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  • The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet
    Michael E. Mann

    Book

    Fossil fuel advocates may have added strategic inaction to their arsenal, but there is reason for climate optimism

    In Michael Mann’s latest book, The New Climate War, the reader is afforded a unique perspective on the struggle for climate action and climate protection. This perspective, covering the span of a few centuries and ending in the present, weaves together the missteps, manipulations, and misrepresentations that have occurred throughout the so-called climate war between… Read More
  • Subprime Attention Crisis: Advertising and the Time Bomb at the Heart of the Internet
    Tim Hwang

    Book

    A lightweight book aims a heavyweight punch at the digital advertising ecosystem

    General Motors and Ford, the two largest U.S. automakers, are together worth about US$100 billion. The combined value of Google and Facebook is about $2 trillion—20 times higher. What makes these companies worth so much? Ads. In Subprime Attention Crisis: Advertising and the Time Bomb at the Heart of the Internet, Tim Hwang suggests that… Read More
  • The Intellectual Lives of Children
    Susan Engel

    Book

    Children need unstructured exploration and time to tackle problems that interest them

    In a digital, global world where information is projected to double every 12 hours (1), the memorization of facts will become less of a commodity than the ability to think, find patterns, and generate new ideas from old parts (2, 3). Thus, a cradle-to-career approach to educating children must be mindful of how children learn… Read More
  • The Mantle of the Earth: Genealogies of a Geographical Metaphor
    Veronica della Dora

    Book

    Earth’s mantle acts as a metaphor for the planet’s unknowns, for its beauty, and for its fragility

    In her new book, The Mantle of the Earth, geographer Veronica della Dora explains how Earth’s mantle has provided a capacious metaphor for the terrain that sustains human life and the manner in which it is imagined and investigated. This is a metaphor that thrives on the lifting of veils and the piercing of interiors… Read More
  • Every Life is on Fire: How Thermodynamics Explains the Origins of Living Things
    Jeremy England

    Book

    A scientist considers life’s genesis through the physics of Exodus

    What is life? Seventy-five years after Erwin Schrödinger took up this fundamental human question (1), another physicist, Jeremy England, offers a bold update. His new book, Every Life Is on Fire, explores the physics of what makes some configurations of matter lifelike and others inert. England writes sensitively about biological complexity from the molecular to… Read More
  • The Knowledge Machine: How Irrationality Created Modern Science
    Michael Strevens

    Book

    Disputes in modern science are settled with empiricism alone, an approach early scholars would have questioned

    What is the scientific method, and what makes it the most efficient approach for generating insight? In The Knowledge Machine, Michael Strevens argues that to answer this question, we must acknowledge the role played by the undisciplined and emotional nature of the humans who carry it out. The book takes readers on a whirlwind tour… Read More
  • Book

    PODCAST: Best science books of 2020

    From timely tomes that lent valuable context to the challenges facing humanity to deep dives into rarely considered topics, the best science books published in 2020 offered insight and escape in equal measure. This week on the podcast, Science’s book review editor, Valerie Thompson, discusses books we reviewed and loved in 2020, books we missed… Read More
  • Child Data Citizen: How Tech Companies Are Profiling Us from before Birth
    Veronica Barassi

    Book

    An anthropologist investigates how data surveillance intersects with the 21st-century family

    Online technologies are no longer tools that parents can choose to ignore. In the 21st century, such technologies are powerful environmental forces that shape our self-conception, interactions, and even understandings of reality. As a result, families and children are increasingly becoming “datafied”—that is, their behaviors and identities are being translated into data that can be… Read More
  • Science Under Fire: Challenges to Scientific Authority in Modern America
    Andrew Jewitt

    Book

    A nuanced history interrogates the critiques leveraged against science in the United States in the 20th century

    Within the past several years, in yards all across the United States, signs have appeared declaring “Science Is Real,” “Love Is Love,” and “Black Lives Matter.” Although the signs suggest a coherent political position, scientific norms, human values, and a priori assumptions have, throughout history, often been in tension. Andrew Jewett’s Science Under Fire explores… Read More
  • The Janus Point: A New Theory of Time
    Julian Barbour

    Book

    A physicist’s provocative theory offers an optimistic view of our cosmic destiny

    The history of the Universe thus far has certainly been eventful, marked by the primordial forging of the light elements, the birth of the first stars and their violent deaths, and the improbable origin of life on Earth. But will the excitement continue, or are we headed toward the ultimate mundanity of equilibrium in a… Read More