Top Five Science Books for Noobs

by Devanshu Mehta

While I may be biased to certain sciences and am no longer unfamiliar with the sciences I love, I still do pick up the all-encompassing science books for ‘the rest of us’- i.e. people who do not have Ph.D.s in the subject of the book. I do plan on getting a Ph.D. in something sooner or later- unfortunately I will not have the time or the inclination to get one in all the subjects I love. So on to the list:

  1. “A Short History of Nearly Everything”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0767908171/galaxyfaraway by “Bill Bryson”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Bryson – the greatest single book on science ever. I think I’m paraphrasing someone important when I say that if the human race was to perish today, this book would be the best single representation of all we know of the world we live in (or on).
  2. “A Brief History of Time”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Brief_History_of_Time by “Stephen Hawking”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking – Stephen Hawking should not need much of an introduction; but I will say this- where not many people even attempt to explain the depths of 20th century physics Hawking excels at explaing the unfathomable.
  3. ABC of Relativity by “Bertrand Russell”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertrand_Russell – A simple yet profound description of Einstein’s earth-shaking (in many ways) discoveries. Written for the very lay reader; it is the best book of its kind.
  4. Anything by “Richard Dawkins”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dawkins – if you meet anyone out there that questions the theory of evolution please hand them a free copy of Dawkins’ The Blind Watchmaker and make sure they read it. I will pay your expenses. If you have stoked their interest in the subject, than these newly converted evolutionists can also be referred to his The Selfish Gene. Expenses will not be paid- they should be paying for their own books by now otherwise we’ll just end up with a generation of charity-dependant evolutionists. And that’s no good; not even in Kansas.
  5. Anything by “John Gribbins”:http://www.lifesci.sussex.ac.uk/home/John_Gribbin/ – you do realize that ‘anything’ is not the name of the book, right? I’m just saying any book by these authors is worth the money. John Gribbin has a few biographies of scientists, a few books on physics, Einstein and general all round goodness.

Recently I picked up a copy of an old 1952 publication on the history of science from “Augustine to Gallileo”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0486288501/galaxyfaraway by AC Crombie at “McIntyre and Moore”:http://www.mcintyreandmoore.com/ in Somerville, MA. Will review that soon; enjoy!

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