The Vaccine Race: Science, Politics, and the Human Costs of Defeating Disease
The Vaccine Race: Science, Politics, and the Human Costs of Defeating DiseaseMeredith Wadman’s meticulously researched and carefully crafted book, The Vaccine Race, is an enlightening telling of the development of vaccines in the mid-20th century. Drawing from firsthand interviews, personal correspondence, journal articles, and governmental archival documents, Wadman relates the work of the brilliant scientists who toiled for years to develop vaccines against diseases in…
The Politics of Fear: Médecins Sans Frontières and the West African Ebola Epidemic
Michiel Hofman and Sokhieng Au, Eds.Book Public HealthIn December of 2013, a young boy in Guinea succumbed to Ebola, marking the first case in an unprecedented epidemic that would ultimately result in more than 28,000 casualties and claim more than 11,000 lives. Public health workers on the front lines, particularly those associated with the international humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), had…
This week on the Science podcast, Jennifer Golbeck digs into the science of de-extinction with biologist Helen Pilcher and recommends a clinician’s compassionate tale of psychosomatic disorders. You can find the full podcast here: http://www.sciencemag.org/podcasts…
The Book That Changed America: How Darwin's Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation
Randall FullerRandall Fuller’s lively new volume, The Book That Changed America, draws readers into the political and intellectual foment of antebellum America on the cusp of war. In just under 300 pages, he unfolds the story of how On the Origin of Species debuted in the United States on the eve of the Civil War and…
Climate Change and the Health of Nations: Famines, Fevers, and the Fate of Populations
Anthony J. McMichaelLast year’s adoption of the Paris Agreement signaled widespread political will to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury while aiming to keep the rise in global average temperatures to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels. More than 100 nations ratified it, and the mood was optimistic as countries reconvened this year to talk implementation.
Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society
A spirited polemic takes aim at biological sex differences but misses opportunities to highlight relevant scienceHow and why do the sexes differ? And why do we care? Few questions generate as much controversy and debate in both scientific and public arenas. In her book Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society, Cordelia Fine tackles the question from the perspective that has generated the most discussion: biological contributions to sex…
Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life
Matin Durrani and Liz KalaugherAccording to traditional flight physics, bees should not be able to fly. But fly they do, with mastery of non–steady state aerodynamics and little concern about our limited understanding of their capabilities. Human knowledge is catching up, however, with recent scientific insights revealing that these inconspicuous little creatures use aeroelastic deformation of their wings and…
Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation
Alan Burdick“Time is what everybody agrees the time is,” a researcher says to Alan Burdick a few pages into Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation. It sounds like something the Mad Hatter might have said in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But it’s the truth. Time is such a fundamental part of modern life that sometimes…
Data For the People: How to Make Our Post-Privacy Economy Work for You
A tech insider’s data dreams will resonate with the like-minded but neglect issues of access and equalityAndreas Weigend, former chief scientist of Amazon, has written a book, Data for the People: How to Make Our Post-Privacy Economy Work for You. It’s a techno-insider handbook for making the world a more efficient self-branding mechanism. First things first. Who are “the people” that Weigend is addressing? The answer comes indirectly, through examples.
Ana Luz Porzecanski and Chris Raxworthy, curatorsThe passing of Fidel Castro brought renewed popular attention to Cuba, a nation whose turbulent history continues to spark passionate debate. Unlike its political history, however, the vast ecological and cultural richness that thrives in Cuba is relatively lesser known; so, too, is the challenge of conserving these resources in the wake of climate change.