The Laboratory Bookshelf, Holiday Edition
The Laboratory Bookshelf is a periodic feature of our PepTalk blog posts, designed to highlight books that may be of interest to scientists wanting to read something other than the peer-reviewed journals we know and love.
The Laboratory Bookshelf returns just in time for either holiday gift-giving, a year-end break (if those apply to you), or even a list to jump-start next year’s reading. Any of the new or previous entries to the Bookshelf would fulfill these needs.
We have also added a few selections for junior readers and scientists-to-be.
Weapons of Math Destruction - By Cathy O'Neil: This was strongly reviewed and appeared on many best-of lists at the end of 2016. The author takes a deep look at this age of tyrannical algorithms we all live in and how they, and not humans, are making the decisions that effect everyone.
She Has Her Mother's Laugh - By Carl Zimmer: One of New York Times 100 Notable Books for 2018, Nature stated, “A beguiling narrative… Whatever your views on the power of genes versus other forms of heredity, you will be in for a few surprises.”
Who We Are and How We Got Here - By David Reich: The author, a geneticist, describes what effect sequencing ancient DNA has on our perceptions of humanity’s ancestors and the implications to understanding ourselves.
The Future of Humanity and The Future of the Mind - By Michio Kaku: These are a pair of books by the bestselling and immensely popular futurist. These accessible, but by no means lightweight, books are by a great explainer who also happens to be the cofounder of string field theory.
Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto - by Alan Stern and David Grinspoon: Tracing the journey to Pluto, co-written by the mission’s leader Alan Stern, this book tells the story of the New Horizons spacecraft from its inception to eventual 3 billion mile trip.
For younger readers:
Women in Science - By Rachel Ignotofsky Designated a Best Science Book in 2016 by Science Friday, this encyclopedia of inspiring women – both renowned and relatively unknown is a wonderful volume of illustrated inspiration.
George's Secret Key to the Universe Paperback – by Stephen Hawking, Lucy Hawking (Author), Garry Parsons (Illustrator): A beginners guide to “A Brief History of Time” by none other than that book's author himself, and co-written with his daughter.
An Ada Lace Adventure - (5 Book Series) by Emily Calandrelli: “Third-grade scientist and inventor extraordinaire,” Ada Lace is currently featured in a quartet of available books (with the fifth to be released in early 2019). She has a predilection for science and math and utilizing technology to solve mysteries.
The preceding thirteen additions join these previously featured books:
o Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress – Steven Pinker
o Einstein: His Life and Universe – Walter Isaacson
o A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking
o The Evolution of Beauty – Richard O. Prum
o Chemistry – Weike Wang
o Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany – Norman Ohler
o The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women – Kate Moore
o The Periodic Table – Primo Levi
o Astrophysics for People in a Hurry – Neil DeGrasse Tyson
o The Smile Stealers: The Fine + Foul Art of Dentistry – Richard Barnett
o Lab Girl – Hope Jahren
o The Invention of Nature – Andrea Wulf
o The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer – Siddhartha Mukherjee
o The Gene: An Intimate History – Siddhartha Mukherjee
o Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness and Family Secrets – Luke Dittrich
o I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life –
o The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Smoot
That’s all for now – Happy reading!