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8 Best Science Books

posted by William DeMassi

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8 Best Science Books
1. The Periodic Table
2. King Solomon’s Ring
3. Arcadia
4. The Selfish Gene
5. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
6. The Life of Galileo
7. How to Build a Time Machine
8. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

Science is the knowledge about the world through observations and experiments. As many of us know, there are various fields of science such as earth science, meteorology, biology, physics, astronomy, chemistry, and many others. There is bound to be at least one branch of science for every person to take interest in.

Human biology, part of the life science branch, is the reason for how advanced we are in the medical world today. Back then, it was hard to diagnose things and even harder to cure things, but now, we know so much more and have many more success stories.

Meteorology, part of the earth science branch, has helped us keep track of current and future weather systems due to all the upgrades in technology. In the past, it was very difficult to track thunderstorms, tornadoes, and other systems without radars, but because of all the information we have now, we are able to help save lives before and while the storm hits.

Science is not perfect by any means, but we are able to improve so many things every single day with every new study we make.

Today, we’re picking out some of the best science related books to ever be written to share with and recommend to you.


8. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! | Richard Feynman

best science books, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

Also known as its longer title, “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character, this 1985 book is about a variety of things that have actually happened in the life of theoretical physicist Richard Feynman, who is also the author.

A handful of this book is written to be lighthearted and fun, while another handful of this book is to be taken more seriously. Feynman talks about various fun subjects such as his fascination with studying different languages, being involved with groups of people who are interested in different things (such as biology and philosophy), and his interest in art and music. Some of the more serious stuff he talks about involve the work he did on the Manhattan Project and criticizing Brazil’s educational system.

“ There is still so much to do ”

If you’re wondering how the title came about, since it does sound fairly odd for a book about science, a woman from Princeton University said he had to be joking when he asked for both lemon and cream to be put into his tea. Apparently, that’s a bad thing and why it is, we don’t think we’ll ever know.

Science has been around for so much longer than we could imagine and it’s not finished. There is still so much to do, so much to say, and so much to write about. There will always be new ways to improve or create new medicine to cure cancer and other diseases, new ways to keep people safe during potentially dangerous weather systems, and new ways to expand our children’s minds. There are hundreds and thousands of other science related books, loads that we obviously haven’t read or heard of, and we can’t wait to possibly share these titles in the future.


7. How to Build a Time Machine | Paul Davies

science books, How to Build a Time Machine

Unfortunately, you’re probably not going to be the 13th Doctor holding a Sonic Screwdriver anytime soon, but this piece written by British physicist, writer, and broadcaster Paul Davies might still interest you. Written in 2002, this work of nonfiction talks about the possibility of time traveling.

In this book, you will read explanations about how relative time is, how relatable it is to time travel, and it actually gives you a blueprint for a time machine if it were real. These are all really cool things to read about.

Again, while you probably won’t be able to make a time machine and travel the world of Gallifrey in the near future, How to Build a Time Machine could possibly be the best choice for you if you’re a major Doctor Who fan.


6. The Life of Galileo| Bertolt Brecht

The Life of Galileo, best science book

Another fantastic play that was written in 1945, The Life of Galileo, or also simply known as Galileo, is based on the later part of the life of Italian natural philosopher Galileo Galilei. The play gave its first performance in a German theatre on September 9, 1948.

Galilei is a man who was oppressed by the Roman Catholic Church for making his scientific discoveries known to the general public. One of the main themes in this play is the conflict between dogmatism, a set of principles essentially made law by authority, and scientific evidence, a theme that is still practiced and talked about today.

Between 1945 and 1947, Brecht collaborated with filmmaker Charles Laughton and wrote the American version of the play.


5. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat | Oliver Sacks

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, best science book

Oliver Sacks, who is a famed neurologist with great interest in disease as well as people, wrote his book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (and Other Clinical Tales) in 1985. It contains some cases of the patients he had during his career.

The book’s title was inspired by a certain case study, one of a patient suffering visual agnosia, an impairment that makes people not recognize visual objects.

The book is broken up in four sections with a total of twenty four chapters that each talk about a specific aspect of brain function. Excesses and deficits are talked about in section one and two; and manifestations referencing perceptions that were altered and other things that people who are mentally handicapped deal with are talked about in the last two sections.

The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat has been shown in many parts of pop culture such as The Man Who, the album from the band Travis, the film Mary and Max, a Tamil novel written by Charu Nivedita Dhegam, and Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63.


4. The Selfish Gene | Richard Dawkins

Published in 1976, this book on evolution builds upon the principal theory of Adaptation and Natural Selection, the first book written by George C. Williams.

When the book was first published, it became an instant favourite as it sold over a million copies and was translated into more than twenty five different languages.According to its readers, the book caused a revolution in biology that was silent and happened almost immediately.


3. Arcadia | Tom Stoppard

This is actually not a book, but a comedy-drama play that premiered in 1993 about the relationship between things happening in the past and in the present, things being in order and being all over the place, and knowing for certain that things are true and not knowing for sure if things are true.

“ Best science related piece ever written ”

While The Periodic Table took the first place spot, the Royal Institution of Great Britain actually considered Arcadia to be one of the best science related pieces ever written in 2006.

The play explores the nature of evidence and truth through modern ideas of history, math, and physics. Sheppard said that the inspiration for this play came from the 1987 bestseller from author and historian of science James Gleick called Chaos: Making a New Science.

If you’re looking for something fresh and something to read that isn’t a book, give the play a try.


2. King Solomon’s Ring | Konrad Lorenz

best science books, King Solomon’s Ring

Written by an Austrian scientist, this nonfiction book published in 1949 disproves common misconceptions people have about animals’ intelligence as well as pointing out the similarities between animals and human beings.

The issue of keeping pets is talked about, praising the benefits a pet owner gains from raising a pet as well as talking about the threats an animal may bring to the house or building it’s residing in. The last thing talked about is how miserable an animal can be being contained in a small housing area and how to raise the pet properly to keep it from being so.

The first English edition was published in 1952. By 2005, the English edition of the book had been published six times and continues to be published.


1. The Periodic Table | Primo Levi

The Periodic Table, best science books

Written by Italian-Jewish author and chemist Primo Levi and published in 1975, The Periodic Table, available in both hardback and paperback, was given the prize for the best book involving science by the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

It actually won over other nominated titles from well-known people such as Richard Dawkins, James Watson (a DNA legend, at that), Tom Sheppard, Bertolt Brecht, and Charles Darwin. This book is a bunch of short stories that all happened in real life and were Levi’s experiences as a chemist during and after the Fascist regime.

There are twenty one chapters in this book, each one of them being named after a specific element. The stories are a mixture of fiction and nonfiction to give you a taste of the reality of science with a little bit of fantasy.

While the book was originally published in 1975, it was published only in Italian at that time and wasn’t translated into English until 1984.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

William DeMassi (see all articles)

Born in Italy, raised in USA - knowledgeable in various topics. Out of all of my passions, writing is the biggest one and the one I dedicate most of my time to. Other interests include: movies, singing and dressing with elegance.

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