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Volume 101 | Number 2 | March-April 2013


A Note from the Editors

After a nearly 70-year run, the Scientists’ Bookshelf will cease publication

Sparring with the Great Geometer

Brian Hayes

A review of The King of Infinite Space: Euclid and His Elements, by David Berlinski. “Berlinski offers a meditative monologue on Euclid’s place in the history of mathematics and the history of ideas,” says Hayes

A Theory of Theory of Mind

Michael Bérubé

A review of Getting Inside Your head, by Lisa Zunshine. Zunshine employs concepts from cognitive science to explain humans’ appetite for fictional scenes in which characters’ mental states are unintentionally revealed to us. This theory, says Bérubé, is “helpfully specific,” although the effort to extend it over a wide range of scenarios and art forms falls a bit flat

Crafting a Narrative of Care

Julianne Lutz Warren

A review of On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson, by William Souder. Souder’s sensitive and thorough biography of Carson, Warren writes, “helps us see her life work as crafting a narrative in which science is used to care for Earth”

Imperial Imagery

Peter H. Raven

A review of Visible Empire: Botanical Expeditions and Visual Culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment, by Daniela Bleichmar. Naturalists and artists on Spanish expeditions to the New World created thousands of botanical images; this well-researched book explores an archive of them

A Wealth of Complexities

Carol Dorf

A review of Complexities: Women in Mathematics, edited by Bettye Anne Case and Anne M. Leggett, and A Wealth of Numbers: An Anthology of 500 Years of Popular Mathematics Writing, edited by Benjamin Wardhaugh. These two very different anthologies open unique windows on mathematical history

Craniate Obsession

Katie L. Burke

A brief review of Skulls: An Exploration of Alan Dudley’s Curious Collection, by Simon Winchester, with photographs by Nick Mann

The Tinkerers

Fenella Saunders

A brief review of The Tinkerers: The Amateurs, DIYers, and Inventors Who Make America Great, by Alec Foege

 

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