I attended the World Science Festival event Science & Story: Cutting-Edge Discovery for a Literary Public on Saturday, June 1. The program was moderated by journalist, author, and four-time Emmy award winner John Hockenberry. The three panelists were acclaimed science authors Lone Frank, James Gleick, and Brian Greene. The fascinating and entertaining discussion focused on their experiences writing about esoteric scientific subjects in a compelling way that appeals to a broad audience of readers.
At the end of the ninety-minute program, Hockenberry announced the 12 books on the Longlist for the 2013 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. Six of these 2012 titles are new in the stacks at Brooklyn College Library. Click on the title links below for the online catalog record to check current availability. The quotes that follow each title below are from the The Royal Society judges.
The Life of a Leaf by Steven Vogel.
“Exciting and visually engaging. Takes you back to what it is like to be a child looking at the world of plants.”
The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body by Frances Ashcroft.
“Beautifully clear, engaging and accessible. A live wire account of the body electric.”
Bird Sense: What it’s Like to be a Bird by Tim Birkhead.
“A wonderful glimpse into an alien world. Imagine how birds hear, taste and feel.”
The Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man and the Sea by Callum Roberts.
“A celebration and a wake-up call. The changing state of our oceans has never been made clearer.”
The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads us to the Edge of the New World by Sean Carroll.
“Fizzing with enthusiasm. Makes you realize what the fuss with the Higgs Boson is all about.”
The Story of Earth: the First 4.5 Billion Years: from Stardust to Planet by Robert Hazen.
“Brilliantly explains the origin of earth and life. Skilfully compressed into a punchy text.”
After the Science & Story event, I had a break for a few hours before attending another World Science Festival event. My friend Yasser was participating in the nearby event Science Hack Day NYC, that was launched by his former graduate program, New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). He took a break to say hello.
A few days later, the World Science Festival announced the list of winners for the Science Hack Day NYC event. Congratulations to Yasser for winning the design category! “Citizen science data validation was the theme of a team-up led by Yasser Ansari, who combined his own citizen science initiative, Project Noah, with a platform for crowdsourced analysis of citizen science called Crowdcrafting, whose lead developer, Daniel Lombraña González, was also at the event.”
Citizen Science is public participation in organized scientific research. While this topic is worthy of much more attention, for now I will point interested readers to the blog CitizenSci from the Public Library of Science (PLOS), and to this recently published book:
Citizen Science: Public Participation in Environmental Research edited by Janis L. Dickinson and Rick Bonney.
The last World Science Festival event of the day was The Rap Guide to Evolution. Fronted by Canadian rap artist Baba Brinkman, the performance was “an unusual exposition of Charles Darwin’s theories, navigating natural selection, sexual selection and the evolutionary roots of human behavior, all in the setting of the world’s first peer-reviewed hip-hop show.”
While many books have been published on Charles Darwin, evolution, and natural selection, the latest work by Rebecca Stott examines the mavericks, innovators, and heretics from the history of science in the centuries leading up to Darwin’s landmark publications.
Darwin’s Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution by Rebecca Stott.
If you have any problems finding the books mentioned in this blog, or need help using or finding other resources at the Brooklyn College Library, please Ask a Librarian!