Skip to main content

Posts tagged with "Book"

  • Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art
    Rebecca Wragg Sykes


    A nuanced portrait of Neanderthals encourages empathy and understanding

    Over the past several decades, many academic and popular writers have attempted to narrow the long-entrenched gulf between humans and Neanderthals, focusing, for example, on the misinterpretations and racist presumptions of the 19th and early 20th centuries out of which the dim view of our evolutionary cousin arose, or on more recent paleoanthropological, archaeological, and… Read More
  • The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again
    Robert D. Putnam with Shaylyn Romney Garrett


    An eerily similar era gave way to social progress in the United States—will it happen again?

    In the 1890s, a biracial coalition swept to power in North Carolina, infuriating white supremacists, who primed themselves for the next election. “You are Anglo-Saxons,” shouted former congressman Alfred Moore Waddell to white voters in Wilmington in 1898. “Go to the polls tomorrow, and if you find the Negro out voting, tell him to leave… Read More
  • Wall Disease: The Psychological Toll of Living Up Against a Border
    Jessica Wapner


    Psychological stress is a pervasive aspect of border life, argues a journalist

    With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, politicians and pundits heralded a new age: a world without walls. But the celebration was short-lived. Walls, once again the rage, are now part of a global rise in border militarization that, while aimed at keeping undocumented migrants, drug traffickers, and terrorists out, has led to… Read More
  • The Sediments of Time: My Lifelong Search for the Past
    Meave Leakey with Samira Leakey


    Field adventures and human origin stories combine in a paleoanthropologist’s compelling new memoir

    Why, unlike other primates, did our ancestors begin to walk upright? What factors enabled Homo erectus to develop new cultural practices and, later, to give rise to our own species? As paleo­anthropologist Meave Leakey explains in The Sediments of Time, understanding climate change is key in answering such questions. Reflecting on 50 years of research… Read More
  • Making Art Work: How Cold War Engineers and Artists Forged a New Creative Culture
    W. Patrick McCray


    Artists and engineers joined forces in the 1960s, blurring the line between art and technology

    The acronym “STEAM,” which stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and math, came into popularity in 2011, as scientists and educators pondered the question of how to get more students interested in pursuing careers in science. Part of the answer, they reasoned, would be to make science courses more holistic by incorporating the arts—but how… Read More
  • The Ministry for the Future: A Novel
    Kim Stanley Robinson


    Persistent political pressure staves off global warming in a new climate allegory

    Renowned science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson has long been fascinated by climate-modifying technologies such as geoengineering and terraforming, but his passion lies in the necessity of political action to achieve a sustainable future. Based in an affectionately described Zurich, whose normalcy contrasts with global crisis, the titular Ministry for the Future described in Robinson’s… Read More
  • Book

    Rejecting conventional connotations, two books urge readers to rethink innovation

    Two new books—Matt Ridley’s How Innovation Works and Lee Vinsel and Andrew Russell’s The Innovation Delusion—reflect on society’s semantic satiation with “innovation.” Both find that the term has been reduced to a buzzword; however, from this shared starting point, they take distinctly different directions. In How Innovation Works, Ridley aims to upend the notion that… Read More
  • Equity in Science: Representation, Culture, and the Dynamics of Change in Graduate Education
    Julie R. Posselt


    Prioritizing STEM diversity, equity, and inclusion requires rethinking graduate education

    How do you engage with an institution that was not designed with women or people of color in mind? How do you dismantle years of discrimination and unequal treatment? When addressing such questions, I am reminded of a saying my mother liked to use. When asked “How do you eat an elephant?” she would reply… Read More
  • The Doctor Who Fooled the World: Science, Deception, and the War on Vaccines
    Brian Deer


    A journalist recounts how he exposed problems with a study linking vaccines and autism

    On 26 February 1998, the Royal Free Hospital in London held a press conference to announce that a study conducted by one of the hospital’s clinicians would be published in The Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious medical journals. Sitting at the front of the room was the senior author, Andrew Wakefield… Read More
  • Synchronicity: The Epic Quest to Understand the Quantum Nature of Cause and Effect
    Paul Halpern


    Quantum correlations at a distance needn’t necessarily be “spooky”

    If you read a randomly selected nontechnical account of quantum entanglement, you will likely be told that measuring a particle in one place can instantly change another particle elsewhere, no matter the distance between the two. Surprisingly, this is something that Paul Halpern never claims in his new book, Synchronicity. As the title implies, the… Read More