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SCF Recommended Book List

PostPosted: July 17th, 2006, 1:26 am
by Cyndi Loo
Does anyone have any suggestions for the SCF Recommended Book List?

My first suggestion would be:

Understanding the Universe from Quarks to the Cosmos by Dr. Don Lincoln.

PostPosted: July 17th, 2006, 10:32 am
by BioWizard
"The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins

PostPosted: July 18th, 2006, 3:14 am
by Cyndi Loo
In The Blink of an Eye by Andrew Parker.

PostPosted: July 18th, 2006, 12:06 pm
by BioWizard
A Brief History of Time -- Stephen Hawking

PostPosted: July 18th, 2006, 12:57 pm
by Fuqin
For the laymen here I would recommend
E=mc2 by Pete Moore, the great ideas that shaped our world, its kind of an encyclopedia of the major scientific breakthroughs and the scientists who brought them about

On a heaver level I quite enjoyed
Stephen jay Gould’s life’s grandeur
George Smoot and Keay Davidson’s wrinkles in time the imprint of creation

PostPosted: July 18th, 2006, 3:00 pm
by lucretiaX
One of my favorites:
Three Roads to Quantum Gravity
by Lee Smolin

And a great little book:
A Tour of the Calculus
by David Berlinski

PostPosted: July 19th, 2006, 3:49 am
by Ichibukai
The Emperor's New Mind by Roger Penrose

PostPosted: July 20th, 2006, 4:15 am
by Silkworm
I highly recommend Ken Miller's Finding Darwin's God for anyone interested in the creation-evolution controversy, including those who feel the controversy themselves. It's a very fine book, very well written, scientifically accurate, and covers many misrepresentations and explains why science must exist as it is.

PostPosted: July 20th, 2006, 9:32 am
by Fuqin
"The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins
Ken Miller's Finding Darwin's God

The Origins of Virtue Matt Ridley is another book in this ilk of books that I have read 2 or 3 times actually, I may get Richard Dawkins & Ken Miller's to see how they compare I know Matt Ridley makes quit a few references to Richard Dawkins but Finding Darwin's God .sounds quit intriguing .

PostPosted: September 4th, 2006, 1:01 pm
by Navi00
Another Day in the Frontal Lobe -- A brain surgeon exposes life on the inside. Katrina Firlik

Not hugely scientific, but it was a great book for anybody interested in presuing surgery or really any thing in the medical feild.

Shes pretty damn funny too. :)

PostPosted: October 17th, 2006, 2:08 pm
by Marshall
lucretiaX wrote:One of my favorites:
Three Roads to Quantum Gravity
by Lee Smolin

Have you read his latest book?----The Trouble with Physics: the rise of string theory, the fall of a science, and what comes next.

I would recommend that. Here are what two bloggers have to say (Christine Dantas, an astrophysicist, and Bee Hossenfelder, a physicist researching ways to test quantum gravity and unification theories)

Bee's blog: ... ysics.html ... oblem.html ... ments.html

Christine's blog: ... -with.html

PostPosted: May 25th, 2007, 9:40 pm
by BorisOfTerreHaute
The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution by Richard Dawkins

This book has such a unique format and style of tracing our (humanity's) evolutionary history though all our common ancestors, (animals, plants, fungi, bacteria), in that order. Meaning backwards through time, tracing our family tree all the way back to the beginning of life. Utterly fantastic.

From Publishers Weekly:

The diversity of the earth's plant and animal life is amazing—especially when one considers the near certainty that all living things can trace their lineage back to a single ancestor—a bacterium—that lived more than three billion years ago. Taking his cue from Chaucer, noted Oxford biologist Dawkins (The Selfish Gene, etc.) works his way narratively backward through time. As the path reaches points where humanity's ancestors converge with those of other species—primates, mammals, amphibians and so on—various creatures have tales that carry an evolutionary lesson. The peacock, for example, offers a familiar opportunity to discuss sexual selection, which is soon freshly applied to the question of why humans started walking upright. These passages maintain an erudite yet conversational voice whether discussing the genetic similarities between hippos and whales (a fact "so shocking that I am still reluctant to believe it") or the existence of prehistoric rhino-sized rodents. The book's accessibility is crucial to its success, helping to convince readers that, given a time span of millions of years, unlikely events, like animals passing from one continent to another, become practically inevitable. This clever approach to our extended family tree should prove a natural hit with science readers.

PostPosted: June 7th, 2007, 2:08 am
by goingtothedogs
"The Blind Watchmaker" by Dawkins gave me a Paulian experience in my twenties and I still regularly re-read it.

PostPosted: June 13th, 2008, 1:03 pm
by Krustychick
Richard Dawkins - The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing ... bb_product

PostPosted: June 13th, 2008, 10:55 pm
by Deftil
If you have patience and a profound interest in animal behavior Sociobiology by E.O. Wilson is a must read in my opinion. Over 600 pages long, and they're wide pages too.

PostPosted: June 14th, 2008, 12:21 am
by BorisOfTerreHaute
Ditto wrote:If you have patience and a profound interest in animal behavior Sociobiology by E.O. Wilson is a must read in my opinion. Over 600 pages long, and they're wide pages too.

Ditto on that, big time. :-)

Re: SCF Recommended Book List

PostPosted: October 13th, 2010, 6:16 pm
by sbhati513
"One Two Three... Infinity" by George Gamov ...its about facts and speculations of science...awesome book..

Re: SCF Recommended Book List

PostPosted: November 17th, 2010, 12:15 am
by Silkworm
Some of the classics are great. I really dig Einstein's Theory of Relativity. I mean the book that the man himself wrote. I also like Galileo's Dialogues.

Re: SCF Recommended Book List

PostPosted: March 14th, 2012, 5:48 am
by eric42
I found this great site for popular science book recommendations - it is called A Nerd's Guide to Reading (, which is where I found out about James Gleick's "Chaos" (my favorite pop science book to date).

Re: SCF Recommended Book List

PostPosted: April 4th, 2012, 12:28 pm
by Boop
I just finished reading the following book and I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in philosophy!:

Ferry, Luc. "A Brief History of Thought" A Philosophical Guide to Living. Harper Collins Publishers, N.Y.
ISBN 978-0-06-207424-9.

"Professor Luc Ferry teaches philosophy at the Sorbonne (University of Paris VII, Denis Diderot). He has won numerous awards.....He is an officer of the French Legion of Honor and a knight of the Order of Arts and letters. From 2002 to 2004 Ferry served as French Minister of National Education. He lives in Paris."

The author clarifies many concepts for me and gives me a better understanding of the beliefs of Nietzsche.

If you choose to read the book, I'd appreciate your sharing your thoughts with me.

Re: SCF Recommended Book List

PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 11:23 am
by TheVat
Programming the Universe, by Seth Lloyd. The MIT quantum computing guru develops his ideas about "it-from-bit" and how the cosmos computes itself. Take a fun trip to Nature's logic gates, the world of entropy, and many other scenic locations.

Re: SCF Recommended Book List

PostPosted: February 18th, 2014, 2:21 pm
by Marshall
Interesting! I'll start a thread about Seth Lloyd ideas in the Physics forum.

Re: SCF Recommended Book List

PostPosted: April 4th, 2014, 12:01 pm
by safeleo
For an amazing look at the connection between human and animal health, try Zoobiquity, found here: ... ot_redir=1

Also, there's this wonderful book called Bad Science that helps you think more critically about so-called evidence behind alternative medicines and pharmaceuticals, found here: ... SY200_QL40

And I always recommend anything by Richard Dawkins, Michael Crichton, and Douglas Adams.

Too Big to Know

PostPosted: August 5th, 2014, 8:25 am
by vivian maxine
Last night I started a new book - new to me although it has been out for several years. I have read the introduction and part of Chapter One and I am already fascinated. "Too Big to Know" by David Weinberger is the author's opinion of the internet and how it has made us both smarter and dumber. How more people know more about everything and can contribute more to the world of knowledge because of the Internet. Suddenly I see why things have changed, must change and are changing in way of learning and why it may work -- or may not. Positive and Negative, he tells it all.

Quote: "The internet is an unedited mash of rumor, gossips and lies."

But that isn't as bad as it sounds.

Quote: "The new way of learning is less certain but more human. Less settled by more transparent. Less reliable but more inclusive. Less insistent but far richer......It feels more natural because the old ideas of knowledge were never realistic."

Bringing in the history of learning, Mr. Weinberger then describes Russell Ackoff's triangle of knowledge which shows how our ways of learning about the world have developed from Data (at the base) through Information, Knowledge, Understanding and Wisdom (which we have not yet. reached).

About that Wisdom, Mr. Weinberger points out in his "history" of learning, all this isn't really such a new idea. Years before the internet exploded upon us, T. S. Eliot in The Rock wrote:

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

T S Eliot, speaking on a totally different subject, reflects what Mr. Weinberger is saying. We still lack Wisdom. I am hoping Mr. Weinberger has some good solutions in mind.

Suddenly it is all so clear - why education is changing - must change - as we all grow smarter and have more information available to satisfy our need to know. Anyone interested in how we learn; anyone frustrated by what he sees going on in universities; anyone wondering how to teach today's students may appreciate this book.

Re: SCF Recommended Book List

PostPosted: September 22nd, 2014, 4:55 am
by Hendrick Laursen
The last scientific Book I read (I'm still reading it)

Asymptotic Analysis and Perturbation Theory
By William Paulsen

Clear writing, coherent illustrations. which are necessary for every good mathematics book.

Re: SCF Recommended Book List

PostPosted: July 8th, 2015, 7:59 pm
by weakmagneto
100 Best Science Books of All Time List

The 100 Best Science Books of All Time list contains a mixture of classic and popular works, chosen for their accessibility and relevance. Most of the books selected are suitable for a well educated layman with only a few being for a more serious reader. The list covers the obvious subjects: biology, chemistry, and physics, as well as mathematics, the philosophy of science, and the history of science. It also includes several biographies.

Each author is only represented by one book on the list. We recommend that you look at author pages to find more great works. It's especially worth looking for more works by Richard Feynman, Ernst Mayr, Bertrand Russell, Peter Atkins, Rachel Carson, and George Gamow.

Re: SCF Recommended Book List

PostPosted: November 14th, 2015, 10:08 am
by Forest_Dump
I have had a book in my in box for a few weeks now and not had a chance to do more than browse but I will highly recommend "The Real Planet of the Apes" (2016) by David Begun. I know his work well (he had a great Scientific American paper with a very similar or nearly identical name some years ago) so have high confidence this book will be worth the read. The author is probably the expert on Miocene Dryopithecines, particularly in Europe and writes very well. The book is somewhat detailed but directed towards more than just specialists.

Re: SCF Recommended Book List

PostPosted: December 20th, 2015, 10:10 pm
by Mjr Houlihan
The Good Book by A. C. Grayling

Re: SCF Recommended Book List

PostPosted: April 16th, 2017, 10:38 pm
by Forest_Dump
One I found in a used bookstore for a pittance:

"Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!" by R. P. Feynman and R. Leighton.

Very amusing anecdotes about the deverlopment of physics including Los Alamos with lots of name dropping, etc. Well worth the read.

Re: SCF Recommended Book List

PostPosted: January 8th, 2018, 6:21 pm
by Hendrick Laursen
Forest_Dump » April 16th, 2017, 4:38 pm wrote:One I found in a used bookstore for a pittance:

"Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!" by R. P. Feynman and R. Leighton.

Very amusing anecdotes about the deverlopment of physics including Los Alamos with lots of name dropping, etc. Well worth the read.

I've read that one, indeed worth reading.