There have been a lot of great popular science books written in recent years. Steven Pinker’s The Stuff of Thought, Brian Greene’s The Fabric of the Cosmos, Alan Weisman’s The World Without Us, and Barbara Oakley’s Evil Genes are just a few that come to mind. To help folks discuss these books and more, beginning Sunday, February 8th, 2009, the First Floor: New and Featured department will host a new book club called Black Holes, Beakers, and Books: A Popular Science Book Club.
2009 marks Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his groundbreaking Origin of Species. To celebrate Darwin’s life and his monumental manuscript, Black Holes, Beakers, and Books will devote its first three meetings to recent popular science books that are related to Darwin and his theory of evolution. The first of these books is Darwin’s Origin of Species: A Biography by science historian Janet Browne. Browne’s book is a highly accessible analysis of the history and influence of Darwin’s famed masterpiece. Our discussion of Browne’s book coincides with her Drue Heinz Lecture on Monday, February 9th.
Our second meeting on Sunday, April 19th will discuss the book The First Human: The Race to Discover Our Earliest Ancestors by local science journalist Ann Gibbons. The First Human tells the dramatic story of the discoveries of paleoanthropologists at the forefront of the search for our evolutionary past. This session of the book club will be especially exciting because Ann Gibbons will be joining us to talk about her book.
Finally, on Sunday, June 21, we will conclude our evolution theme with the book Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin. Your Inner Fish explores in splendid detail the evolutionary origins of human anatomy.
Each meeting will be held from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm on the dates provided; locations will vary per meeting, so please keep an eye out for signs, or ask a librarian for directions. If you need a copy of any of the books we will be discussing, please stop in, give us a call, or reserve one online using your account. Oh, and if you have a minute, feel free to leave a comment regarding your favorite popular science books, or mention some you’d like to see the book club read.
We look forward to talking science with you!