Saturday, December 30, 2017

Science Report Card

Earlier in the year, in an effort to better organize my science reading, I drew up a list of categories to guide me along.   I kept a Word file on my computer and fill it out as the months progressed, almost like a scavenger hunt.  The system worked in prompting me to look for books outside my usual areas, and I will use it again in 2018.

Cosmology and Astrophysics
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil deGrasse Tyson

Local Astronomy
Space Probes: From Sputnik to New Horizons, Phillipe Seguela. A largely-graphic history of various probe missions.

The Dragon Seekers: How an Extraordinary Circle of Fossillists Discovered the Dinosaurs,  Christopher McGowan

Weather and Climate
Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History  Erik Larsen.

Chemistry and Physics
The Disappearing Spoon, Sam Kean

Flora and Fauna
Land of the Tiger: A Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent, Valmik Thapar

I Contain Multitudes, Ed Yong

Cro Magnons: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans, Brian Fagan (well, almost. Halfway through it. )

Neurology and Psychology
The Future of the Mind,  Michio Kaku

Science and Society
Energy Myths and Realities: Bringing Science to the Energy Policy Debate, Vaclav Smil

Thinking Scientifically 
Ask a Science Teacher,  Larry Scheckel
The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of Science's Beautiful Basics, Natalie Angier


  1. A science book popped onto my radar recently which looks very interesting: Think Like an Anthropologist by Matthew Engelke. It's on my Amazon Wish List so I'm hoping to pick it up @ some point in 2018.

    1. I hadn't heard of that one, but will take a look at it. Thanks!

  2. i've been long an admirer of Michio Kaku: along with Tyson's, his books are above the average, i think...

  3. i forgot to recommend Carl Sagan, although he might be a bit out of date, he's such a good writer that he's a pleasure to read...

    1. Ah, I've read all of Sagan with the exception of his book on nuclear winter. I like Tyson well enough -- I used to listen to StarTalk radio, before he took a backseat to the comedians and celebrities -- and Kaku has been enjoyable. I haven't started thinking about scien reads for next year, besides the biology stuff I alredy have. (Your Brain on Parasites & Gut)

    2. I must definitely try to schedule more Science for next year.... Nothing at all planned at the moment. So far it's mostly history and politics or political history.... [grin]

  4. Here is my highly recommended fauna suggestion:
    Delicious and entertaining!
    Best wishes from Tim (R.T.) at new address:

  5. Though I've promised myself not to start any more challenges, this category method is a great idea! I've sure enjoyed reading your ratings/reviews this past year, and on a wide variety of topics. Good luck for 2018!

    1. Thank you! I've just discovered your podcast and am enjoying so far. :)


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