Recommended Books about Science

Note: I do not necessarily agree with each author about all of their perspectives (I disagree with Richard Dawkins about religion, for instance), but the books below are written by experts and represent the modern scientific consensus.

Physics

  • Brian Greene, "The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory"
  • Paul Halpern, "Collider: The Search for the World's Smallest Particle"
  • Landau and Rumer, "What is Relativity?"
  • Roger Penrose, "The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe"
  • Kip Thorne, "The Science of Interstellar"
  • David Weintraub, "How Old is the Universe?"
  • Stephen Hawking, "A Brief History of Time"

 

Climate Change

  • David Archer, "Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast"
  • William Nordhaus, "The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World"

  • John Englander, "High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis"

Life Science

  • Scientific American, "Evolution: A Scientific American Reader"
  • Carl Zimmer, "Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea"
  • Jerry Coyne, "Why Evolution is True"
  • Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene"
  • Kenneth Miller, "Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul"

All-Purpose

  • Randall Munroe, "What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions"
  • Robert Hazen and James Trefil, "Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy"
  • Dave Levitan, "Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent and Utterly Mangle Science"
  • Ashlee Vance, "Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future"

History of Science

  • David Lindberg, "The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, Prehistory to A.D. 1450"

Bonus: Scientifically-informed creative writing

  • Alan Lightman (Physics professor at Harvard and MIT), "Einstein's Dreams"
  • David Eagleman (Neuroscience professor at Stanford), "Sum: Forty Visions of the Afterlives"