Is Science Fiction Science?
The Science in Science Fiction, (1983)
General Editor: Peter Nichols
Contributors: David Langford, Brian Stableford
Only slightly dated after 20 years, this book presents a deft survey of just about every relevant theme and topic in science fiction books and movies. It includes discussions of space flight, future energy sources, what alien societies might be like, prospects for terraforming Mars and other planets, utopias and dystopias, time travel, artificial intelligence, eugenics, cyborgs and more.
Some of the 'science of Star Trek' books...
The Physics of Star Trek (1996)
by Lawrence M. Krauss
The Metaphysics of Star Trek (1997)
by Richard Hanley
To Seek Out New Life: The Biology of Star Trek
(1998) by Athena Andreadis
You don't have to be an ardent fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation to appreciate how definitively it set the bar for mainstream science fiction post-1990's. These popular books use the show's creative and compelling "technobabble" as jumping-off and discussion points for exploring ideas in physics, biology, technology and philosophy.
Can We Believe in Both Science and Religion?
Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality (2003)
by John Horgan
Science writer John Horgan is not religious, but he is also famously skeptical and cantankerous about the purely scientific-materialist view of life and the universe. In this book he makes his own exploration of spirituality, meditation, psychedelic drugs, religion and more, and challenges the reader intellectually almost no matter what he or she believes.
When Science Meets Religion (2000)
by Ian Barbour
Written from a liberal Christian perspective, this book explores the age-old dialogue between science and religion. It discusses some of the key themes in the great debate between both worldviews, and looks at the various ways people have tried to reconcile them.
Paths From Science Toward God, (2001)
by Arthur Peacocke
Renowned theologian and biochemist Sir Arthur Peacock reunites the warring worlds of science and religion by arguing that the divine principle is at work behind all aspects of existence, both spiritual and physical.
How Does the Autistic Brain Work?
Facing Autism: Giving Parents Reasons for Hope and Guidance for Help (2000)
by Lynn M. Hamilton & Bernard Rimland
This guidebook for parents of autistic children discusses the available interventions and treatments. Dr. Rimland is director of the Autism Research Institute, and both authors are parents of autistic children.
An Anthropologist on Mars (1995)
by Oliver Sacks.
As usual, Dr. Oliver Sacks renders compelling and humane portraits of several people with fascinating neurological anomalies, including autism. It includes art by an autistic artist.
How Weird is the Cosmos?
Quintessence: The Mystery of the Missing Mass (2001)
by Lawrence M. Krauss
This newly updated book is for non-physicists who are curious about the present state of cosmology. It outlines most of the current theories about the exotic forms of matter and energy beyond the kinds we are familiar with, and what they can tell us about the birth, expansion, and fate of the universe.
Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe (2001)
by Martin J. Rees
The "six numbers" referred to in the title are fundamental quantities that give the universe the laws and features it has. If any of them were even just a tad different, the existence of stars, planets, life forms, or even empty space would be impossible. Dr. Rees explores the questions of how this balance of numbers could have been "tuned," whether there might be many other universes with different laws, and how life might fit into it all.
Microbes - Friend or Foe?
The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance (1995)
Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health (2001)
by Laurie Garrett
These books by Pulitzer-winning journalist Laurie Garrett are a wake-up call to the world about the dangers posed by infectious diseases. The Coming Plague demonstrates how factors like the population explosion, overuse of antibiotics, ecological destruction and air travel have made the modern world perilously vulnerable to epidemic disease outbreaks. Betrayal of Trust documents a woeful degree of unpreparedness, whether to deal with natural pandemics or bioterrorism, in the world's ragged patchwork of public health systems.
How Does Order Arise in the Universe?
Complexity: Life at the Edge of Chaos (2000)
by Roger Lewin
Lewin takes the reader on a tour of complexity theory, which is the attempt to understand the organizing principles behind all complex phenomena in nature. These include life, evolution, weather, economies, societies, and the brain.
The Web of Life: A New Understanding of Living Systems (1997)
by Fritjof Capra
Capra's book provides some remarkably breezy explanations of difficult concepts in complexity theory and self-organizing systems. With a touch of spirituality thrown in, the book talks about holism vs. reductionism in science, the emerging new science of complex systems, and what these developments tell us about the evolution of life, ecologies and societies.
Why is Music So Significant?
Music with the Brain in Mind (2000)
by Eric Jensen
In this short book, Jensen reviews the latest research about music and the brain and argues for the importance of music in education. Topics include the controversial "Mozart effect," (the claim that intricate melodies can boost intelligence) and music's effects on other brain processes such as emotion, learning and memory.
Music, the Brain & Ecstasy: How Music Captures Our Imagination (1998)
by Robert Jourdain
Jourdain takes the reader on a scientifically informed tour of music from a musician's point of view. It covers many aspect of the musical experience, not just the basic neurology of hearing but also the neuroscience of musical performance and appreciation, our ability to perceive rhythm, harmony and melody, and how music excites us to such emotional heights.
Will Computers Take a Quantum Leap?
The Bit and the Pendulum: From Quantum Computing to M Theory - The New Physics of Information (2000)
by Tom Siegfried (Author)
This book explains the recent trend of regarding all phenomena in terms of information processing. In other words information, not matter and energy, is the bedrock of reality. This view, sometimes referred to as "It from bit," is a synthesis of concepts from modern physics and computer science.
Articles about quantum computing from Wired magazine...
Atomic Rulers of the World
Quantum Leap in Computing
Does Psychiatry Have a Split Personality?
The Science of Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Mood (2000)
by Stephen Braun
A science writer brings the reader along through his personal examination of what happiness is and the various ways there are to deal with depression. The narrative manages to stay light on technical details while being well informed about current ideas in the science of mood and developments in the psychopharmaceutical industry.
Prozac and the New Antidepressants (2000)
by William S. Appleton
A Harvard Medical School professor reviews the latest antidepressant research in this consumer's guide. Citing case histories and research studies, the book provides information about the effectiveness, dangers, and side effects of all kinds of antidepressants - from the familiar Prozac-style drugs, to the newest drugs to hit the market, to herbal alternatives such as St. John's wort.
How Does Basic Science Defend America?
I'm sorry, but I have no idea what kind of books address this topic...
Who Gets to Validate Alternative Medicine?
The Failures of American Medicine: Why Americans Have Become Chronically Ill, and What Can Be Done About It (2002)
by Richard Jensen
This book delivers a hard-nosed examination of the failures of both the mainstream medical establishment and alternative medical approaches. Jensen is unafraid to suggest which treatments from either camp is best.
The New York Times Guide to Alternative Health
by Jane E. Brody (Editor), Denise Grady (Editor)
This is a balanced reference tool for people curious about alternative treatments and health practices. Compiled by health reporters from one of America's most trusted news sources, the book covers herbal medicine, homeopathy, tai chi, acupuncture, meditation and more.
Is Consciousness Definable?
Exploring Consciousness (2002)
by Rita Carter
This book presents an extensive survey of current scientific thinking about consciousness. It is untechnical and lushly illustrated, and contains numerous sidebars by leading philosophers and neuroscientists.
The Feeling of What Happens: Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness (2000)
by Antonio Damasio
A leading neurologist explores how the brain generates conscious awareness and an embodied, coherent sense of self. He draws on his studies of neurology patients, as well as neuroscience, functional brain imaging and evolutionary analysis, to put together a graceful sketch of how and why we are conscious.
Is the Universe Full of Life?
At Home in the Universe: The Search for Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity (1996)
by Stuart Kauffman
A prominent complexity theorist argues that life, far from being a one-in-a-trillion stroke of luck, is an almost inevitable consequence of the laws of self-organization. Going fairly light on the mathematics of his work, Kauffman takes the reader through his fascinating models of spontaneously generated order.
If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens . . . Where Is Everybody?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life (2002)
by Stephen Webb
This book lays out just about every scenario people have thought up to explain why intelligent life has not spread everywhere throughout the galaxy... as we expect our own species to do someday. Solutions include: They are already here, in secret; they visited and left before we evolved; interstellar flight turns out to be pointless or impracticable; God has made the universe for us alone; all scientific civilizations destroy themselves; the favorable conditions on earth are exceedingly rare; and many more.
Can Religion Withstand Technology?
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (1998)
'Consilience' refers to the idea that every aspect of existence - not just the physical and biological world, but also culture, consciousness, and aesthetic and religious experience - can be explained within a naturalistic, non-mystical framework. In his book, biologist and ex-Christian E. O. Wilson argues that science will vindicate the consilient perspective and denies that this reduces the value of our lives, institutions or experience.
by Edward O. Wilson
Belief in God in an Age of Science (1999)
Theoretical physicist and theologian John Polkinghorne argues that religious faith and science are perfectly compatible. Both proceed from a belief in the "unity of knowledge," which he maintains must lead to belief in God.
by John C. Polkinghorne
Testing New Drugs: Are People Guinea Pigs?
"Stop, Think, but Don't Ban Cloning."
Los Angeles Times, November 28, 2001,
"Mapping Our Genomes May Lead to Battles About Use of the Findings (Not the Holy Grail of Biology)."
Los Angeles Daily Journal, July 6, 2000, at 6.
"End Hypocrisy on Stem Cell Tests."
Los Angeles Times, May 2, 2000, at B9.
"Body Body Double: Cloning Humans Still a Distant Fantasy."
Boston Globe, January 11, 1998, at C1.
[Reprinted as "Body Body Double: Cloning Infants a Distant Fantasy" in Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, 7th Edition and in Writing and Reading in the Disciplines. (Pearson Custom Publishing, 2000).]