Best Science Books 2012: Teaching Biology

Another list for your reading, gift-giving and collection development pleasure.

Every year for the last bunch of years I’ve been linking to and posting about all the “year’s best sciencey books” lists that appear in various media outlets and shining a bit of light on the best of the year.

All the previous 2012 lists are here.

This post includes the following: Top Books of 2012: Environmentalism and Climate Change, Evolution.

  • Evolution's Wedge: Competition and the Origins of Diversity by David W. Pfennig, Karin S. Pfennig
  • The Evolution of Parental Care by Nick J. Royle, Per T. Smiseth, Mathias Kolliker
  • Adaptive Speciation edited by Ulf Dieckmann, Michael Doebeli, Johan A. J. Metz, Diethard Tautz
  • Do Species Exist?: Principles of Taxonomic Classification by Werner Kunz
  • The Three Failures of Creationism: Logic, Rhetoric, and Science by Walter M. Fitch
  • Darwin's Devices: What Evolving Robots Can Teach Us About the History of Life and the Future of Technology by John Long
  • Systematics: A Course of Lectures by Ward C. Wheeler
  • Epigenetics: How Environment Shapes Our Genes by Richard C. Francis
  • Life's Ratchet: How Molecular Machines Extract Order from Chaos by Peter M. Hoffmann
  • The Evolutionary Strategies that Shape Ecosystems by J. Philip Grime, Simon Pierce
  • The Rise of Nuclear Fear by Spencer R. Weart
  • Science Left Behind: Feel-Good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left by Alex Berezow and Hank Campbell
  • The City and the Coming Climate: Climate Change in the Places We Live by Brian Stone Jr.
  • Finding Higher Ground: Adaptation in the Age of Warming by Amy Seidl
  • The Global Warming Reader: A Century of Writing About Climate Change by Bill McKibben
  • Our Dying Planet: An Ecologist's View of the Crisis We Face by Peter F. Sale
  • Renewable Energy: Power for a Sustainable Future by Godfrey Boyle
  • Climate Change: Biological and Human Aspects by Jonathan Cowie
  • Antarctic Ecosystems: An Extreme Environment in a Changing World by Alex D. Rogers, Nadine M. Johnston, Eugene J. Murphy and Andrew Clarke
  • Life in Europe Under Climate Change by Joseph Alcamo and Jorgen E. Olesen

I'm always looking for recommendations and notifications of book lists as they appear in various media outlets. If you see one that I haven't covered, please let me know at jdupuis at yorku dot ca or in the comments.

I am picking up most of my lists from Largehearted Boy.

For my purposes, I define science books pretty broadly to include science, engineering, computing, history & philosophy of science & technology, environment, social aspects of science and even business books about technology trends or technology innovation. Deciding what is and isn’t a science book is squishy at best, especially at the margins, but in the end I pick books that seem broadly about science and technology rather than something else completely. Lists of business, history or nature books are among the tricky ones.

And if you wish to support my humble list-making efforts, run on over to Amazon, take a look at Steve Jobs or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks or maybe even something else from today's list.


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