Multcolib Research Picks - Science Classics & Favorites
Annotation:Awakenings --which inspired the major motion picture--is the remarkable story of a group of patients who contracted sleeping-sickness during the great epidemic just after World War I. Dr. Sacks recounts the moving case histories of his patients, their lives, and the extraordinary transformations which went with their reintroduction to a changed world.
Annotation:Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and "arrows of time," of the big bang and a bigger God--where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected.
Annotation:In Chaos , Gleick makes the story of chaos theory not only fascinating but also accessible to beginners, and opens our eyes to a surprising new view of the universe.
Annotation:Using the dialogue form, a genre common in classical philosophical works, Galileo masterfully demonstrates the truth of the Copernican system over the Ptolemaic one, proving, for the first time, that the earth revolves around the sun. Its influence is incalculable. The Dialogue is not only one of the most important scientific treatises ever written, but a work of supreme clarity and accessibility, remaining as readable now as when it was first published.
Annotation:An account of the discovery of DNA's double helix by one of the Nobel winners behind the breakthrough.
Annotation:The first 94 lectures cover a wide swath of basic physics, from Newtonian mechanics to electromagnetism, while the final 21 venture into quantum mechanics. Feynman's characteristic humor and peerless explanations elevate these classroom lessons to enduring classics.
Annotation:Lovelock lays out his daring idea that our planet is a single, self-regulating system, dubbed Gaia, wherein "the entire range of living matter on Earth, from whales to viruses, and from oaks to algae, could be regarded as constituting a single living entity, capable of manipulating the Earth's atmosphere to suit its overall needs."
Annotation:Inspired by a long fascination with Galileo, and by the remarkable surviving letters of Galileo's daughter, a cloistered nun, Dava Sobel has written a biography unlike any other of the man Albert Einstein called "the father of modern physics-indeed of modern science altogether."
Annotation:One of the most important books ever written about our connection to the natural world, Gorillas in the Mist is the riveting account of Dian Fossey's thirteen years in a remote African rain forest with the greatest of the great apes.
Annotation:Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer and viruses; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.
Annotation:This book is a work of major importance for the development of environmental and behavioral biology; it covers the classification, evolution, anatomy, physiology, and behavior of the higher social insects--ants, social wasps and bees, and termites. Mr. Wilson reinterprets the knowledge of these insects through the concepts of modern biology, from biochemistry to evolutionary theory and population ecology.
Annotation:In his most extraordinary book, "one of the great clinical writers of the 20th century" (The New York Times) recounts the case histories of patients lost in the bizarre, apparently inescapable world of neurological disorders.
Annotation:This book was immediately hailed as a masterwork when first published in 1981, the answer to those who would rank people according to their supposed genetic gifts and limits. And yet the idea of innate limits--of biology as destiny--dies hard, as witness the attention devoted to "The Bell Curve," whose arguments are here so effectively anticipated and thoroughly undermined by biologist Gould.
Annotation:One of the first books to portray humans as the animals that we are, The Naked Ape caused quite a stir when it was first released.
Annotation:Darwin introduced the world to his theory of evolution and challenged many of the most deeply held beliefs of the Western world. His insistence on the immense length of the past and on the abundance of life-forms, present and extinct, dislodged man from his central position in creation and called into question the role of the Creator.
Annotation:Written by a German chemist and holocaust survivor. Each chapter is titled with an element and has a short story about the element. Every story is its own small treasure — together, the book makes a greater whole.