Imagine: YOU are asked to assign a half-dozen-or-so books as required reading for ALL science majors at a college as part of their 4-year degree; NOT technical or text books, but other works, old or new, touching upon the nature of science, philosophy, thought, or methodology in a way that a practicing scientist might gain from.Trickier than it sounds. I mean, in my undergraduate days I read a fair few books that would fit the bill. But that was like 20 years ago! These days my reading tends to be more esoteric. Anyway, rushing in where angels fear to...
Post your list, and forward the meme to a half-dozen-or-so other science-oriented bloggers of your choosing.
- Bad Science, by Ben Goldacre. Cracking stuff. Explains how science goes wrong, especially when the media gets a hold of it.
- Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely. Brilliantly exposes the flaws in our self-perception that we do things because we consciously think things through and thereby make the best possible judgement. Essential for anyone who wants to do science without getting derailed.
- The Science Book, edited by Peter Tallack. Just a great, lavish, history of Western science.
- Impossibility: The Limits of Science and the Science of Limits, by John D Barrow. Tackles a thorny subject: what happens when we know everything there is to know, and how will we know when we get there?
- Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body, by Neil Shubin. One of the best recent books on evolution - from a paleontologists perspective.
- The Naked Ape, by Desmond Morris. Just because I had to have one classic from the attic. This one is before even my time!