How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg
How early should you get to the airport? What does “public opinion” really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer? How Not to Be Wrong presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician’s method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman—minus the jargon. The marketing copy calls it “the Freakonomics of math.”
Heredity isn’t just about genes that pass from parent to child. Heredity continues within our own bodies, as a single cell gives rise to trillions of cells that make up our bodies. We say we inherit genes from our ancestors—using a word that once referred to kingdoms and estates—but we inherit other things that matter as much or more to our lives, from microbes to technologies we use to make life more comfortable. We need a new definition of what heredity is and, through Carl Zimmer’s lucid exposition and storytelling, this resounding tour de force delivers it.
The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century by Deborah Blum
From Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times-bestselling author Deborah Blum, The Poison Squad is the dramatic true story of how food was made safe in the United States and the heroes, led by the inimitable Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley, who fought for change. Publishers Weekly says, “Blum’s well-informed narrative—complete with intricate battles between industry lobbyists and a coalition of scientists, food activists, and women’s groups—illuminates the birth of the modern regulatory state and its tangle of reformist zeal, policy dog-fights, and occasional overreach.”