that context. Science is progressive, in that it builds upon previous knowledge. What’s interesting—and what scientists are aware of—is that that progress is incredibly nonlinear. You make mistakes all the time and the road not taken is often, in retrospect, the interesting one. However, when scientists describe what the history of their subject looks like, especially in text-book accounts, it’s all linear and it inevitably leads us to where we are today. That’s the main reason why historians get very frustrated about scientists who write history. Professional historians are trained to be very critical and think in a very rich way about their subject matter, in a way that scientists generally are not.
“You’re not allowed to think people in the past were stupid. Most of the people I write about were much smarter than we’ll ever be. And yet they often believed all kinds of nonsense.”
In my first book, I drew a parallel between the way that science develops and the way that each of us grew from a single cell into an adult human. It looks like it was inevitable that we ended up the way we are, but in reality there was nothing inevitable about it. There are a whole set of possibilities that could have produced completely different versions of us which don’t exist. If you’re trying to untangle the processes involved in organismal development, then you need to understand all those conditionalities. Otherwise, you end up with a very simple, inevitabilist view of what is going on.
Merlin Sheldrake gets deep in the dirt with this wide ranging and ebullient exploration of the mycelial world. In rich poetic passages, he provides an eye opening glimpse into what life is like as a fungus, uncovering the ways their penchant for interconnectedness facilitates so much we rely on and how that may yet serve as a model for building a better world.
History of Science Teacher Guide
Introduce the fascinating world of science to your child and spark their curiosity and desire to understand the world around us! Engaging biographies are used to tell the life stories of famous scientists like Archimedes, Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, George Washington Carver, Einstein, and others, and are paired with hands-on experiments to prove the scientists' theories and test their discoveries.
An enriching way to introduce biology, chemistry, and physics. Designed for grades 3-7, this one-year study will cover basic scientific principles and the history of scientific study beginning in ancient Greece and continuing through the 1990s.
•This study contains 85 lessons, dozens of experiments, lab reports, and much more.
•Complete 2-3 lessons per week for a one-year study.
Scope and Sequence? Click here to download
Rebecca Manor , a homeschool graduate, loves story and art and remains in awe of their power to inspire a love of the good, the true, and the beautiful. She brings her studies of literature and theology, the many places she's called home, and a heart for homeschooling parents to the many teacher guides she has written for Beautiful Feet Books and strives to make teaching history, music, science, character, and literature accessible and joy-filled. Rebecca lives with her husband and their two sons in Fort Lauderdale where she is an adjunct professor at Knox Theological Seminary in their Christian and Classical Studies program, of which she is an alumna
- ISBN: 9781893103597
- Pages: 50
- Publication Date:
- Media: Paperback
The inside track
Four new books for 2021 from New Scientist consultants, staff and columnists put a bold spin on the future, past and present.
First is a thought experiment: how would you spend $1 trillion on science in a year? Would you eradicate malaria, end global poverty, settle on the moon, solve climate change? In How to Spend a Trillion Dollars, Rowan Hooper, New Scientist‘s podcast editor, helps readers go on a spending spree for the global good. And remember, $1 trillion is less than the current valuation of Apple.
Equally challenging is The Disordered Cosmos by New Scientist columnist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein. Sharing a love of particle physics and dark matter, it comes with a strong political backdrop that calls on us to recognise that science, like most fields, is rife with racism, sexism and other dehumanising systems. It also encourages us to dream of a world predicated on the idea that we all have a fundamental right to experience and understand the wonders of the universe.
The stories behind Four Lost Cities by New Scientist columnist Annalee Newitz show the importance of the deep history of urban life for our near future. Newitz explores the rise and fall of Çatalhöyük in central Turkey, the Roman city Pompeii on Italy’s southern coast, the medieval megacity Angkor in Cambodia and Cahokia, near modern St Louis, Missouri.
Could mathematics be the forgotten ingredient in the building of human civilisations? The Art of More by New Scientist consultant Michael Brooks reveals how we learned to imagine the things that we now call numbers and invented arithmetic, giving birth to money, trade and the vast majority of civilisation.
At school, many of us wondered about the point of geometry, calculus and algebra. Brooks shows how the childhood question “What’s the point of this?” can be reframed: esoteric concepts such as imaginary numbers, cryptography and the semi-mystical digits of pi are revealed to be the essential building blocks of the 21st century.
10 Great Popular Science Books
A great popular science book needs to strike a balance between being accessible and entertaining to the general public, whilst being informative enough to satisfy the most inquisitive minds. When an author is successful in doing this, great popular science books are born. To ensure some diversity I have only included one entry per author and excluded books mentioned in other lists. Due to this many other great books by these authors weren&rsquot included. Though most of these are best-sellers this is clearly a subjective list and I would love to hear your thoughts on what could be included in a follow-up list. The list is in no particular order.
Stephen Hawking is one of the world&rsquos most famous physicists. He is well-known by the general public for his extensive work in theoretical physics, cosmology and unfortunately his debilitating battle with motor neuron disease. A Briefer History of Time is an updated and easier to read version of his 1988 bestseller, A Brief History of Time. The book &ndash like its predecessor &ndash reads like a biography of the universe, and is a great introduction to the world of physics. The Sunday Times sum it up best: &ldquoThis book marries a child&rsquos wonder to a genius&rsquos intellect. We journey into Hawking&rsquos universe while marveling at his mind.&rdquo
Full Title: Nature&rsquos Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. A chemist and doctor of science turned full-time writer, Emsley is responsible for many popular science books. Nature&rsquos Building Blocks looks at all the elements from Actinium to Zirconium discussing their role in nature, where the element originated, the common uses of the element, how the elements are used in health or illness and loads of other interesting and quirky facts around them. The book serves as a detailed and interesting essay on each element, much like and expanded and entertaining version of the periodic table.
Full Title: Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries. Tyson is a very charismatic, enthusiastic and entertaining fellow and that is very prominent in his works and media appearances. His book Death by Black Hole is no exception. In it he explores everything from the destructive nature of black holes to the gaffes made in science fiction films. His humorous nature and enthusiasm make this book a very enjoyable read. After reading this it&rsquos easy to see how he got voted one of the most influential people in the world and perhaps even the sexiest astrophysicist alive, a few awards among many that he has accumulated over the years.
Full Title: The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. Evolutionary biologist and prominent atheist Richard Dawkins goes to great lengths providing evidence for evolution in The Greatest Show on Earth. From artificial to natural selection, fossil records, the human genome project and there&rsquos even some plate tectonics for good measure. If you&rsquore familiar with any of Dawkins other works then you already know what to expect from this. If not, then be prepared for a passionate, thorough, witty and depending on your views, perhaps even controversial look at the origin of our species. Also be sure to read the subplots that are in the footnotes for interesting side notes on the main content of the book.
Full Title: Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps and the 10th Dimension. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist, one of the founders of string theory and a well-known popularizer of science through books, radio, television and film. Much of Kaku&rsquos work focuses on the hypothetical future of Earth and of science, making predictions about humanities future and the future of the universe. His bestseller, Hyperspace was voted one of the best science books of 1994 and it&rsquos easy to see why. In Hyperspace, Kaku looks at string theories proposal of 10 dimensional space time and makes the complex subject approachable by using it to ponder the possibility of time travel and multiple universes. It is a must read for anyone interested in theoretical physics without being lost in the complexity of the equations involved.
Full Title: Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality. Another physicist and philosopher (there seems to be a trend here), Kumar had written scientific papers for journals, newspapers and co-written popular science books before venturing into his own book, Quantum. Quantum is a biography of quantum physics, centered on the debate between those who did and didn&rsquot agree with quantum theory. The draw of this book is how the great minds of physics went head to head in a battle of the brains around what theory they believed was right. The book gives a history of how physics got to where it is and looks at other notable physicist such as Plank, Schrödinger, Bohm and Rutherford and the concepts and developments they brought to it.
Full Title: Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters. Matt Ridley is a science journalist and author. He is best known for his books on genetics, evolution and looking at human behavior from an evolutionary viewpoint. Genome has one chapter for every pair of human chromosomes, thus using the book itself as a metaphor for the human body. Each chapter looks at a different pair of chromosomes and Ridley picks a gene from each to discuss throughout the chapter. From looking at these genes he covers the rise of homo-sapiens, an individual&rsquos likelihood of inheriting a disease, and even their ability for language. Genome is a great book to gain knowledge on genetics in an accessible and entertaining way.
Full Title: A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing. Lawrence Krauss is a theoretical physicist known for his work on dark matter and for publishing several popular science books. A Universe from Nothing is a New York Time best-seller and the book stays true to the title looking at why and how the universe began from &ldquonothing.&rdquo The book aims to be physics&rsquo answer to philosophy&rsquos questions and maybe after reading it you might, like Stephen Hawking, conclude that philosophy is dead at the hand of physics. Either way A Universe from Nothing is a very insightful cosmology book and well worth a read to come to your own conclusion on philosophy&rsquos fate.
Carl Sagan was a world-renowned astrophysicist well-known due to his work with NASA on extra-terrestrial life. Sagan played a significant role in choosing the contents of the voyager golden record which is currently on-board the voyager spacecraft, soon to be the first man-made object to enter inter-stellar space. Sagan was also well-known for the television series &lsquoCosmos: A personal voyage&rsquo the series that this book accompanies and one I can&rsquot recommend highly enough. Though Cosmos was published over 30 years ago it is still a relevant and intriguing read filled with amazing imagery of the universe. In it Sagan looks at the evolution of our universe, the evolution of science, and how people are quite literally the universe conceptualizing itself.
Brian Cox is a particle physicist, a familiar presenter of many BBC documentaries on cosmology and he was even a keyboard player for a pop band! His book Wonders of the Universe compliments his television series of the same name. Using materials found on earth and glorious illustrations throughout Cox makes it easier for his audience to understand the concepts in his book. The book explores the marvels of deep space looking at distant stars, black holes, the death of our sun and so much more. Just like Sagan&rsquos Cosmos this book is also based on a fantastic television series, is beautifully illustrated, and would make a great coffee table book.
History of Science, Medicine, and Technology
The Huntington's history of science collection is one of the largest and most important in North America. Its diverse materials document western practice and theory in science, medicine, technology, and a variety of subdisciplines. Holdings range widely, from a 13th-century Ptolemy Almagest manuscript and landmark printed books in the world-renowned Burndy Library to modern civil engineering reports and aerospace archives.
Works on medicine include medieval medical and astronomical miscellanies and hundreds of books printed before 1501. The Lawrence D. Longo and Betty Jeanne Longo Collection in Reproductive Biology contains approximately 2,700 rare books on obstetrics and gynecology from the 16th-century to the present. The Huntington is also home to the Los Angeles County Medical Association collection.
The Mohr Darwin Collection holds nearly 1,700 publications by and about Charles Darwin and his circle. Complementary botanical and zoological books and manuscripts include such highlights as John James Audubon's double-elephant folio Birds of America (1827–1838). Significant among astronomy resources are the papers of Edwin Hubble and the Carnegie Observatories' Mount Wilson Observatory Collection, with over a thousand books on the history of astronomy and physics, as well as its directors' papers and photographic archives.
The arrival of Bern Dibner's Burndy Library in 2006 enormously magnified the depth and scope of Huntington holdings. The Burndy contains 47,000 rare monographic and serial volumes and 50 archival collections. The history of early mathematics and physics is a great strength, with the largest assemblage of Isaac Newton materials outside England, the Grace K. Babson Collection, on deposit from Babson College. Other topics well represented include the history of electricity, bridge and water engineering, metallurgy, color theory and practice, and aeronautics. The Burndy also holds a small but choice selection of pre-1900 Asian materials, including some of the rarest books about Western science published in Japan.
Science in the Beginning Set
Introducing scientific concepts in the context of history, the days of creation are used as a structure through which a wide variety of scientific topics are introduced, including: light, energy conservation, air & water, botany, the solar system, zoology, and some aspects of human anatomy and physiology.
A total of 90 lessons are included 15 for every creative day in the Genesis account. The first 12 are "normal" lessons and the last 3 are challenge lessons. Depending on how much science you wish to teach in your homeschool, there are enough lessons to cover every other day for the length of a school year, or, you can finish the book by only doing two lessons a week (and skipping the challenge lessons).
Students will love the hands-on activity that begins each lesson. Most are experiments (that have been field-tested for homeschoolers!), and include step by step directions to keep you on track. As this curriculum was designed for all elementary-aged students to use together, the main lesson text takes a conversational, easy-to-read tone that all students can comprehend illustrations and photographs are integrated throughout. A review assignment closes the lesson questions are grouped for "youngest, older, and oldest" students. Students are to keep a notebook, and activities include both drawing and writing type notebook assignments. For evaluation, the notebook or oral questions can be used tests are not in the text, but are in the helps and hints book.
Experiments use common household goods, though for some items that may not be on-hand, a list is provided at the beginning of the book. A full materials list for each creation-day chapter is also included for easy preparation.
The "Helps & Hints" book accompanies the primary text. Divided into three sections, this book will provide helpful notes on the lesson and experiments in the textbook, tests for each "day" of the creation week, and answers to the tests.
This curriculum is designed for elementary students in grades K-6.
- Science in the Beginning Text, 299 pages with glossary and index. Hardcover.
- Science in the Beginning Helps & Hints Book, 48 pages, softcover.
Best Science Books
Looking for good science books? This is my list of the best science books of all-time. If you only have time to read one or two books, I recommend looking at the Top Science Books section below.
Further down the page, you'll find more science book recommendations. Many of these books are fantastic as well. I try to carefully curate all of my reading lists and you can be sure that any science book on this page is worth your time. Enjoy!