Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Holiday Reading: Science Books

I have picked my top ten books on politics ( and have posted a long list of books before (, and now, as I promised, here is my list of best science books. As I struggled so much to restrict myself to just 10 books on politics, and left out so many worthy titles, this time around I decided to cheat a little. Instead of Top 10 Science Books, I will make a meta-list of my top picks of books in each of the 6 science topics. Sorry - it is almost all biology due to the professional bias. I have restricted myself to books I own, and have read (at least big chunks) relatively recently (though some are so important I waived that last criterion) . Also, I will just write titles - I am too lazy and tired right now to find all the links to and anyway, I want to move from amazon to Powells these days in order to Buy Blue. So just google the titles, or copy and paste into your favourite online bookseller's webpage search engine. Add your own (or criticize my choices) in the comments. Here we go:

1) Genetics Explained:
Stephen Rose - Lifelines
Richard Lewontin - The Triple Helix
Evelyn Fox Keller - The Century of the Gene
David Moore - The Dependent Gene
Jonathan Marks - What it means to be 98% chimpanzee
Lewontin, Rose and Kamin - Not In Our Genes
Dorothy Nelkin and M.Susan Lindee - The DNA Mystique
Ruth Hubbard abd Elijah Wald - Exploding the Gene Myth
...and once all these arm you against the seductive rhetoric of genetics, go and see the exciting stuff that geneticists have really found:
John Medina - The Genetic Inferno
Jonathan Weiner - Time, Love, Memory

2) Evolution for the 21st Century:
Stephen Jay Gould - The Structure of Evolutionary Theory
Susan Oyama - The Ontogeny of Information: Developmental Systems and Evolution
David Sloan Wilson and Elliott Sober - Unto Others
Robert Brandon - Adaptation and Environment
Susan Oyama - Cycles of Contingency : Developmental Systems and Evolution
Niles Eldredge - Reinventing Darwin
Terrence Deacon - The Symbolic Species
Stephen Jay Gould - Ontogeny and Phylogeny
Stephen Jay Gould - The Wonderful Life
Joan Roughgarden - Evolution's Rainbow
Stuart Kauffman - At Home in the Universe
Carl Zimmer - Parasite Rex
Jonathan Weiner - The Beak of the Finch
Rudolf Raff - The Shape of Life
Evelyn Fox Keller and Elizabeth Lloyd - Keywords in Evolutionary Biology
Kenneth McNamara - Shapes of Time
Stephen R. Palumbi - The Evolution Explosion: How Humans Cause Rapid Evolutionary Change Misia Landau - Narratives of Human Evolution

3) Animals, Ecology and Natural History:
May Berenbaum - Buzzwords
May Berenbaum - Bugs in the System
R.J.Hoage - Perceptions of Animals in American Culture
Michael Rosenzweig - Win-Win Ecology
Matt Cartmill - A View to a Death in the Morning
Harriet Ritvo - The Animal Estate
Paul Shepard - The Others
Paul Shepard - Traces of the Omnivore
Deborah Gordon - Ants at Work
Niles Eldredge - Dominion
Stephen Budiansky -The Nature of Horses
Roger Caras - A Perfect Harmony
Keith Thomas - Man and the Natural World
Stephen Kellert - Kinship to Mastery
Julian McAllister Groves - Hearts and Minds
Alfred Crosby - Ecological Imperialism
Lester R. Brown - Eco-Economy: Building a New Economy for the Environmental Age

4) Physiology and Behavior:
Stephen Budiansky - If A Lion Could Talk
Marc Hauser - Wild Minds
Sara Shettleworth - Cognition, Evolution and Behavior
Mitchel, Thoompson and Miles - Anthropomorphism, Anecdotes and Animals
Robert Sapolsky - Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
Robert Sapolsky - The Trouble With Testosterone
Robert Sapolsky - The Primate's Memoir
Knut Schmidt-Nielsen - The Camel's Nose
Bernd Heinrich - Mind of the Raven
Eric Widmaier - Why Geese Don't Get Obese (and We Do)
J.Scott Turner - Extended Organism
Hochachka and Somero - Biochemical Adaptation
Gopnik, Meltzoff and Kuhl - The Scientist in the Crib
Steven R. Quartz, Terrence J. Sejnowski - Liars, Lovers, and Heroes
R Jourdain - Music, The Brain, And Ecstasy : How Music Captures Our Imagination

5) Health, Medicine, Clocks, Sleep, Aging and Death:
Mary Roach - Stiff
M.Lee Goff - A Fly for the Prosecution
Hal Hellman - Great Feuds in Medicine
Michael Gershon - The Second Brain
Rudolph Nesse and George Williams - Why We Get Sick
Leonard Hayflick - How and Why We Age
Roger Gosden - Cheating Time
Sherwin Nuland - How We Die
Peter Breggin - Talking Back to Prozac
Carl Zimmer - Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain-and How It Changed the World
Andrea Rock - The Mind at Night
Russell Foster - Rhythms of Life
Jay Dunlap, Jennifer Loros and Patricia DecCoursey - Chronobiology
John Palmer - The Living Clock
Michael Smolensky - The Body Clock Guide to Better Health
Martin Moore-Ede - The Twenty Four Hour Society
A.Alvarez - Night
William Dement - The Promise of Sleep
Stanley Coren - Sleep Thieves

6) Meta-science, Pseudo-science and Nonsense (sounds nicer than Miscellaneous or "Other"):
David Sloan Wilson - Darwin's Cathedrals
Frank Sulloway - Born to Rebel
Dean Keith Simonton - Origin of Genius
Michael Shermer - The Borderlands of Science
Steven Vogel - Cats' Paws and Catapults
Richard Lewontin - It Ain't Neccessarily So
Richard Lewontin - Biology as Ideology
R.Lewontin and R.Levin - The Dialectical Biologist
Stephen Jay Gould - Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle
Stephen Jay Gould - Rocks of Ages
Stephen Jay Gould - The Hedgehog, The Fox, The Magister's Pox
Stephen Jay Gould - Full House
Stephen Jay Gould - Mismeasure of Man
Clara Pinto-Correia - The Ovary of Eve
Evelyn Fox-Keller - Re-Inventing Life
Kim Sterelny and Paul Griffiths - Sex and Death
David Livingstone - Putting Science in its Place
Jared Diamond - Guns, Germs and Steel
Michael Shermer - Why People Believe Weird Things
Carl Sagan - The Demon-Haunted World
Richard Pennock - The Tower of Babel
Barbara Carroll Forrest and Paul R. Gross - Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design
Michael Shermer - How We Believe
Phillip Kitcher - Abusing Science
Martin Gardner - Science: Good, Bad, and Bogus

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