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Posts tagged with "Book"

  • The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others
    Tali Sharot


    A science-based guide offers tips for exploiting and overcoming faulty decision-making

    Humans have put men on the moon. We have split the atom. We can predict tides, eclipses, and even asteroid flybys to the minute. None of this would be possible without a characteristically human form of objective, rational thinking. With facts in hand, we can use reasoning to arrive at new knowledge and make good… Read More
  • Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats
    Maryn McKenna

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    A journalist chronicles the coevolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the modern chicken

    What does the invention of the chicken nugget in 1963 have to do with a 1999 outbreak of urinary tract infections in Berkeley undergraduates? More than you might realize, writes journalist Maryn McKenna: Both, she argues, are ultimately due to the industrialization of chicken farming during the 20th century. In Big Chicken, she skillfully weaves… Read More
  • On the Other Hand: Left Hand, Right Brain, Mental Disorder, and History
    Howard I. Kushner

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    A history of handedness shows how attitudes can influence scientific conclusions

    What causes some people to be left-handed? Is handedness a uniquely human trait? Are left-handers more likely than other people to be creative geniuses or to suffer cognitive disabilities? Historian Howard Kushner raises these and other questions in his new book, On the Other Hand. Primarily a history of handedness research, the book also has… Read More
  • Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World
    Laura Spinney

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    Nearly a century after it killed millions, a journalist reflects on how the Spanish flu changed the world

    Between 1918 and 1920, the Spanish flu infected a third of the global population. It claimed more lives than either World War I or World War II. Nearly a century later, we are still struggling to understand the extent of this pandemic. It crops up from time to time in popular science and history (1… Read More
  • Darwin’s Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory
    James T. Costa

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    Darwin, the crowdsourcer: Friends and family helped the naturalist form his famous theory

    At Down House in Kent, Charles Darwin is instructing his manservant Parslow to lower another dead pigeon into a foul-smelling pot. It is February 1856. Darwin is 47 years old. Endlessly curious, he has begun to suspect that the skeletons of different pigeon varieties will support his secretly held ideas about how species are related… Read More
  • Mate Choice: The Evolution of Sexual Decision Making from Microbes to Humans
    Gil G. Rosenthal

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    A boom in mate choice research prompts a comprehensive look at the state of the field

    Great ideas can sometimes lie under-recognized for years. In the case of the science of mate choice, the waiting period was a long century after its inception in Darwin’s 1871 work, The Descent of Man. In 1983, when the first edited book about the topic was brought forth (1), it contained only a few theoretical… Read More
  • The Monastery and the Microscope: Conversations with the Dalai Lama on Mind, Mindfulness, and the Nature of Reality
    Wendy Hasenkamp with Janna R. White, Eds.

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    The Monastery and the Microscope

    Although, on the surface, Buddhist contemplative tradition and Western science would appear to represent divergent perspectives, a closer look at these disciplines shows that they are both deeply rooted in the intellectual pursuit of knowledge and a desire to understand the complexities of human existence through empirically verified observations. Individuals from these two sectors who… Read More
  • American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West
    Nate Blakeslee

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    American Wolf

    Once, while I was watching a wolf with a group of students along a roadside in Yellowstone National Park, a National Park Service Toyota pulled up and one of the most famous wolf watchers stepped out, radio antennae in hand. As we gathered around, Rick McIntyre, a “wolf interpreter” at Yellowstone since 1994, pulled out… Read More
  • Dinner with Darwin: Food, Drink, and Evolution
    Jonathan Silvertown

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    Dinner with Darwin

    With today’s well-established foodie culture, what better way to serve up a book on evolution than by appealing to a reader’s stomach? In Dinner with Darwin, biologist Jonathan Silvertown details the relationships between humans, our nutrition, and our environment through the lens of evolution. The story is structured as a 10-course meal of “evolutionary gastronomy,”… Read More
  • The Fear Factor: How One Emotion Connects Altruists, Psychopaths, and Everyone In-Between
    Abigail Marsh

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    The Fear Factor

    More than 20 years ago, the selfless act of a complete stranger affected the course of Abigail Marsh’s life. Now a social psychologist, in The Fear Factor, Marsh invites readers to join her as she explores the biology underlying extraordinary altruism. Translating technical papers into easily understood prose and incorporating personal stories, she answers the… Read More