Honor roll: National Book Award for Science

Each of these books has been nominated for a National Book Award for Science. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:Gödel, Escher, Bach

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

Douglas R. Hofstadter

Linking together the music of Bach, the graphic art of Escher and the mathematical theorems of Godel, as well as ideas drawn from logic, biology, psyhcology, physics and linguistics, Hofstadter illumnintaes one of the greatest mysteries of modern science: the nature of the human thought process.

Book:The Lives of a Cell

The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher

Lewis Thomas

Elegant, suggestive, and clarifying, Lewis Thomas’s profoundly humane vision explores the world around us and examines the complex interdependence of all things.  Extending beyond the usual limitations of biological science and into a vast and wondrous world of hidden relationships, this provocative book explores in personal, poetic essays to topics such as computers, germs, language, music, death, insects, and medicine.  Lewis Thomas writes, “Once you have become permanently startled, as I am, by the realization that we are a social species, you tend to keep an eye out for the pieces of evidence that this is, by and large, good for us.”

Book:The Mathematical Experience

The Mathematical Experience

Phillip J. Davis, Reuben Hersh

This is the classic introduction for the educated lay reader to the richly diverse world of mathematics: its history, philosophy, principles, and personalities.

Book:Subtle Is the Lord

Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein

Abraham Pais

Since the death of Albert Einstein in 1955 there have been many books and articles written about the man and a number of attempts to “explain” relativity. In this new major work Abraham Pais, himself an eminent physicist who worked alongside Einstein in the post-war years, traces the development of Einstein’s entire oeuvre. This is the first book which deal comprehensively and in depth with Einstein’s science, both the successes and the failures. Running through the book is a completely non-scientific biography (identified in the table of contents by italic type) including many letters which appear in English for the first time, as well as other information not published before. Throughout the preparation of this book, Pais has had complete access to the Einstein Archives (now in the possession of the Hebrew University) and the invaluable guidance of the late Helen Dukas—formerly Einstein’s private secretary.

Book:Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind

Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind

Donald Johanson, Maitland Edey

When Donald Johanson found a partial skeleton, approximately 3.5 million years old, in a remote region of Ethiopia in 1974, a headline-making controversy was launched that continues on today.

Book:Taking the Quantum Leap

Taking the Quantum Leap: The New Physics for Nonscientists

Fred A. Wolf

This book entertainingly traces the history of physics from the observations of the early Greeks through the discoveries of Galileo and Newton to the dazzling theories of such scientists as Planck, Einstein, Bohr, and Bohm. This humanized view of science opens up the mind-stretching visions of how quantum mechanics, God, human thought, and will are related, and provides profound implications for our understanding of the nature of reality and our relationship to the cosmos.

Book:The Medusa and the Snail

The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher

Lewis Thomas

The medusa is a tiny jellfish that lives on the ventral surface of a sea slug found in the Bay of Naples. Readers will find themselves caught up in the fate of the medusa and the snail as a metaphor for eternal issues of life and death as Lewis Thomas further extends the exploration of a man and his world begun in The Lives of a Cell. Among the treasures in this magnificent book are essays on the human genius for making mistakes, on disease and natural death, on cloning, on warts, and on Montaigne, as well as an assessment of medical science and health care. In these essays and others, Thomas once again conveys his observations of the scientific world in prose marked by wonder and wit.

Book:The Panda's Thumb

The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History

Stephen Jay Gould

The Panda’s Thumb will introduce a new generation of readers to this unique writer, who has taken the art of the scientific essay to new heights.

Book:Dancing Wu Li Masters

Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics

Gary Zukav

With its unique combination of depth, clarity, and humor that has enchanted millions, this beloved classic by bestselling author Gary Zukav opens the fascinating world of quantum physics to readers with no mathematical or technical background. “Wu Li” is the Chinese phrase for physics. It means “patterns of organic energy,” but it also means “nonsense,” “my way,” “I clutch my ideas,” and “enlightenment.” These captivating ideas frame Zukav’s evocative exploration of quantum mechanics and relativity theory. Delightfully easy to read, The Dancing Wu Li Masters illuminates the compelling powers at the core of all we know.

Book:Interpretation of Schizophrenia

Interpretation of Schizophrenia

Silvano Arieti

In this award-winning book, Interpretation of Schizophrenia, Silvano Arieti presents the history of the medical research on schizophrenia, the summary of the ideas of the major scholars who devoted their careers to the illness and finally the conclusions drawn by the author himself.

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