New Books Network

Davide Crippa, “The Impossibility of Squaring the Circle in the 17th Century” (Birkhäuser, 2019)
From 1667 to 1676, a pivotal controversy played out among several mathematical luminaries of the time, partly in the proceedings of the Royal Society but partly in private correspondence. The controversy concerned whether an infamous problem of Ancient Greek geometry, the quadrature of the central conic sections (better known as... Read More
Michael Kodas, “Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)
In the 1980s, fires burned an average of two million acres per year. Today the average is eight million acres and growing. Scientists believe that we could see years with twenty million acres burned, an area larger than country of Ireland. Today I talked to Michael Kodas about the phenomenon... Read More
David Philip Miller, “The Life and Legend of James Watt” (U Pittsburgh Press, 2019)
For all of his fame as one of the seminal figures of the Industrial Revolution, James Watt is a person around whom many misconceptions congregate. In The Life and Legend of James Watt: Collaboration, Natural Philosophy, and the Improvement of the Steam Engine (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), David Philip... Read More
Shai Lavi, “Bioethics and Biopolitics in Israel: Socio-legal, Political and Empirical Analysis” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Once upon a time, or so we’ve been told, medical ethics were confined to the patient-doctor relationship. As long as doctors were true to their Hippocratic oaths, as long as they acted with compassion and wisdom, then all expectations were met. Life is more complicated today, and so is healthcare:... Read More
Samir Okasha, “Agents and Goals in Evolution” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Evolutionary biologists standardly treat organisms as agents: they have goals and purposes and preferences, and their behaviors and adaptive traits contribute to the achievement of their goals. This explanatory practice brings evolutionary biology into conceptual contact with rational choice theory, which provides models of how people make decisions and act... Read More
Vanessa Heggie, “Higher and Colder: A History of Extreme Physiology and Exploration” (U Chicago Press, 2019)
Vanessa Heggie talks about the history of biomedical research in extreme environments. Heggie is a Fellow of the Institute for Global Innovation at the University of Birmingham. She is the author of Higher and Colder: A History of Extreme Physiology and Exploration (University of Chicago Press, 2019). During the long... Read More
David R. Montgomery, “Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life” (W. W. Norton, 2018)
In Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life (W. W. Norton & Co., 2018), Dr. David R. Montgomery portrays hope amidst the backdrop that for centuries, agricultural practices have eroded the soil that farming depends on, stripping it of the organic matter vital to its productivity. Once a self-proclaimed... Read More
John D. Hawks, “Almost Human: The Astonishing Tale of Homo naledi and the Discovery That Changed Our Human Story” (National Geographic, 2017)
John D. Hawks talks about new developments in paleoanthropology – the discovery of a new hominid species Homo Naledi in South Africa, the Neanderthal ancestry of many human populations, and the challenge of rethinking anthropological science’s relationship with indigenous peoples and the general public. Hawks is the Vilas-Borghesi Achievement Professor... Read More