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Posts tagged with "Book"

  • The Ascent of John Tyndall: Victorian Scientist, Mountaineer, and Public Intellectual
    Roland Jackson

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    A long-awaited biography does justice to John Tyndall, a pioneering climate researcher and science advocate

    In his day, the Victorian physicist and science popularizer John Tyndall was as famous and controversial a figure as Charles Darwin. Unlike Darwin, Tyndall slipped into obscurity following his death in 1893. This is a shame. He has much to teach us about the prominent role of science in Victorian culture. A lively, charismatic figure… Read More
  • The Neuroscience of Emotion: A New Synthesis
    Ralph Adolphs and David J. Anderson

    Book

    A pair of neuroscientists finds that investigating emotions is easier done than said

    Ask a roomful of neuroscientists to define the term “emotion” and you will trigger a lively discussion. Some will argue that emotions involve conscious experiences that can be studied only in humans. Others might counter that insects and other invertebrates exhibit some of the emotion building blocks seen in mammals. Some will contend that different… Read More
  • Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions That Shape Social Media
    Tarleton Gillespie

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    A Microsoft researcher confronts how companies shape what we see and say online

    On 1 March 2018, Twitter announced a new initiative aimed at measuring and evaluating the platform’s “conversational health,” that is, how well it promotes lively conversation and critical thinking while also minimizing the social impact of abuse, spam, and manipulation. The initiative is one piece of a larger effort by social media companies both to… Read More
  • Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna
    Edith Sheffer

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    New research reveals that the physician behind Asperger’s syndrome was an active participant in Nazi eugenics

    On 1 July 1941, a young Austrian physician named Hans Asperger signed a document transferring a toddler named Herta Schreiber to Spiegelgrund, an asylum for mentally ill children on the outskirts of Vienna. Two-year-old Herta had suffered diphtheria and meningitis, leaving her severely disabled. She “must present an unbearable burden to her mother,” Asperger, then… Read More
  • Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray
    Sabine Hossenfelder

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    Lost in Math

    Lost in Math is the debut book by Sabine Hossenfelder, a theoretical physicist known to many from her blog, “Backreaction,” which is one of the most well-read of its kind by practitioners of theoretical high-energy physics. Hossenfelder has gained some notoriety for her strong opposition to common arguments that physicists make when formulating new theories. Read More
  • The Shipwreck Hunter: A Lifetime of Extraordinary Discoveries on the Ocean Floor
    David L. Mearns

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    The Shipwreck Hunter

    In his memoir The Shipwreck Hunter, David Mearns invites readers to travel along on seven of the most exciting and meaningful investigations of his 21 (and counting) career major shipwreck finds. In chapters bearing their names, Mearns’s thoughtful and detailed account chronologically traces each shipwreck, sharing vivid stories of every vessel from design to demise. Read More
  • Finding Einstein’s Brain
    Frederick E. Lepore

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    Finding Einstein’s Brain

    On the day of Albert Einstein’s death, an April morning in 1955, the pathologist Thomas Harvey performed an autopsy and, controversially, took possession of the physicist’s brain. Days later, Harvey convinced Einstein’s closest relatives of his purpose: to retain the brain for scientific research. Three decades passed, however, until the first work on Einstein’s brain… Read More
  • Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity
    Theodore M. Porter

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    Genetics in the Madhouse

    Decades before Gregor Mendel studied pea plants or Thomas Hunt Morgan cultivated fruitflies, an isolated but vital international community gathered enormous bodies of data on hereditary traits. As Theodore Porter describes in his fascinating and original Genetics in the Madhouse, physicians and state officials tasked with overseeing insane asylums throughout the 19th century attempted to… Read More
  • Luminous Creatures: The History and Science of Light Production in Living Organisms
    Michel Anctil

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    Luminous Creatures

    Although scholars have been documenting and studying the production of light by living things since the time of the ancient Greeks, the word “bioluminescence” still elicits a sense of mystery and wonderment for the natural world. Despite its title, Michel Anctil’s book, Luminous Creatures, does not focus solely on bioluminescent organisms but instead reveals these… Read More
  • Eye of the Shoal: A Fishwatcher’s Guide to Life, the Ocean and Everything
    Helen Scales

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    Eye of the Shoal

    The first time Helen Scales watched fish in the wild, she wasn’t expecting to be impressed. Fifteen years old and on a family holiday in California, she was more concerned with spotting a sea otter. Peering from a high bluff south of Monterey Bay, however, she was captivated by what she saw: fish of all… Read More
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