Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Books That Did a Great Job of Explaining Science to Non-Scientists

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Three DNA strandsI’ve mentioned my interest in science in previous posts here. There’s nothing like finding new books about various branches of science that were written for people who are not experts on the topic.

All of these titles were good reads that I’d recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about their subject matter.


The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic – and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson

Branches of Science It Covers: Medicine, Public Health, and Sociology

This is one of those books that made me very grateful to grow up in a time and place when vaccinations, antibiotics, and clean water exist.


How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown

Branches of Science It Covers: Astronomy

Since I’m currently reading this book, I won’t provide any commentary on it yet other than to say that it’s as educational as it is humorous. Scientists are still debating whether to designate Pluto a planet again, but it never stopped being a planet in my opinion. Ha!


Lone Survivors: How We Came to Be The Only Humans on Earth by Chris Stringer

Branches of Science It Covers: Biology and Paleoanthropology

Longterm readers might remember my never-ending fascination with how and why the various types of humans evolved over time. Every time a new book comes out on Neanderthals, Archaic humans, or any other closely related species, I simply must read it. It’s the closest I’ll ever come to actually meeting the people that eventually lead to the birth of modern humans.


The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science by Doidge

Branches of Science It Covers: Neuroscience, Medicine, and Psychology

Is anyone else fascinated by neuroplasticity? It’s been a while since I read this, but I do recall being surprised by how much the human mind can adapt when accidents, injuries, or other issues cause damage to it.


American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree by Susan Freinkel

Branches of Science It Covers: Botany, Mycology, and Ecology

The American Chestnut is a tree that has been driven nearly to extinction by a fungus called the chestnut blight. Since this was published, there have been a few signs of hope for this species. My fingers are crossed that scientists will find a way to keep it alive either by killing the fungus or figuring out a way for the remaining American Chestnut trees to no longer be so susceptible to it.


Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question. The image below is the list of upcoming prompts for this blog hop.


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14 Responses to Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Books That Did a Great Job of Explaining Science to Non-Scientists

  1. Thanks for stopping by earlier. I might just have to read the book on Pluto… I do like humor and I love Pluto. Made me sad when they deplantified it.

  2. Neil Degrasse Tyson was on The View yesterday and Whoopi (I think it was her) was giving him a bad time about having a hand in demoting Pluto.

  3. I remember reading and enjoying How I Killed Pluto, but that’s about all I remember about it. I’ve been wanting to re-read it for a while, though, so thank you for the reminder!

  4. Wow. I’ve got to read some of these.

  5. Wow! You got way deeper than I did. 🙂 Good list!

  6. I’ll look out for the book on Pluto – that sounds fascinating.

  7. If you want to explore the themes through fiction, have you tried Solar my In McEwan? I would highly recommend it.

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