The ScienceBlogs Book Club

Archives for March, 2009

Originally posted by Janet Stemwedel On March 26, 2009, at 11:58 AM What is it like to be a woman scientist? In a society where being a woman is somehow a distinct experience from being an ordinary human being, the answer to this question can be complicated. And, in a time and place where being…

Originally posted by David Dobbs On March 23, 2009, at 9:34 AM I’ve had mixed reactions to Gladwell’s writing over the years: I always enjoy reading it, but in Blink, especially, when he was writing about an area I knew more about than in his other books, I was troubled not just by what seemed…

Here’s something new, ScienceBlogs Book Clubbers—hopefully the first of many. When we stumbled across Joanne Manaster’s science book review channel on YouTube, we were riveted, and we thought you might be, too. We will be posting Joanne’s videos here on an informal, ongoing basis, and we’ve listed her on our contributors page. Let us know…

Originally posted by Janet Stemwedel On March 19, 2009, at 4:39 PM Scientists are not usually shy when it comes to voicing their frustration about the public’s understanding of how science works, or about the deficits in that understanding. Some lay this at the feet of an educational system that makes it too easy for…

Originally posted by Brian Switek On March 15, 2009, at 12:05 PM Ancestors are important. We like to know where we came from and what sort of legacy our forebears left, but it has only been recently that we have been able to trace the concept of “ancestor” through the depths of geological strata. I…

The Devil’s Teeth, by Susan Casey

Originally posted by Grrlscientist On March 14, 2009, at 10:59 AM An ocean without its unnamed monsters would be like a completely dreamless sleep.—John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez (Penguin Classics; 1995). Unlike any of the kids I grew up with, I was absolutely fascinated by sharks. Despite their bloodthirsty reputation, I…

Originally posted by Brian Switek On March 10, 2009, at 11:14 AM In 1857 Richard Owen proposed that our species, Homo sapiens, belonged to a distinct subclass separate from all other primates. He called this new group the Archencephala and based it as much upon human powers of reason as minute neuroanatomical differences between apes…

Originally posted by Brian Switek On March 8, 2009 6:32 PM On November 8, 1882 the paleontologist O.C. Marsh, popular minister Henry Beecher, industrialist Andrew Carnegie, and other influential men of the late 19th century converged on Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York. They were there to toast Herbert Spencer, the social scientist who had gone…

Originally posted by Jessica Palmer On March 7, 2009, at 11:00 PM Brevity can be a creative coup. Consider Claire Evans’ “Evolution of Life in 60 Seconds”, which shoehorns our entire history into one minute: as the clock slowly ticks away, it makes me fear for a moment – implausible as it may seem –…

Originally posted by John Lynch On March 6, 2009, at 1:17 PM This being the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth – and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his masterwork – many folks seem to have the goal of reading Origin for the first time. Generally speaking the first edition of 1859 (or the second…