New Books Network

Chris Cooper, “Run, Swim, Throw, Cheat: The Science Behind Drugs in Sport” (Oxford University Press, 2012)
This past August, the saga of Lance Armstrong came to its inglorious end. The seven-time champion of the Tour de France and Olympic medalist ended his defense against charges that he had engaged in blood doping during his cycling career. In the judgment of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the end... Read More
Robert Westman, “The Copernican Question: Prognostication, Skepticism, and Celestial Order” (University of California Press, 2011)
This is an extraordinary book written by one of the finest historians of science. Ringing in at nearly seven hundred oversized, double columned pages Robert Westman‘s The Copernican Question: Prognostication, Skepticism, and the Celestial Order (University of California Press, 2011) exhaustively examines the science of the stars in order to... Read More
Anjan Chakravartty, “A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Knowing the Unobservable” (Cambridge UP, 2007)
Near the opening of his book A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Knowing the Unobservable (Cambridge University Press, 2007; paperback 2010), Anjan Chakravartty warns readers: snack before reading! Though the occasional exemplary slice of pumpkin pie and chocolate fudge brownies do sweetly sprinkle the narrative, fear not, intrepid reader: most of... Read More
P. Kyle Stanford, “Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives” (Oxford UP, 2006)
Should we really believe what our best scientific theories tell us about the world, especially about parts of the world that we can’t see? This question informs a long history of debates over scientific realism and the extent to which we trust what contemporary and future scientific theories tell us... Read More
Hanna Rose Shell, “Hide and Seek: Camouflage, Photography, and the Media of Reconnaissance” (Zone Books, 2012)
Imagine a world wherein the people who wrote history books were artists, the books occasionally read like poetry, and the stories in them ranged from Monty Python skits to the natural history of chameleons to the making of classic sniper films. Pick up Hanna Rose Shell‘s new book, and you... Read More
Philip Kitcher, “Science in a Democratic Society” (Prometheus Books, 2011)
Philip Kitcher‘s Science in a Democratic Society (Prometheus Books, 2011) is an ambitious work that does many things at the same time. It offers a compelling theory of democracy, public knowledge, and a “well-ordered science” that engages the two. It considers the role of values in science and in a... Read More
D. Graham Burnett, “The Sounding of the Whale: Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century” (University of Chicago Press, 2012)
Graham Burnett’s The Sounding of the Whale: Science and Cetaceans in the Twentieth Century (University of Chicago Press, 2012) s an astounding book. It is an inspiring work, both in the depth of research brought to bear in Burnett’s account of the emergence of twentieth-century whale science, and the sensitivity... Read More