Books: Building a Library: Pop Science by Mick O'Hare
Mick O'Hare, The Independent on Sunday (London, England)
Science, rightly or wrongly, has an image problem. In a world where people happily embrace feng shui, science may seem irrelevant. And if not irrelevant, it's dull, or incomprehensible. Professing total ignorance is entirely acceptable. When Carol Vorderman declared Shakespeare was as dull as ditchwater there was an outcry. Say the same about Newton's Principia and everyone nods in agreement. But science shapes every aspect of our world, including the chemical reactions that drove Shakespeare's thoughts. So where do you start?
Put aside initially impenetrable bestsellers like A Brief History of Time and give yourself a good grounding to make your popular science selections comprehensible. I found The Nature of Science by James Trefil in a jumble sale and now refer to it weekly. Simple explanations from Hooke's law to genetic coding with memorable examples make this no dull list of formulae. Team this with The Guinness Science Fact Book and the following texts will reveal more than they would have.
A decent starting point is travel writer Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. Because Bryson writes as a science innocent, fellow novices will not be overawed. Where he scores, of course, is in making his initial confusion " and its transformation into bemused enlightenment " humorous. From there you can tackle popular science giants such as James Gleick (Chaos) and Stephen Hawking. Gleick's classic telling how a butterfly flapping its wings in Sumatra might lead to a hurricane in the Americas can be translated into everyday events, …
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Publication information: Article title: Books: Building a Library: Pop Science by Mick O'Hare. Contributors: Mick O'Hare - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent on Sunday (London, England). Publication date: January 1, 2006. Page number: 22. © 2009 The Independent on Sunday. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.