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Science books for summer


dice-world-brian-cleggBrian Clegg – Dice World: Science and Life in a Random Universe. For centuries scientists believed that the universe was a vast machine – with enough detail, you could predict exactly what would happen. Admittedly real life wasn’t like that. But only, they argued, because we didn’t have enough data to be certain. Then the cracks began to appear. It proved impossible to predict exactly how three planets orbiting each other would move. Meteorologists discovered that the weather was truly chaotic. The final nail in the coffin was quantum theory, showing that everything in the universe has probability at its heart. Welcome to Brian Clegg’s Dice World.

Daniel Allen – The Nature Magpie: A Cornucopia of Facts, Anecdotes, Folklore and Literature from the Natural World. Facts, figures and folklore, The Nature Magpie is a treasure trove of our thoughts and feelings about nature. Author Daniel Allen is the guide, joined by naturalists, novelists and poets as they explore the most isolated parts of the planet.

Tony Ryan, Steve McKevitt – Project Sunshine: How Science Can Use the Sun to Fuel and Feed the World. Capturing all the energy in just one hour’s worth of sunlight would enable us to meet the planet’s food and energy needs for an entire year. Project Sunshine tells the story of how scientists are working to reconnect us to the ‘solar economy’, harnessing the power of the sun to provide sustainable food and energy for a global population of 9 billion people.

Eric Scerri – 30-Second Elements: The 50 Most Significant Elements, Each Explained in Half a Minute. A full-colour guide to the periodic table and the stories behind its most significant elements.

Martin Rees, Francois Fressin – 30-Second Astronomy: The 50 Most Mindblowing Discoveries in Astronomy, Each Explained in Half a Minute: Amazon.co.uk. How hot is Venus? Can you distinguish between a pulsar and a quasar? Is there a universe or a multiverse? Where do we fit into the infinitely grand scheme of things? Is there anyone out there? 50 incredible discoveries brought down to Earth.

You can still grab a copy of the Sciencebase book “Deceived Wisdom” published in hard cover by Elliott & Thomson, available from amazon, Book Repository, Waterstones, Wellcome Collection, Blackwell’s Oxford, on Kindle, as Audible audio edition and as an ebook from Sciencebase. Drop me a line on feedback @ sciencebase dot com

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