Books

This page will list some books on science-related topics.

Siddhartha Mukherjee “The Gene“. A comprehensive view of both the history of genetics through the twentieth century, and the societal implications of the latest developments such as gene editing. Infused with his deeply personal family history of genetic aspects of mental illness (reviewed in the New York Times here). A master of popular science writing in his prime. His earlier book “The Emperor of All Maladies” won a Pulitzer Prize, and this one is just as good.

David J. D. MacKay “Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air“. One of my favourite books about alternative energy sources, uses the physicist’s tools to analyze how and how much energy we use, and what the feasibiilities are for various alternate sources in the future (see my post).

Lauren Pecorino “Why Millions Survive Cancer” (Oxford University Press). Describes the biology and medicine of cancer in terms readers without specialized knowledge can understand, and talks about the successes achieved in treating the disease. She has also written the highly acclaimed “The Molecular Biology of Cancer: Mechanisms, Targets and Therapeutics“, which is now in its 4th edition.

Brett Finlay and Marie-Claire ArriettaLet Them Eat Dirt: Saving Your Child From an Oversanitized World“. Described as “A must-read . . . Takes you inside a child’s gut and shows you how to give kids the best immune start early in life”. Reviewed on Amazon here.

Ben Goldacre “Bad Science“. Debunking bad science, exposing medical nonsense, and fun to read. He also has a number of other titles, including “Bad Pharma“. This is one smart dude, in an entertaining way. He also has a web site that does more debunking, which you can find here.

Tim Caulfield “The Cure for Everything! Untangling the Twisted Messages About Health, Fitness, and Happiness“. Explores topics such as fitness, diet, big pharma, and genetic services that promise to predict you health based on your DNA; all are tackled from a personal point of view (the author undertook the related activities himself). Caulfield, a professor of health law at the University of Alberta, brings a refreshing breeze of critical analysis to these popular topics. He has also written a book titled “Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: How the Famous Sell Us Elixirs of Health, Beauty & Happiness” The title pretty much explains the thesis.