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Most Anticipated February Reads

Liquid Rules: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives by Mark Miodownik

 

9780544850194Told through the language of molecules, droplets, heartbeats, and ocean waves, this book offers readers a fascinating tour of these formless substances. Sometimes explosive, often delicious, occasionally poisonous, but always interesting: the New York Times-bestselling author of Stuff Matters shows us the secret lives of liquids: the shadow counterpart of our solid “stuff.”

“Cleverly told and engagingly accessible study of the stuff around us.” – Kirkus Reviews

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Borrowed Time: The Science of How and Why We Age by Sue Armstrong

 

9781472936066Borrowed Time explores where science is taking us in aging studies, and what issues are being raised from a psychological, philosophical, and ethical perspective through interviews with, and profiles of, key scientists in the field and the people who represent interesting and important aspects of aging, such as those who suffer from the premature aging condition, Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome, and people still running marathons in their 80s. Sue Armstrong investigates such mind-boggling experiments as transfusing young blood into old rodents, and research into transplanting the first human head, among many others.

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Thrifty Science: Making the Most of Materials in the History of Experiment by Simon Werrett

 

9780226610252As Simon Werrett’s new history shows, frugal early modern experimenters in the seventeeth and eighteenth centuries transformed their homes into laboratories as they recycled, repurposed, repaired, and reused their material possessions to learn about the natural world. Thrifty Science explores this distinctive culture of experiment and demonstrates how the values of the household helped to shape an array of experimental inquiries, ranging from esoteric investigations of glowworms and sour beer to famous experiments such as Benjamin Franklin’s use of a kite to show lightning was electrical and Isaac Newton’s investigations of color using prisms.

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Figuring by Maria Popova

 

81cTLyErwzLBrainpicking’s Maria Popova weaves a tapestry of themes spanning music, feminism, the history of science, the rise and decline of religion, and how the intersection of astronomy, poetry, and Transcendentalist philosophy fomented the environmental movement. She  explores the complexities of love and the human search for truth and meaning through the interconnected lives of several historical figures across four centuries—beginning with the astronomer Johannes Kepler, who discovered the laws of planetary motion, and ending with the marine biologist and author Rachel Carson, who catalyzed the environmental movement.

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Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI edited by John Brockman

 

817HvlZF8NLScience world luminary John Brockman assembles twenty-five of the most important scientific minds, people who have been thinking about the field artificial intelligence for most of their careers, for an unparalleled round-table examination about mind, thinking, intelligence and what it means to be human. Essayists include Alison Gopnik, David Deutsch, Frank Wilczek, Stephen Wolfram,  Stuart Russell, Jaan Tallinn, Max Tegmark, Rodney Brooks, ]Daniel Dennett, and Steven Pinker.

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