From neurons to nanotech and from quarks to the cosmos, BookLab is the podcast that puts science books under the microscope! Join hosts Dan Falk and Amanda Gefter for a look at the latest in popular science writing: what’s new, what’s hot, and what you ought to be reading right now.
BookLab 029: Hawking Hawking, The Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy, and When We Cease to Understand the World
Featured book: Hawking Hawking, by Charles Seife.
Charles Seife’s new biography of Stephen Hawking takes an unflinching look at the good and bad sides of the famous physicist.
And on the nightstand: The Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Arik Kershenbaum; and When We Cease to Understand the World, by Benjamin Labatut.
BookLab 028: Life’s Edge, by Carl Zimmer; and The Genesis Quest, by Michael Marshall
What is life? As Carl Zimmer shows in Life’s Edge, the more we try to pin it down, the more elusive an answer becomes. And in The Genesis Quest, Michael Marshall examines the age-old puzzle of how life began on our planet.
BookLab 027: Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain, Why Fish Don’t Exist, and The Precipice
Featured Book: Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain, by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett take a deep dive into our most remarkable organ – and explains why the brain is for much more than just thinking.
And on the nightstand: Why Fish Don’t Exist, by Lulu Miller; and The Precipice, by Toby Ord.
BookLab 026: The End of Everything, and Black Hole Survival Guide
We double up on the physics in this episode: First, Katie Mack looks at the universe’s end-game in The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking). Then we explore the universe’s most exotic objects in Janna Levin’s new book, Black Hole Survival Guide.
BookLab 025: COVID-19, by Debora MacKenzie
In this special episode of BookLab, we focus on COVID-19 by journalist Debora MacKenzie. Her book examines how this pandemic happened, how it might have been prevented – or at least mitigated – and what can be done to make sure a similar catastrophic public health crisis doesn’t happen again.
BookLab 024: Until the End of Time, Superior, and Moral Tribes
Featured book: Until the End of Time, by Brian Greene.
Where exactly do human beings fit in, in this vast cosmos? Brian Greene tackles the mysteries of life, the universe, and everything in an ambitious new book.
And on the nightstand: Superior, by Angela Saini; and Moral Tribes by Joshua Greene
I find the books selected to be very interesting and the book reviews to be detailed and insightful.
Smart discussion of current popular science books
After reading "Tresspassing on Einstein's Lawn" I searched for more by Amanda Gefter and stumbled on this gem. The hosts take the time for a serious discussion of the merits of good new books on scientific topics for general audiences. Very Good!
It’s more than a book review. These 2 science journalists engage with the issues and they do it in a smart manner. I hope this podcast gains some steam and they keep doing this good work. Listen to them.