Science

Why Buddhism is true : the science and philosophy of meditation and enlightenment book cover

Why Buddhism is true : the science and philosophy of meditation and enlightenment

Robert Wright

294.342 /Wright
Nonfiction, Self Help, Health, Science, Philosophy

Author Robert Wright shows how Buddhist meditative practice can loosen the grip of anxiety, regret, and hatred, and deepen your appreciation of beauty and other people. -- Adapted from book jacket.

Mykle's picture

A fantastic look at the scientific aspects of Buddhism, specifically mindfulness meditation. -Mykle

Origin : a genetic history of the Americas book cover

Origin : a genetic history of the Americas

Jennifer Raff

576.5 /Raff
Nonfiction, History, Science

20,000 years ago, people crossed a great land bridge from Siberia into Western Alaska and then dispersed southward into what is now called the Americas. Until we venture out to other worlds, this remains the last time our species has populated an entirely new place, and this event has been a subject of deep fascination and controversy. No written records--and scant archaeological evidence--exist to tell us what happened or how it took place. Many different models have been proposed to explain how the Americas were peopled and what happened in the thousands of years that followed. A study of both past and present, ORIGIN explores how genetics is currently being used to construct narratives that profoundly impact Indigenous peoples of the Americas. It serves as a primer for anyone interested in how genetics has become entangled with identity in the way that society addresses the question "Who is indigenous?"

Candice's picture

This is a great read for anyone interested in the history and archaeology of the Americas, and the theories and existing evidence of the first people to live there. It's a much-needed update and refresher on the topic! This book has a lot of detail, but is presented in a way that makes it eminently readable and highly entertaining. -Candice

Women in white coats : how the first women doctors changed the world of medicine book cover

Women in white coats : how the first women doctors changed the world of medicine

Olivia M. Campbell

610.922 /Campbell
Nonfiction, History, Science

Documents the true stories of three pioneering women who defied Victorian-era boundaries to become the first women doctors, discussing how they banded together to support each other and advocate for women's health in a male-dominated field.

Angie's picture

For fans of Hidden Figures and Radium Girls comes the remarkable story of three Victorian women who broke down barriers in the medical field to become the first women doctors, revolutionizing the way women receive health care. With gripping storytelling based on extensive research and access to archival documents, Women in White Coats tells the courageous history these women made by becoming doctors, detailing the boundaries they broke of gender and science to reshape how we receive medical care today. -Angie

Into the forest : the secret language of trees book cover

Into the forest : the secret language of trees

Susan Tyler Hitchcock

582.16 /Hitchcock
Nonfiction, Nature, Science

"For millennia, trees have offered renewal and inspiration. They have provided for humanity on every level, from spiritual sanctuary to the raw material for our homes, books, and food. In this beautiful and revealing book, National Geographic combines legendary photography with cutting-edge science to illuminate exactly how trees influence the life of planet Earth--from our personal lives to the weather cycle. Beautifully illustrated essays tell the stories of the world's most remarkable trees, from Tane Mahura in New Zealand, the ancient Maori "lord of the forest," to Pando, a single aspen spreading over 100 acres: Earth's largest living thing. You'll also discover how an astronaut carried tree seeds to the moon and back; the reason "microdosing" on tree gas is a sure way to boost your immune system; and why playing in the dirt boosts serotonin, happiness hormone"--Amazon.

Melody's picture

This is another book I discovered because I got to catalog it. Perks of the job! It's beautiful. Simply lovely pictures of different species of trees with a short history or factoid of each one. My. Jam. -Melody

The orphans of Davenport : eugenics, the Great Depression, and the war over children's intelligence book cover

The orphans of Davenport : eugenics, the Great Depression, and the war over children's intelligence

Marilyn Brookwood

305.231 /Brookwood
Nonfiction, History, Science

"The fascinating-and eerily timely-tale of the forgotten Depression-era psychologists who overthrew long-accepted racist and classist views of childhood development. "Doomed from birth" was how psychologist Harold Skeels described two toddler girls at the Orphans' Home in Davenport, Iowa, in 1934. Following prevailing eugenic beliefs, Skeels and his colleague Marie Skodak assumed that the girls had inherited their parents' low intelligence and sent them to an institution for the "feebleminded" to be cared for by "moron" women. To their astonishment, under the women's care, the children's IQ scores became normal. This revolutionary finding, replicated in eleven more "retarded" children, infuriated leading psychologists, all eugenicists unwilling to accept that nature and nurture work together to decide our fates. Recasting Skeels and his team as intrepid heroes, Marilyn Brookwood weaves years of prodigious archival research to show how after decades of backlash, the Iowans finally prevailed. In a dangerous time of revived white supremacy, The Orphans of Davenport is an essential account, confirmed today by neuroscience, of the power of the Iowans' scientific vision"--

Anne M's picture

It is fascinating. It is emotionally wrenching. It is an important story of how our community contributed to how we understand the human condition. -Anne M

Seek you : a journey through American loneliness book cover

Seek you : a journey through American loneliness

Kristen Radtke

155.92 Radtke
Science, Graphic Novels, Memoir

"When Kristen Radtke was in her twenties, she learned that, as her father was growing up, he would crawl onto his roof in rural Wisconsin and send signals out on his ham radio. Those CQ calls were his attempt to reach somebody--anybody--who would respond. In Seek You, Radtke uses this image as her jumping off point into a piercing exploration of loneliness and the ways in which we attempt to feel closer to one another. She looks at the very real current crisis of loneliness through the lenses of gender, violence, technology, and art. Ranging from the invention of the laugh-track to Instagram to Harry Harlow's experiments in which infant monkeys were given inanimate surrogate mothers, Radtke uncovers all she can about how we engage with friends, family, and strangers alike, and what happens--to us and to them--when we disengage."--

Mari's picture

A great mixture of autobiographical and social science examination. I loved this unique graphic format and felt very relevant in the pandemic world with more isolation. -Mari

Classified : the secret career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee aerospace engineer book cover

Classified : the secret career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee aerospace engineer

Traci Sorell

j629.1092 Ross
Kids, Picture Books, Nonfiction, Science

"Mary Golda Ross designed classified projects for Lockheed Air Corporation as the company's first female engineer. Find out how her passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work"--

Angie's picture

Cherokee author Traci Sorell and Métis illustrator Natasha Donovan trace Ross’s journey from being the only girl in a high school math class to becoming a teacher to pursuing an engineering degree, joining the top-secret Skunk Works division of Lockheed, and being a mentor for Native Americans and young women interested in engineering. In addition, the narrative highlights Cherokee values including education, working cooperatively, remaining humble, and helping ensure equal opportunity and education for all. Mary Golda Ross designed classified airplanes and spacecraft as Lockheed Aircraft Corporation’s first female engineer. Find out how her passion for math and the Cherokee values she was raised with shaped her life and work. -Angie

The Good Germ Hotel: Meet Your Body's Marvelous Microbes book cover

The Good Germ Hotel: Meet Your Body's Marvelous Microbes

Sŏng-hwa (Children's science book writer) Kim

j579 Sung-hwa
Health, Science

Check in to The Good Germ Hotel to learn about all the good germs and bacteria superheroes that live inside the human body. These amazing microbes fight viruses, digest food, and keep us healthy and happy. Did you know that your body is full of bacteria? And that most of it is good bacteria that helps to keep you healthy? Well, now is your chance to get up close and personal with the microorganisms that live inside all of us. Travel through the body with our gut bacteria guide, stopping off to meet the other amazing microbe residents along the way.

Frannie's picture

A book about good germs, what great timing! This is the perfect blend of factual information for kids and interesting pictures to keep them captivated. Whether you are raising a young citizen scientist or have a kid with a cold who doesn't understand that antibiotics won't help, this is a great read. Bonus points for including "gross" things people love like farts, smelly feet, and poop. -Frannie

The snail with the right heart : a true story book cover

The snail with the right heart : a true story

Maria Popova

jE Popova
Science, Nature

This is the real-life story of Jeremy, a rare garden snail found in 2015 by a retired London scientist. Jeremy's shell spiraled to the left, indicating reversed internal anatomy--including a heart positioned on the right. As a result, a similarly rare mate was needed in order to procreate.

Victoria's picture

I've been waiting for the prolific blogger of Brain Pickings, Maria Popova to finally write a book and it's as delightful, observant, dry and fascinating as she is. This is a children's book but should be enjoyed by all ages. If you like this, check out You are Stardust by Elin Kelsey (a book Popova once recommended on her blog!). -Victoria

This is your mind on plants book cover

This is your mind on plants

Michael Pollan

581.6 /Pollan
Nature, Science

Of all the things humans rely on plants for-- sustenance, beauty, fragrance, flavor, fiber-- surely the most curious is our use of them is to change consciousness: to stimulate or calm, fiddle with or completely alter, the qualities of our mental experience. Pollan dives deep into three plant drugs-- opium, caffeine, and mescaline-- and explores the cultures that have grown up around these drugs. He examines the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants, and the equally powerful taboos with which we surround them. The result is a unique blend of history, science, memoir-- and participatory journalism. -- adapted from jacket

Victoria's picture

Absolutely fascinating read on the relationships and complications of how humans have defined, legitimized, legalized or criminalized our interactions with plants. For centuries we have relied on plants for, among other things their sustenance and nourishment. We've used them ceremoniously and of course for their mind-altering properties. In this book Pollan highlights the narrow lens and dogma of "The War on Drugs," and instead presents a more open discussion of the layered properties of plants (opium, caffeine, and mescaline) and their potential. -Victoria