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HOME > SCIENTISTS' NIGHTSTAND > BROWSE SCIENTISTS' NIGHTSTAND BY PUBLICATION TYPE

Book Review


A Note from the Editors

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

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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

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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”

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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

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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

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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

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The Fraught History of a Watery World

Nancy Langston

A review of The Big Muddy: An Environmental History of the Mississippi and Its Peoples, from Hernando de Soto to Hurricane Katrina, by Christopher Morris. Environmental and social issues converge at the mouth of the Mississippi River: Morris documents a history of repeated attempts to control the river's flow, many made at the expense of African Americans

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Father of Fractals

Brian Hayes

A review of The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick, by Benoit B. Mandelbrot. In this posthumously published memoir, Mandelbrot is not shy about proclaiming his own achievements. But his choice to exclude some important characters in his stories of mathematical and scientific advancement is troublesome, says Hayes

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Curie as Celebrity

Emily Buehler

A review of Marie Curie and Her Daughters: The Private Lives of Science’s First Family, by Shelley Emling. This biography of Curie and her daughters Irene and Eve tends toward the dramatic early on, but later chapters reveal much about the lives of the women that are its subject, as well as about their contemporaries

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Ecological Dependency

Katie L. Burke

A review of Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, by David Quammen. Quammen’s latest book tackles the thorny questions and sometimes-gruesome details of the quest to understand diseases transmitted from animals to humans. His fans will not be disappointed

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Total Records : 1241


 

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