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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science and Technology

Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old March 15 2006, 04:27 AM   #1
TerriO
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Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

Of course the writer's going to come up with this one.

Right alongside the websites, it occurs to me we should have a thread where we can recommend science and technology books for our fellow posters to read. So, here goes. If you'd like to recommend a book, please feel free to give us the title, author, and a brief summary of why you're recommending the book.

Roving Mars by Steve Squyres--an excellent look into the genesis and development of the MER program, written by the principal investigator (and, in truth, the public face) of MER. If you've ever wondered just what it takes to get a project like MER off the ground, you should read this. Squyres' style is very conversational and accessible.

Parallel Worlds : A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos by Michio Kaku--Kaku has, IMO, an astonishing ability to make quantum theory accessible to the average person. I just tend to recommend his books in general, but I found this one particularly fascinating on the subject.


Feel free to add more, guys.
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Old March 15 2006, 04:33 AM   #2
Jenee
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Re: Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

I'm still trying to get through A Brief History of Time and I've had it for almost a decade.

But, I do like 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About Science.

I'm really kind of a simple-minded science geek.
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Old March 15 2006, 04:42 AM   #3
Evil Headhunter
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Re: Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

The Universe in a Nutshell by Steven Hawking is a fun read.

One of my physics professor is always recommending Brian Greene's iThe Elegant Universe, so someday I'm going have to check it out.
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Old March 15 2006, 04:58 AM   #4
Ruaidhri
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Re: Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen. Great look at evolution, touching, of course, quite a bit on Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace- who developed the theory independently.

I also really enjoy a book called The Control of Nature by John McPhee. Three stories about how humans are resisting natural geologic forces, like the natural tendency of a river system to change it's course (in this case, the Mississippi trying to shift into the Atchfalaya).
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Old March 15 2006, 04:58 AM   #5
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Re: Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

^ I've read that, and it's excellent! He made the subject of quantum theory, relativity and string theory seems so easy!

DNA by James Watson, published in 2003 as a celebration of 50 years since the 'discovery' of DNA. My biology is limited to Year 10 high school stuff, yet I found the book not only interesting, and at times exciting to read, all the technical details were pretty easy to understand.

Will go through my library for other books later...
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Old March 15 2006, 05:03 AM   #6
Neopeius
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Re: Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

Dinosaur Heresies by Bob Bakker

Lucy and Lucy's Child by Don Johannsen

The entire Space Science Series put out by the University of Arizona Press.

The Viking Rocket Story by Milt Rosen--great rocket history.

Anything under the byline of Gideon Marcus.. (me.. hoping to be published soon, somewhere)
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Old March 15 2006, 06:19 AM   #7
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Re: Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan
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Old March 15 2006, 06:40 AM   #8
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Re: Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

The Elegent Universe by Brian Greene. Great book on the basics of relativity, quantum mechanics and string theory using little to no math, so it's really accessable.
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Old March 15 2006, 06:40 AM   #9
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Re: Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

Jepp5 said:
The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan
Yeah--that's a good one.
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Old March 15 2006, 07:18 AM   #10
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Re: Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

also The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene
and a multitude of nonfiction too numerous to recount by Asimov.
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Old March 15 2006, 10:59 AM   #11
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Re: Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

All this and no one has mentioned Sagan's Cosmos? I mean, the show was great, but the book is really good too... even if elements of it are dated.

That being said, I tend to be a retro reader... I have Clarke's Man and Space that he did for Time-Life before the Saturn I series had finished the unmanned test flights. I also have Powers' Shuttle from 1978... talk about your OPTIMISTIC predictions!

Any astronomy book by Patrick Moore is good, particularlly his Night Sky with Binoculars volume.

Rob+
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Old March 15 2006, 11:25 AM   #12
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Re: Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

Coming of Age in the Milky Way by Timothy Ferris

It's a bit old, but it is a great tale of how our understanding of the world and the universe has progressed over the last 3000-4000 years.
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Old March 15 2006, 11:45 AM   #13
Naraht
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Re: Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

Here are a few of my top picks. More to follow, probably. (My favourite spaceflight books will be in a different list.)

The New Physics, edited by Paul Davies, is a brilliant one-volume reference work, written at a fairly detailed but still readable level. It has chapters on astrophysics, cosmology, chaos, low temperture physics, and other hot topics. Unfortunately, it's fifteen years old now, and there's a new version out, but I haven't read the new one yet.

Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter, won the Pulitzer Prize and is simply one of the most brilliant books written on any subject ever. It explores the intersection between artificial intelligence, creativity, logic, music and art. This is the sort of book that permanently changes the way you look at the world.

Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman? by Richard Feynman. One of the most brilliant physicists of the 20th century, he was also one of its greatest characters. This is part of his autobiography.

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte. It's about charts and graphs, and how to design them properly. That might not sound interesting, but this is one of the more beautiful and elegant books that I've ever read. Don't believe me? Take a look at his website.

The Origins of Order: Self-Organization and Selection in Evolution by Stuart Kauffman. This is a tough book, and I'm not sure that I ever completely understood it. But those moments where I thought I did were intellectually exhilarating. It takes a perspective on evolution that Darwin could only have dreamt of, using insights from theories of complexity and information. He argues that complex systems have self-organizing properties, and that thus natural selection may not have played as big a role in evolution as we might have thought.
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Old March 15 2006, 12:32 PM   #14
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Re: Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

Trek Terp said:
also The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene

I second this one.
I'm not a person with a science background, just an interest, and I absolutely love this book, it's opened my eyes to so many things!

I still haven't read 'The Elegant Universe', but I want to.
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Old March 15 2006, 01:50 PM   #15
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Re: Recommend your favorite Science or Technology book.

Right now I'm really into "Warped Passages" by Lisa Randal. Published sometime last year. I picked it up on a day trip to Fredericton. I used to read it on the bus on the way to work before I got my car, so I haven't had a spare chance to get past Chapter 7 since November.
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