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From Little Acorns

Peter H. Raven

Plants are essential to human life, which means their health and propagation are vital to us. Yet their seeds mostly escape our notice. Carolyn Fry aims to remedy this. Her book Seeds reveals the humble seed in all its fascinating, colorful detail.

Of Essays and Assays

Katie L. Burke

In The Science Writers’ Essay Handbook, Michelle Nijhuis explores the similarities between the writing process and the scientific process, offering a wealth of practical writing advice along the way.

Salem’s Savant

Daniel S. Silver

An Enlightenment mathematician and astronomer, Nathaniel Bowditch improved many areas of life in the early American republic and earned praise both at home and abroad. Yet today his work has largely been forgotten. In Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers, Tamara Plakins Thornton reminds readers why Bowditch was so influential and ponders his legacy.

Shape-Shifting Cephalopods

Drew Harvell

Poetry for the Apocalypse

Michael Leong

Bestselling poet Christian Bök has worked on this groundbreaking project for more than a decade, collaborating with scientists and studying the science himself from the ground up, in order to create what may be considered the first “living poetry.”


Dianne Timblin

There are almost 2,000 species of fireflies, and Tufts University biologist Sara Lewis’s fascination with the creatures is so captivating that readers may want to learn about them all.

An Arresting Alphabet

Peter Broglie

Agatha Christie knew her poisons. Written by a former research chemist, A is for Arsenic examines 14 of the toxic substances featured in Christie’s mysteries.

On the Origin of Origin Stories

Ryan Seals

Through the pages of A Brief History of Creation, Bill Mesler and H. James Cleaves II trace humanity’s obsession with the origin story of life on Earth as Westerners have told it, from the philosophy of Anaximander in the 6th century BCE to a 21st-century biology lab at Harvard Medical School.

No Rust for the Weary

Dianne Timblin

In Rust, journalist Jonathan Waldman follows a winding, oxidized path—to the Statue of Liberty, through Alaskan oil fields, into the Ball can-making factory, and well beyond—revealing how the work of corrosion engineers improves contemporary life, making it easier, more productive, and far safer.

Adventures of a Spacefaring Feline

Dianne Timblin

For Professor Astro Cat's Atomic Adventure, author Dominic Walliman and illustrator Ben Newman bring an intrepid cosmic traveler back for a journey through physics' many realms.

Behind the Scenes, Between the Lines

Carolyn Beans

Geobiologist Hope Jahren’s memoir, Lab Girl, takes readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of science as she recounts the triumphs and misadventures of setting up three labs and conducting research in the Canadian Arctic, Ireland, Hawaii, and across the continental United States.

Science Books in Six

American Scientist’s readers, writers, and editors share the science books that struck their fancy in 2015—summed up in just six words!

Cypherpunks Write Code

Jamie Bartlett

What happens in this virtual world—the Dark Net—and why?

O Pioneer

Laura Dassow Walls

An inveterate explorer with an insatiable curiosity about the natural world, Alexander von Humboldt observed flora, fauna, climatic variation, and geology in close detail from continent to continent and described his findings in some of the bestselling volumes of his age.

Pavlov's Perestroika

Harold Green

A brief review of Ivan Pavlov: A Russian Life in Science, by Daniel P. Todes

Darkness Invisible

Corey S. Powell

A brief review of Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe, by Lisa Randall

Queen Jolly

Asia Murphy

A review essay on Thank You, Madagascar: The Conservation Diaries of Alison Jolly, by Alison Jolly

Names, Simplified

Henry Reich

A brief review of Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words, by Randall Munroe

Parsley, Sage, Thermocouple, and Thyme

Eric Schulze

A brief review of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, by J. Kenji López-Alt

An Ethical Evolution

Jacob Darwin Hamblin

A brief review of Scientists at War: The Ethics of Cold War Weapons Research, by Sarah Bridger

Enter the Dragons

Fenella Saunders

A brief review of Dragonflies: Magnificent Creatures of Water, Air, and Land, by Pieter van Dokkum

One Singular Sensation

Katie L. Burke

A brief review of Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind, by David J. Linden

Fearless Symmetry

Daniel S. Silver

A brief review of Creating Symmetry: The Artful Mathematics of Wallpaper Patterns, by Frank A. Farris

When the Atomic Went Mainstream

Lindsey A. Freeman

A brief excerpt of Longing for the Bomb: Oak Ridge and Atomic Nostalgia, by Lindsey A. Freeman

In the Spirits of Science

Emily Buehler

A brief review of Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail, by Dave Arnold

Owls in the Family

Dianne Timblin

A brief review of The House of Owls, by Tony Angell

Mistrust, Metaphor, and Medicine

Katie L. Burke

A brief review of On Immunity: An Inoculation, by Eula Biss

On the Shore of the Infinite

Corey S. Powell

Brief reviews of Cosmigraphics: Picturing Space Through Time, by Michael Benson, and Infinite Worlds: The People and Places of Space Exploration, by Michael Soluri

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