New Books Network

Mark Stephen Meadows, “We Robot: Skywalker’s Hand, Blade Runners, Iron Man, Slutbots, and How Fiction Became Fact” (Lyons Press, 2011)
If technology is the site of digital culture, then robots are the future platforms of our social projections and interactions. In fact, that future is already here in small but fascinating ways. Mark Stephen Meadows is one of a handful of curious authors who have begun to explore the social... Read More
Alex Vilenkin, “Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes” (Hill and Wang, 2006)
[This interview is re-posted with permission from Jenny Attiyeh’s ThoughtCast] Want to know how the world is going to end? Just ask Russian cosmologist Alex Vilenkin. If it’s our own universe you’re talking about, well, it’s called the big crunch, and it’s going to be hot hot hot! But if... Read More
Ian Sample, “Massive: The Missing Particle that Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science” (Basic Books, 2010)
You’ve probably read about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). It’s the largest (17 miles around!), most expensive (9 billion dollars!) scientific instrument in history. What’s it do? It accelerates beams of tiny particles (protons) to nearly the speed of light and then smashes them into one another. That’s cool, you... Read More
Ann Fabian, “The Skull Collectors: Race, Science and America’s Unburied Dead” (University of Chicago, 2010)
What should we study? The eighteenth-century luminary and poet Alexander Pope had this to say on the subject: “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man ” (An Essay on Man, 1733). He was not alone in this opinion. The philosophers of the... Read More
James Fleming, “Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control” (Columbia UP, 2010)
In the summer of 2008 the Chinese were worried about rain. They were set to host the Summer Olympics that year, and they wanted clear skies. Surely clear skies, they must have thought, would show the world that China had arrived. So they outfitted a small army (50,000 men) with... Read More
Abigail Foerstner, “James Van Allen: The First Eight Billion Miles” (University of Iowa Press, 2007)
This week we feature an interview with Abigail Foerstner about her new book, James Van Allen: The First Eight Billion Miles (University of Iowa Press, 2007). Dr. Foerstner teaches news writing and science writing at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. In addition, Dr. Foerstner served as a staff reporter... Read More