Science Reference
Featured Items
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge
The Unity of Knowledge
Paperback      ISBN: 067976867x

"A dazzling journey across the sciences and humanities in search of deep laws to unite them." --The Wall Street Journal

One of our greatest living scientists--and the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for On Human Nature and The Ants--gives us a work of visionary importance that may be the crowning achievement of his career. In Consilience (a word that originally meant "jumping together"), Edward O. Wilson renews the Enlightenment's search for a unified theory of knowledge in disciplines that range from physics to biology, the social sciences and the humanities.

Using the natural sciences as his model, Wilson forges dramatic links between fields. He explores the chemistry of the mind and the genetic bases of culture. He postulates the biological principles underlying works of art from cave-drawings to Lolita. Presenting the latest findings in prose of wonderful clarity and oratorical eloquence, and synthesizing it into a dazzling whole, Consilience is science in the path-clearing traditions of Newton, Einstein, and Richard Feynman.
The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
The Coming Plague
Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
Paperback      ISBN: 0140250913
The definitive account of epidemics in our time, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning public heath expert Laurie Garrett.

A New York Times notable book

Unpurified drinking water. Improper use of antibiotics. Local warfare. Massive refugee migration. Changing social and environmental conditions around the world have fostered the spread of new and potentially devastating viruses and diseases--HIV, Lassa, Ebola, and others. Laurie Garrett takes you on a fifty-year journey through the world's battles with microbes and examines the worldwide conditions that have culminated in recurrent outbreaks of newly discovered diseases, epidemics of diseases migrating to new areas, and mutated old diseases that are no longer curable. She argues that it is not too late to take action to prevent the further onslaught of viruses and microbes, and offers possible solutions for a healthier future.
This Is Improbable Too: Synchronized Cows, Speedy Brain Extractors and More WTF Research
This Is Improbable Too
Synchronized Cows, Speedy Brain Extractors and More WTF Research
Paperback      ISBN: 1780743610
The mind behind the infamous Ig Nobel Prizes presents an addictive collection of improbable research all about us - and you

Marc Abrahams collects the odd, the imaginative and the brilliantly improbable. Here he turns to research on the ins and outs of the very improbable evolutionary innovation that is the human body (brain included):

- What's the best way to get a monkey to floss regularly?

- How much dandruff do Pakistani soldiers have?

- If you add an extra henchman to your bank-robbing gang, how much more money will you 'earn'?

- How many dimples will be found on the cheeks of 28,282 Greek children?

- Who is the Einstein of pork carcasses?
The Big Book of Science: Facts, Figures, and Theories to Blow Your Mind
The Big Book of Science
Facts, Figures, and Theories to Blow Your Mind
Hardcover      ISBN: 0785835997

The well-known "a bee in a cathedral" analogy describes the size of an atom and its nucleus in understandable terms. The analogy goes that if an atom were expanded to the size of a cathedral, the nucleus would be only about the size of a bee.

The Big Book of Science uses analogies to demonstrate 100 basic scientific truths and principles in new and exciting ways, describing the unbelievably massive, the inconceivably tiny and the unfathomably complex in everyday terms. Readers will be drawn to the book by its combination of intuitive reasoning and a highly visual presentation style. It's bursting with facts, figures, diagrams, charts, and illustrations. Each page helps readers understand fundamental scientific principles and theories by using analogies that describe abstract ideas using everyday objects.

Each analogy is explained in direct terms and clearly illustrated. A range of facts and figures -- presented in uniquely accessible "infographics" -- complements the analogies. The book covers a wide array of scientific topics: physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology, earth sciences, anatomy and technology. The analogies include:

  • If an atomic nucleus expanded to the size of a marble, it would weigh about 100 million tons, or roughly the equivalent of 16 Great Pyramids of Egypt.
  • It would take a human heart less than 18 days to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
  • The volcanic blast of Mount St. Helens released thermal energy 1,600 times the size of Hiroshima. Krakatoa's 1883 eruption was roughly 13,000 times as powerful as that same bomb.
Informative and engaging, The Big Book of Science gives readers a deeper appreciation of the forces and facts that govern the universe and everything in it.
Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-And the World
52 Women Who Changed Science-And the World
Paperback      ISBN: 0553446797

Fifty-two inspiring and insightful profiles of history's brightest female scientists.

"Rachel Swaby's no-nonsense and needed Headstrong dynamically profiles historically overlooked female visionaries in science, technology, engineering, and math."--Elle

In 2013, the New York Times published an obituary for Yvonne Brill. It began: "She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job, and took eight years off from work to raise three children." It wasn't until the second paragraph that readers discovered why the Times had devoted several hundred words to her life: Brill was a brilliant rocket scientist who invented a propulsion system to keep communications satellites in orbit, and had recently been awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Among the questions the obituary--and consequent outcry--prompted were, Who are the role models for today's female scientists, and where can we find the stories that cast them in their true light?

delivers a powerful, global, and engaging response. Covering Nobel Prize winners and major innovators, as well as lesser-known but hugely significant scientists who influence our every day, Rachel Swaby's vibrant profiles span centuries of courageous thinkers and illustrate how each one's ideas developed, from their first moment of scientific engagement through the research and discovery for which they're best known. This fascinating tour reveals 52 women at their best--while encouraging and inspiring a new generation of girls to put on their lab coats.
How Many Moons Does the Earth Have?: The Ultimate Science Quiz Book
How Many Moons Does the Earth Have?
The Ultimate Science Quiz Book
Paperback      ISBN: 1848319282

Why did Uuq become Fl? Why is the sky blue? Why is the sky black? What is spaghettification? There's a problem with the typical pub quiz. It always features far too much sport, 1980s pop and celebrity gossip -- and not nearly enough science.

How Many Moons Does the Earth Have? is the ultimate solution. Test your knowledge to the limit with a sizzling collection of brain-stretching, science-based questions in two eight-round quizzes. Turn the page to get the answer immediately -- and as each answer page explores the subject in more depth, this the only quiz that's just as entertaining to read from beginning to end as it is to play competitively.

Where was the Big Bang? What links the elephant Tusko and Timothy Leary? What is the significance of 6EQUJ5? Science explainer extraordinaire Brian Clegg tells all . . .
How the Body Works/100 Ways Parents and Kids Can Share the Miracle of the Human Body
How the Body Works/100 Ways Parents and Kids Can Share the Miracle of the Human Body
Hardcover      ISBN: 0895775751

Here are the basic facts about the complex and amazing machine that is the human body. Hundreds of practical, safe experiments help the whole family learn by doing. An educational and entertaining way to learn the secrets of the body.

Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk
Nonsense on Stilts
How to Tell Science from Bunk
Paperback      ISBN: 0226667863

Recent polls suggest that fewer than 40 percent of Americans believe in Darwin's theory of evolution, despite it being one of science's best-established findings. More and more parents are refusing to vaccinate their children for fear it causes autism, though this link can been consistently disproved. And about 40 percent of Americans believe that the threat of global warming is exaggerated, despite near consensus in the scientific community that manmade climate change is real.

Why do people believe bunk? And what causes them to embrace such pseudoscientific beliefs and practices? Noted skeptic Massimo Pigliucci sets out to separate the fact from the fantasy in this entertaining exploration of the nature of science, the borderlands of fringe science, and--borrowing a famous phrase from philosopher Jeremy Bentham--the nonsense on stilts. Presenting case studies on a number of controversial topics, Pigliucci cuts through the ambiguity surrounding science to look more closely at how science is conducted, how it is disseminated, how it is interpreted, and what it means to our society. The result is in many ways a "taxonomy of bunk" that explores the intersection of science and culture at large.

No one--not the public intellectuals in the culture wars between defenders and detractors of science nor the believers of pseudoscience themselves--is spared Pigliucci's incisive analysis. In the end, Nonsense on Stilts is a timely reminder of the need to maintain a line between expertise and assumption. Broad in scope and implication, it is also ultimately a captivating guide for the intelligent citizen who wishes to make up her own mind while navigating the perilous debates that will affect the future of our planet.
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
What If?
Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
Hardcover      ISBN: 0544272994
From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask Millions of people visit each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have an enormous, dedicated following, as do his deeply researched answers to his fans' strangest questions. The queries he receives range from merely odd to downright diabolical: - What if I took a swim in a spent-nuclear-fuel pool? - Could you build a jetpack using downward-firing machine guns? - What if a Richter 15 earthquake hit New York City? - Are fire tornadoes possible? His responses are masterpieces of clarity and wit, gleefully and accurately explaining everything from the relativistic effects of a baseball pitched at near the speed of light to the many horrible ways you could die while building a periodic table out of all the actual elements. The book features new and never-before-answered questions, along with the most popular answers from the xkcd website. What If? is an informative feast for xkcd fans and anyone who loves to ponder the hypothetical.
The Secret Language of Anatomy: An Illustrated Guide to the Origins of Anatomical Terms
The Secret Language of Anatomy
An Illustrated Guide to the Origins of Anatomical Terms
Hardcover      ISBN: 1623172454
A strikingly illustrated key to decoding anatomical terminology, with 150 terms for body parts that derive from animals, plants, objects, and more

An initiation into the mysterious subject of anatomical terminology, this book reveals the body's secret language by explaining the close relationship between human organs and structures and the evocative names given to them by anatomists. Beautifully crafted images illustrate 150 terms derived from the animal, food, place, plant, symbol, or other object that the body structure or function clearly resembles. Complete with a guide to prefixes and suffixes, this book decodes patterns in the naming of parts throughout the human body and makes anatomical terms more memorable for medical students and practitioners. In addition to professionals, anyone interested in the history of anatomy, the structure and function of the human body, medical etymology, and the history of language will be fascinating by this engrossing, accessible, and informative book.