New Feature

So, I was trying to think of new things to do with the new blog, and the first idea that crossed my mind was writing book reviews. Then I realized there was a problem: I don't read that many cognitive science books (fewer than one a month). The reason is that, as a friend always says, you can say anything you want in a book (just ask Steven Pinker!). So it's usually better to stick with the peer-reviewed literature, and read the occasional edited book when you want to find a good introduction to a particular topic.

Then I thought to myself, this is all the more reason to do book reviews! I may not read many cog sci books, but non-cognitive scientists who are interested in the field probably do. If you can write whatever you want in a book, then it's a good bet people who are getting their cognitive science through books may be getting some less-than-accurate information.

So here's what I'm thinking. I will tentatively schedule one book review per month (somewhere near the end of the month, in most months), and if I can get enough feedback, I will read and review books that you are interested in reading. So, think of some books you've come across that you would like to read, and leave a comment or drop me an email (click on the Contact page for the email address).

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Chris, I've been reading your blog for several months now - can't remember how I found it, but I enjoy your choice of subject matter and your writing style. I'm a teacher, and cognitive science is highly relevant to what I do.

Your suggestion about book reviews comes at an opportune moment for me. I picked up a book the other day - A Whole New Mind, by Daniel Pink, which I am working through. It did not get good reviews on Amazon. It's not difficult reading, but I keep getting distracted by things that are more fun than reading about brains. I have doubts about claims like, "The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: designers, inventores, teachers, storytellers - creative and emphatic "right brain" thinkers..." This may not be an area you want to get into, but I'm curious about whether there is any science in it. It sounds like the Age of Aquarius to me. Furthermore, I'm curious to know - you probably don't need to read the book to address this - whether it's possible to nurture one hemisphere or the other of the brain. Teachers have been given a lot to think about in the way of "multiple intelligences" and "learning styles" theories, and much of it is built on what I consider to be pretty shaky ground.

Thanks for the invitation to make suggestions.