Back to Earth
Nicole Stott Seal (2021)
NASA astronaut Nicole Stott says that “you are grounded” are “the worst and the best three words” an astronaut can hear — signifying both that the astronaut is forbidden to fly, or that they’ve an attribute essential for fulfillment. The phrases additionally counsel her ebook’s down-to-earth objective: to elucidate how area flight enriches life on Earth. She recollects her personal “Earthrise moment” on first looking of the Space Shuttle — the sudden realization that we reside on a planet that should be preserved from human destruction.
Feeling & Knowing
Antonio Damasio Pantheon (2021)
According to neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, the origin of consciousness — “the intriguing pirouette that allows the physical body to harbour mental experiences” — is commonly thought-about inconceivable to elucidate, regardless of the efforts of sensible minds starting from Sigmund Freud to Francis Crick. This deliberately brief ebook for the overall reader supplies no rationalization of consciousness as such, however a lot elegant prose to impress thought, together with concepts from biology, neuroscience, philosophy and psychology.
Roy Yorke Calne World Scientific (2021)
Organ-transplant pioneer Roy Calne attracts on a protracted profession in his brief, simple reflection on the best way to cut back dishonest in science. It focuses on three accepted circumstances of fraud — by dermatologist William Summerlin, biologist Haruko Obokata and surgeon Paolo Macchiarini — implicating main establishments. He suggests methods to attenuate misconduct, and admits that it’s “immensely difficult”. He ends with recommendation from the Buddha: “Believe nothing, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and common sense.”
Reimagining Sustainable Cities
Stephen M. Wheeler & Christina D. Rosan Univ. California Press (2021)
“Go to the city/See the crazy people there./Like lambs to the slaughter,/They’re drinking the water,/And breathing [cough] the air!” sang Tom Lehrer in ‘Pollution’ in 1965. The idea of sustainable improvement was pioneered in a 1972 report. Half a century on, drastic change remains to be wanted, warn city ecologists Stephen Wheeler and Christina Rosen in their enlightening survey of right this moment’s cities. They provide sensible, if difficult, methods for selling “ecological health, social equity, quality of life, cooperation and compassion”.
Media Hot & Cold
Nicole Starosielski Duke Univ. Press (2021)
The intense media deal with local weather change makes this meditation on the cultural significance of temperature coolly topical. Nicole Starosielski’s background is in media, tradition and communication; regardless of references to science and applied sciences similar to thermostats and infrared cameras, she primarily considers warmth’s social results. She cites the Ford Motor Company’s historical past of giving the recent, harmful jobs in its foundry to Black staff, which strengthened racial stereotypes about suitability for sure sorts of labour.
The writer declares no competing pursuits.