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Old 14th April 2015, 06:53 PM   #1
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The best science and medicine books

I'm going to request this be a sticky for this forum.
Please add your top books AND some commentary and review, what you found AWESOME!
....not just a laundry list please.

••••

This guy is flat out fun...not just for science readers....



a total delightful triology - you'll find yourself every few pages exclaiming loudly .....I never knew that !!!...it's both accessible and intensely developed and erudite.

The three books start with him as a fresh faced Peace Corp volunteer establishing a gorilla reserve in Uganda ( that was an eye opener about the country and gorillas)

and progressed through Feathers and Seeds both of which are world view benders.

Quote:
Thor Hanson was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, where he now lives on an island with his wife and son. He caught his first salmon at age four, and often collected a wide array of temporary summertime pets, from caterpillars and tadpoles to garter snakes, hermit crabs, and tree frogs. His early interest in the natural world steered him towards a career in conservation biology. Hanson received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Redlands, his master’s from the University of Vermont’s Field Naturalist Program, and his doctorate in a joint program through the University of Idaho and the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza, Costa Rica.

Hanson’s research and conservation activities have taken him around the globe. He has studied Central American trees and songbirds, nest predation in Tanzania, and the grisly feeding habits of African vultures. He served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Uganda, where he helped establish the mountain gorilla tourism program in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and he has also helped manage a brown bear tourism project for the U.S. Forest Service in Alaska. He often works at the interface between natural and human systems, and is currently involved in a project assessing the ecological impacts of warfare.

Hanson is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Switzer Environmental Fellow, and an independent conservation biologist based in the San Juan Islands. He has received research grants from the Organization for Tropical Studies, the DeVlieg Foundation, and the National Science Foundation’s IGERT Program, among others. He teaches field courses, reviews for academic journals, consults for conservation groups and government agencies, and is a sought-after public speaker. Hanson's many media appearances have included NPR's Fresh Air, PRI's The World, and The Current on CBC.

​His recent book, FEATHERS, won the John Burroughs Medal and was nominated for The Samuel Johnson Prize. It also received the A.A.A./Subaru SB&F Prize for science writing and a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, and was a finalist for The Washington State Book Award. His first book, THE IMPENETRABLE FOREST, won the 2008 USA Book News Award for nature writing
Seeds is just out and I'm sure will win its share of awards as well.
Funny, informative...brilliant combination. He tells a good story and you come away better informed....in some cases MUCH better informed. He weaves science into everyday life and the books ( especially when his young kid gets engaged ) in a marvelous manner.
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Old 15th April 2015, 11:34 AM   #2
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The Frank Netter, M.D. collection of anatomic illustrations - 8v. in 13 books. Unless you are a med student or a surgeon, the older editions will show anything you may need to know and more. And you can probably put a set together for under $120.00 from Amazon. (or over $1000.00 if you go for the latest). Example: http://www.amazon.com/The-Netter-Col...A3VRJKXZV8D1F1
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Old 15th April 2015, 11:35 AM   #3
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On Netter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_H._Netter
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Old 16th April 2015, 08:59 AM   #4
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Excellent we have a sticky. Prefer not to discuss the books in this thread but do provide a description and what impressed you - perhaps a "did you know" teaser...

••

If you read ONE science book in your life it should be this one.

If you want a totally joyous read- grab Song of the Dodo - you will be thoroughly entertained and very well informed on evolution and island bio-geography which sounds dry but is fascinating and he just a terrific writer.
You will not regret getting it. Poignant, funny, informative.



Page after fascinating page he takes you on a romp through the history of evolution ( he retraces Wallace ) - and the fascinating creatures we share the planet with.
Just get it.

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Old 16th April 2015, 09:14 AM   #5
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For me, one of the most illuminating books on the scientific principle was "T. rex and the crater of doom", by Walter Alvarez, 1997. Title sounds a little dramatic, but the book was aimed at a non-specialist audience. Brilliantly takes the reader through the process of how an idea, or hypothesis, becomes scientific fact. From the iridium anomaly to the final discovery and dating of the crater. Well written, and you can sense the excitement and frustrations of the team as they worked toward the final outcome.
How science actually works, and something some posters here would be well advised to read to figure out the difference between an unsubstantiated idea, and proven scientific fact, and how you go about getting there.


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Old 17th April 2015, 05:02 AM   #6
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Buying that...thanks
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Old 19th April 2015, 02:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day-and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives, and the increasing fortunes of nations, hung on a resolution. The scientific establishment of Europe-from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton-had mapped the heavens in both hemispheres in its certain pursuit of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution-a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had ever been able to do on land. Longitude is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest, and of Harrison's forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Full of heroism and chicanery, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking, and opens a new window on our world.
http://books.google.com.au/books/abo...EC&redir_esc=y

It's an amazing story of a man far far ahead of his peers.....so far ahead ....that a clock he designed but was never funded to build was recently built and tested.

He claimed his clock would be off less than a second in 100 days ...now this is clock that has to wound !!!
He was laughed at at the time and the clock never built - if you read the book you'll see how astounding his clocks are.

What made me recall this fascinating book

Quote:
Last year, the first trial of the clock –overseen by the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and the National Physical Laboratory – was carried out at the Observatory. This showed it was capable of performing to the standard that Harrison claimed. “This year’s final test began on 6 January, when the clock was sealed in a clear plastic container that had been made tamper-proof by the application of wax seals across wires that lock the case’s fixing bolts shut and is the official trial of its accuracy,” added McEvoy.

At the start of the trial, it was noted by witnesses that the clock was running quarter of a second behind Greenwich Mean Time. At the end of the trial yesterday morning, the clock read 7/8ths of a second behind GMT. It had lost 5/8ths of a second in the 100-day trial.
This entire article covers off a bit more. You'll learn a lot and ....marvel.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2...-absurd-claims

The entire search for a way to measure longitude at sea is a fascinating read and John Harrison an unikely hero
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Old 19th April 2015, 06:27 PM   #8
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Expected: "Principles of Planetary Climate" and "The Global Carbon Cycle"

Coming from me, these two should probably have amounted to expected and typical.




http://www.amazon.com/Principles-Pla...1418043&sr=8-1


Probably too heavy for a casual read, but most of it can be followed without an in-depth mathematical degree. Too bad its often a textbook, meaning that it isn't as often read for personal interest and knowledge enhancement. His lecture series used to appear online, I haven't seen them lately, but it is worth reading for those with a desire for a more detailed understanding. Though much of this is also true of the next offering, it is a bit more casual reading "friendly."

If you want to understand the basic building blocks of planetary climate (ours and others throughout the solar system and universe) this is the primer. "The Principles of Planetary Climate" is Climate Science 101

http://www.amazon.com/Global-Carbon-.../ref=pd_cp_b_2


As alluded to above, While this book is every bit the text, it is much more readable, IMO. the focus of this work is much more on our planet's carbon cycle with respect to its short-term, intermediate term and long-term impacts upon our planet's climate, in the past, present and future.
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Old 20th April 2015, 07:57 PM   #9
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Trex and Valley of Doom is just superb....learning so much with the cross discipline discovery

Good story telling....
And damn I think that's the same RIchard Muller at Berkeley who took the wind out of the AGW deniers.
Highly recommended
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Old 20th April 2015, 08:13 PM   #10
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For the intersection of psychology and economics, Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. It puts together a comprehensive research based analysis of human thinking patterns in a way both personal and comprehensive. A great read and well deserving of it's many accolades. It has a special insight for those of us facing the challenge of woo, both in others and ourselves.





http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Fast-...+fast+and+slow
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Old 20th April 2015, 09:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
For the intersection of psychology and economics, Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. It puts together a comprehensive research based analysis of human thinking patterns in a way both personal and comprehensive. A great read and well deserving of it's many accolades. It has a special insight for those of us facing the challenge of woo, both in others and ourselves.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...t_and_Slow.jpg



http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Fast-...+fast+and+slow
Interesting, thanks for sharing. It sounds a lot like one of the Scientific American online classes I recently signed up for,..."Behavioral Finance: Using Psychology in the Market" - (May 1- 15) http://www.scientificamerican.com/pr...in-the-market/
Its not a book, but interesting none-the-less.
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Old 20th April 2015, 09:55 PM   #12
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The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

Quote:
In The Organized Mind, Levitin demonstrates how the Information Age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data, and uses the latest brain science to explain how the brain can organize this flood of information. Levitin then demonstrates methods that readers can use to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces, and time. It answers three fundamental questions: Why does the brain pay attention to some things and not others? Why do we remember some things and not others? And how can we use that knowledge to better organize our home and workplaces, our time, social world, and decision making?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Organized_Mind
http://www.amazon.com/Organized-Mind...organized+mind

Brilliant science that might actually be useful
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Old 22nd April 2015, 05:00 PM   #13
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In a parallel theme...this one blew my mind...


Quote:
The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science Paperback –

An astonishing new science called "neuroplasticity" is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable. In this revolutionary look at the brain, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., provides an introduction to both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they've transformed. From stroke patients learning to speak again to the remarkable case of a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, The Brain That Changes Itself will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.
you betcha....worldview altering for me...

Charts the change in perception of our brains and some of the stories are jaw dropping and the uphill battle against embedding views in the main stream.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Brain-That.../dp/0143113100

••

another one that covers off the change in forest management over time is this...

Quote:
The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America

National Book Award–winner Timothy Egan turns his historian's eye to the largest-ever forest fire in America and offers an epic, cautionary tale for our time.

On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno that jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in the blink of an eye. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men to fight the fires, but no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them. Egan recreates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force, and the larger story of outsized president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot, that follows is equally resonant. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by every citizen. Even as TR's national forests were smoldering they were saved: The heroism shown by his rangers turned public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service in ways we can still witness today.
Aside from an amazing story - the challenge of managing forests in a manner that was based in science and sense is an ongoing struggle.
It's a really good read.

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Old 6th May 2015, 11:42 PM   #14
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Just starting a new one

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003JTHXZY/...8080_TE_M1T1DP
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Old 30th May 2015, 12:23 PM   #15
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Hands down Nick Lane's "The Vital Question: Why Is Life the Way It Is?", which was released in the UK region on April 23rd, but won't be released in North America until July 20 with a less provocative subtitle.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Vital-Qu.../dp/1781250367

though it seems you can get the UK version here earlier

http://www.amazon.com/The-Vital-Ques.../dp/1781250367

He won the the 2010 Royal Society Prize for "Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution", which discussed the origin of life, the creation of DNA, photosynthesis, the evolution of complex cells, sex, movement, sight, warm bloodedness, consciousness and death.

The Vital Question focuses on three of those:

1) the origin of life - provides even more support for a place of constant disequilibrium like alkaline hydrothermal vents being the most plausible birthplace for life not just here but anyplace with rocks (like olivine), liquid water, and carbon dioxide.

2) the evolution of complex cells - given the abundance of those three in the universe why the Fermi Paradox? Given the way bacteria and archaea operate, they'll stay small as single entities less they be out competed. Only endosymbiosis could produce the complex cell and for the reasons he goes into, it wasn't as inevitable as people assume it was. Even if something like Parakaryon myojinensis pops up once in a while, nothing has stuck around but the original.

3) Sex - This gets discussed in relation to it being a means to maintaining genetic health in the complex cell, particularly in keeping the genes in the nuclear genome devoted to the mitochondria in sync with the ones in the mitochondria.

I am probably doing the book a disservice with this post. Read it anyway.

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Old 30th May 2015, 12:29 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
Just starting a new one

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003JTHXZY/...8080_TE_M1T1DP


An even better book by the same author is The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons.


Also check out The Poisoner's Handbook, about the birth of forensic medicine.


And, of course, the best book ever written by anybody about anything: Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything.
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Old 28th June 2015, 04:09 PM   #17
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I've just finished re-reading Chris Stringer's The Origin of our Species, 2011.
This is a quite up to date synopsis of the current state of knowledge of our ancestry, from one of the world's leading palaeoanthropologists. Stringer was one of the earliest proponents of the 'Out of Africa' hypothesis for human origins, which remains essentially intact, but this work covers more recent findings, such as the discovery of Neanderthal and Denisovan DNA in modern humans.
I've read a few of Stringer's books, and always find them enjoyable and informative. Well worth a look if this is your type of thing.

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Old 7th July 2015, 12:40 PM   #18
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Following on from the above, I decided I'd had Svante Pääbo's book lying around for a while, and ought to read it.
Well, it was a real eye-opener. The story of his whole career is fascinating enough, but his revelations of his sexuality and dalliances, the intergroup co-operation and rivalries, and a certain amount of ego, all make for a fascinating read. Then there are the discoveries he and his group have made.
There are some parts which are technical, but it is easy to get through those without it detracting from a story that was far more readable than I'd expected it to be.

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Old 7th July 2015, 01:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Generally Rational View Post
Hands down Nick Lane's "The Vital Question: Why Is Life the Way It Is?"
......
I am probably doing the book a disservice with this post. Read it anyway.
I am happy to hear that you enjoyed this book. I don't have it yet, but it has been next on my list of books to buy since I first heard of it.

Lane is an amazing author - "Oxygen" and "Power, Sex, Suicide" were outstanding books. "Life Ascending" might be my favorite popular science book of all time. It is good to see that his newest book is getting similar reviews.
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Old 19th July 2015, 01:41 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Wayward son View Post
I am happy to hear that you enjoyed this book. I don't have it yet, but it has been next on my list of books to buy since I first heard of it.
I hope you are enjoying it or soon will be. "The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life" is shipping and on some store shelves right now. It appears at the moment to be different from the U.K. version only in the subtitle.

To add to my first post, "Vital Question" also deals with Death, particularly in sections like the one titled "Immortal germline, mortal body".

Quote:
Lane is an amazing author - "Oxygen" and "Power, Sex, Suicide" were outstanding books. "Life Ascending" might be my favorite popular science book of all time. It is good to see that his newest book is getting similar reviews.
All worthy books to bring up in this thread. They each cover some of the same ground with older information, but they also cover areas the "Vital Question" does not.
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Old 2nd September 2015, 10:59 PM   #21
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Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking Hardcover – August 18, 2015
by Richard E. Nisbett (Author)

http://www.amazon.com/Mindware-Think.../dp/0374112673

This book is a big deal. I highly respect Dweck, Haidt and Gilbert, when I saw these reviews, I was intrigued...

Quote:
All the wisdom of twentieth- and twenty-first-century psychological research has been distilled into one superb book--for your everlasting benefit! You will take a giant step on the path to better decisions in your life. (Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success)

Mindware will make you a better thinker, investor, parent, consumer, and leader. There are surprises and delights on each page. Every country should scrap a year or two of math education and require all citizens to read this book instead. (Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion)

The bad news is that our intuitive ways of thinking about the world are wrong. The good news is that it isn't hard to set them right. Nobody knows more about these things than the eminent psychologist Richard E. Nisbett, who has dedicated his life to understanding the shortcomings of the human mind and to finding ways to fix them. This book should be required reading at every university. (Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness)
I say it's destined to become a classic...

Quote:
Scientific and philosophical concepts can change the way we solve problems by helping us to think more effectively about our behavior and our world. Surprisingly, despite their utility, many of these tools remain unknown to most of us.

In Mindware, the world-renowned psychologist Richard E. Nisbett presents these ideas in clear and accessible detail. Nisbett has made a distinguished career of studying and teaching such powerful problem-solving concepts as the law of large numbers, statistical regression, cost-benefit analysis, sunk costs and opportunity costs, and causation and correlation, probing the best methods for teaching others how to use them effectively in their daily lives. In this groundbreaking book, Nisbett shows us how to frame common problems in such a way that these scientific and statistical principles can be applied to them. The result is an enlightening and practical guide to the most essential tools of reasoning ever developed-tools that can easily be used to make better professional, business, and personal decisions.
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Old 30th September 2015, 10:14 AM   #22
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Einstein : Walter Isaacson
Bad Science : Ben Goldacre
Isaac Newton : James Gleick
On Relativity : Albert Einstein
Mind Change : Susan Greenfield
The Selfish Gene : Richard Dawkins
How The Mind Works : Steven Pinker
Self Comes To Mind : Antonio Damasio
The Fabric Of The Cosmos : Brian Greene
Our Mathematical Universe : Max Tegmark
Climbing Mount Improbable : Richard Dawkins
13 Things That Dont Make Sense : Michael Brooks
17 Equations That Changed The World : Ian Stewart
Why Does E Equal mc Squared : Brian Cox / Jeff Forshaw
Paradox : The Nine Greatest Enigmas In Physics : Jim Al Khalili
What Came Before The Big Bang : Cycles Of Time : Roger Penrose
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Old 13th October 2015, 07:29 PM   #23
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The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler

by Thomas Hager


A good read filled with history [Nitrate wars, Petermen, etc.] as well as the science and engineering of ammonia synthesis. Without the Haber process, the world population would be a very hungry 4 billion.
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Old 15th October 2015, 05:37 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
The entire search for a way to measure longitude at sea is a fascinating read and John Harrison an unikely hero
Something similar (altitude/latitude?) is discussed in the below recommendation by Loss Leader. Highly recommend the hardback illustrated edition.
Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
And, of course, the best book ever written by anybody about anything: Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything.
A contribution from an unscientific mind...
what if? serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions
by the creator of webcomic xkcd.
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Old 4th March 2016, 02:28 PM   #25
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My apologies for contributing months late. I haven't been around the forums much lately. Also: Everyone listed nonfiction books, whereas I'm citing a novel. So this may be a digression from the OP's intent. Despite that, I post this because this book is one of the best works on the medical field that I've read:
Arrowsmith. By Sinclair Lewis.

Why this book? Because it did the best job of anything I've read to communicate:
  1. The basic tension between idealism in pursuit of a scientific career vs. demands of career advancement, human desire for societal station, etc. And related: The push-pull of self-centered and occasionally outright selfish desires vs. dedication and intellectual honesty.
  2. The rush and stumbles of the fields of medicine (including academic research, public health service, and patient care) from poorly empirical practices to more rational, evidence based, scientifically influenced professionalism.
  3. The existence of medical quackery and outright fraud that nonetheless sports populist appeal, and coexistence with it as a science and medical professional.
Arrowsmith follows a man's travels through his medical education, his stint as a private practitioner, his work as a government health official, and other stops in various research, hospital, and other facilities. Along the way, the book well portrays the protagonist going from idealism to purity to commercialism to service and back again... yet not quite really back to the start, but rather back to idealism, and purity, and commercialism, and so on, but with a more experienced and weathered wisdom. All the while, you don't forget that this is a book about a medical practitioner; the medical science, professional practice, and academic and commercial medical research is never out of sight. Neither are the tensions, triumphs, setbacks, and experiences of each of the careers he samples.

Admittedly, it's not a perfect book. Lewis's satirical bent too often results in characters who are less fully rounded people and more unidimensional epitomies of bad conduct or other negativities which he clearly believes the reader should rail against. And it's possible to view the protagonist less as a person being pulled between idealism and personal desires and more as an inconsistently drawn character whose faults are not organic but more the result of an author who can't make up his mind. Furthermore, the book can feel miserably bleak at times.

But that is literary criticism. Through the collaboration with bacteriologist Paul de Kruif, the actual science in the book feels real, as does the journey of the student towards the professional with stops, pauses, and ponderings between all the various directions a then student of medical science could take. The novel has often been used in history of medicine courses - and indeed, as some doctors have testified, in medical programs - to help students get a feel for what the professional practice of medicine is like. As author and medical doctor Howard Markel had noted in 2001:
Quote:
"My battered paperback copy of Arrowsmith is annotated throughout with the same pen-scrawled comment: “Still true!” I am hardly alone: from its publication to the present, countless men and women have been inspired to pursue careers in research because of (the protagonist's) intense devotion to science."
This book often has a place in any history of western medicine course. And for good reason. This is why I note it in this thread: It's one of the best "Field of Medicine" books I've read, fiction or not.

Further reading:
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Old 19th July 2016, 08:59 PM   #26
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Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions

Quote:
All our lives are constrained by limited space and time, limits that give rise to a particular set of problems. What should we do, or leave undone, in a day or a lifetime? How much messiness should we accept? What balance of new activities and familiar favorites is the most fulfilling? These may seem like uniquely human quandaries, but they are not: computers, too, face the same constraints, so computer scientists have been grappling with their version of such issues for decades. And the solutions they've found have much to teach us.

In a dazzlingly interdisciplinary work, acclaimed author Brian Christian and cognitive scientist Tom Griffiths show how the algorithms used by computers can also untangle very human questions. They explain how to have better hunches and when to leave things to chance, how to deal with overwhelming choices and how best to connect with others. From finding a spouse to finding a parking spot, from organizing one's inbox to understanding the workings of memory, Algorithms to Live By transforms the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living.
https://www.amazon.com/Algorithms-Li.../dp/1627790365

http://rationallyspeakingpodcast.org...hms-to-li.html

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Old 20th July 2016, 10:51 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
Just starting a new one

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003JTHXZY/...8080_TE_M1T1DP
Excellent Choice!!!!!!
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Old 27th July 2016, 04:37 AM   #28
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Trespassing on einstein's Lawn - Amanda Gefter



Amanda and her dad join in a quest for the nature of reality, in the course of which she goes from faking being a journalist to access physics conferences, to actually being a science journalist, meets the top theoretical physicists of our time, and discovers that reality is...

But I won't spoil it for you. A wonderfully entertaining read that tries to explain, without the maths, where modern theoretical physics is going, and the puzzles being solved on the way.
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Old 30th August 2016, 09:45 PM   #29
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The Secret Life of Lobsters
Who knew ??

Reminds me a bit of Song of the Dodo - it's a good tale...well told with solid science and I'm better informed. Can't ask for much more than that. Highly recommended

neat bit using lobster tech for the latest Xray telescope on the ISS

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Old 30th August 2016, 11:50 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
.....Longitude....
It's an amazing story of a man far far ahead of his peers.....so far ahead ....that a clock he designed but was never funded to build was recently built and tested...........
Great book..........but your sentence here is misleading. Harrison built 3 chronometers himself, and the fourth (and 5th) he paid another engineer/ watchmaker to make (although only the first was finished). His number 4 was tested on a voyage to the West indies, and proven a complete success. He was funded by the Admiralty throughout. What you may be eluding to is that they refused to pay him the prize money on offer until he petitioned the King decades later.

As an aside, and to give you an idea of how single minded the man was, he had to present his works to the Admiralty in London, yet he lived in York, well over 200 miles away. He simply strapped the big things on his back each time and walked.
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Old 31st August 2016, 10:16 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
.......What you may be eluding to........
Alluding, obviously.
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Old 2nd November 2016, 04:04 PM   #32
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A practical book, not a science book; but every home should have one: Merck Manual, Professional Edition for obviously, healthcare pros; Consumer Edition for, well you guessed it....
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Old 2nd January 2017, 09:40 PM   #33
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This



was an impulse buy .....came on on BookBub for $1.99 and was pitched in the same vein as Jarad Diamond and it's usually $15.99 on Kindle !!!
I would not pay $15.99 for it before I got into it....
NOW...it's worth every penny of that. Truly insightful well written science.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 05:49 AM   #34
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From the blurb
Quote:
The fabrication of weapons, the mastery of fire, and the technologies of clothing and shelter radically restructured the human body, enabling us to walk upright, shed our body hair, and migrate out of tropical Africa.
So we mastered fire and clothing before we learned to walk upright? Granted it's possible the author didn't write the blurb but, good lord.
From a review
Quote:
incredibly, he argues that dumping CO2 into the atmosphere, far from being a bad thing, is actually *helping* by preventing the real danger---another ice age.
I remain skeptical!
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Old 20th February 2017, 09:57 AM   #35
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So you are commenting on a book you haven't read? how credible....

meanwhile



absolutely amazing read .....so much I never knew. Extreme climbing meets extreme tree biology...starts slow astonishing true story develops....

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Old 21st February 2017, 02:11 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
Trex and Valley of Doom is just superb....learning so much with the cross discipline discovery

Good story telling....
And damn I think that's the same RIchard Muller at Berkeley who took the wind out of the AGW deniers.
Highly recommended
FTFThis: unfortunately they are still full of hot air!!!!! The kind that chokes you in a crowded elevator when one of them farts!!!!!
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Old 21st February 2017, 02:14 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
From the blurbSo we mastered fire and clothing before we learned to walk upright? Granted it's possible the author didn't write the blurb but, good lord.
From a review

I remain skeptical!
No one knows every field real well and some of them think they do anyway!!!!!
Remember Linus Pauling and Vitamin C???
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Old 20th March 2017, 01:35 PM   #38
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Laugh if you want, but this is the best science book I have ever read, not least because it taught me an awful lot while I was on the toilet. The pages are arranged in chronological order by scientific development, and each development is explained in simple language in no more than a page and a half, plus any appropriate "see also page x." Thus, entire concepts are served up in bite-sized chunks.

A sample:

This book won't get you a college degree, but it will take you past high school. More importantly, it should give you enough knowledge to recognize when a "scientific" claim just doesn't sound right.

This signature is intended to irritate people.
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Old 29th March 2017, 07:24 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by macdoc View Post
a total delightful triology - you'll find yourself every few pages exclaiming loudly .....I never knew that !!!...it's both accessible and intensely developed and erudite.
Please, please forgive me for my pedantry, because I really think that you're passionate about these books, but I cannot help myself. I really appreciate your passion, really I do, but... you can't say "both" and then list three items. It's just not allowed.
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Old 2nd April 2017, 12:20 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Beady View Post
Laugh if you want, but this is the best science book I have ever read, not least because it taught me an awful lot while I was on the toilet. The pages are arranged in chronological order by scientific development, and each development is explained in simple language in no more than a page and a half, plus any appropriate "see also page x." Thus, entire concepts are served up in bite-sized chunks.

A sample:

This book won't get you a college degree, but it will take you past high school. More importantly, it should give you enough knowledge to recognize when a "scientific" claim just doesn't sound right.

This signature is intended to irritate people.
<snipped images>

Laugh? Not even slightly. I personally enjoy books that make the hard sciences accessible.

You should feel no shame stepping up to that plate. You do not only stand upon the shoulders of giants, you stand among them, rubbing shoulders with Newton and Einstein et al. You should be lauded.
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