Archive for: January, 2013

Ontario Library Association Super Conference presentation: If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Some librarian job search advice

Jan 31 2013 Published by under around the web, librarianship, social media

Some colleagues and I are presenting tomorrow at the latest Ontario Library Association Super Conference. Here's the info:

Session: #1307:
Friday 3:45 PM 5:00 PM
IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW
Career development

Speaker(s)
John Dupuis, Acting Associate University Librarian, Information Services, York University; Tanis Fink, Director, Seneca Libraries, Seneca College; Amanda French, Manager, Sciences and Business Dept, Mississauga Library System; Klara Maidenberg, Virtual Reference Services & Assessment and Evaluation Librarian, Scholars Portal, OCUL; Zachary Osborne, Head Librarian, Toronto Botanical Garden; Jane Schmidt, Head, Collection Services, Ryerson University Library & Archives; Zoe Cliff, Information Management Analyst, Ontario Public Service.

Much of what is required for a successful career in the information profession is not taught in library school. The diverse panel will reflect on their own education, experience and career paths, and share tips for students on getting the most out of their degrees with advice for success in the field.

And huge thanks to friend and colleague Klara Maidenberg for organizing the session. It'll be great!

Some general sites that might not appear on the usual suspects lists:

Some articles and blog posts with various bits of advice:

And of course, suggestions for relevant articles or resources are always welcome in the comments.

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Around the Web: A presentation on Open Data at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference

Jan 30 2013 Published by under around the web, open access, scholarly publishing

I'm doing a session at the Ontario Library Conference tomorrow with a few colleagues. The topic is Creative Commons licensing and I'm doing the section on Open Data. It's a kind of a replay of what we did for library staff about a year ago.

Here's the info this time:

Session: #308
Thursday 9:05 AM 10:20 AM
Creative Commons and Beyond

Speaker(s)
Timothy Bristow, Digital Humanities Librarian; John Dupuis, Acting Associate University Librarian, Information Services; Andrea Kosavic, Digital Initiatives Librarian; Sharon Wang, Association Librarian; York University

Learn more about creative commons (CC) and the licensing options available. Open access will be discussed in relation to copyright, clarifying the importance of creative commons. The Panton Principles will be explained, including the role of creative commons in best practices for open data licensing. Other topics include the use of creative commons in education and scholarly publishing, how to find licensed content, and a tool to check attribution will be presented.

And some relevant resources:

Some of my previous Around the Web posts with Open Data resources are here and here.

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Best Science Books 2012: The top books of the year!!!!!

Jan 28 2013 Published by under best science books 2012, science books

Every year for the last several years I've collated and extracted the science books from all the various "best books of the year" lists in different mainstream media and various other outlets. I've done the same this year for books published in 2011! I can tell it's been popular among my readers from the hit stats I see for this blog and from the number of keyword searches on "best science books" or whatnot I see in my analytics program.

Way back in 2009, I started taking all the lists I could find and tallying up all the "votes" to see which books were mentioned the most times. An interesting exercise, to say the least! While the "winner" wasn't in any sense the best book of the year, it was certainly very revealing to see what books were getting all the attention and at least some sense of how well-received all the various books were compared to each other. Since what I tried in 2009 was so popular, I decided to do the same thing for 2010, 2011 and this year, 2012.

As with previous years, some of the lists have been from general/non-science media sources, in which case I've just extracted the science-related books. From science publications, I've included pretty well all of the mentioned titles.

For 2012, I looked at 69 different best of lists, spreading them among 46 of my blog posts. For 2011: 82 & 50; 2010: 60 & 33 and 2009: 46 & 32. The impressive number of lists I'm able to see every year is mostly mostly thanks to the amazing work gathering Year's Best Book lists over at the Largehearted Boy blog. Thanks!

I'm listing 22 books this year compared to 25 last year and 21 and 16 the first two years. Like last year, it takes four mentions in a best of list for a book to make into this top books of the year post.

Some notes/caveats, mostly similar to previous years:

  • These aren't in any way the "best" books of 2012, only the most popular books on year's best lists. For the most part, all the books mentioned will likely be at least decent since they've attracted a fair bit of critical attention. But, they are also almost certainly the books whose publishers had the biggest promotional budgets and sent out the most review copies. Susan Cain's Quiet was clearly one of the buzz books of 2012 and was very widely read and reviewed. It had a strong cross-over quality similar to the Henrietta Lacks bio from a few years ago. Like that book, it was the only sciencey book on a number of the lists I saw.
  • There are probably one or two straggler "best of" lists that haven't come out yet and I'm sure there are a bunch that I missed. Since I saw so many lists, I feel pretty confident that the list is fairly representative of reviewer sentiment. And, you know, this ain't exactly rocket science so my tallying may be imperfect in other ways.
  • Finally, in some of the longer mainstreams lists that I did see, I can't guarantee I consistently pulled in the same "edge cases" in to my science-y lists. There were numerous books mentioned twice or three times so one or two of those might have squeaked onto this list. Of course, I can't guarantee complete accuracy in any of the steps of the whole process. Sadly there is no small army of research assistants helping me compile these lists.
  • British, American and Canadian publication dates can mean that a 2012 British & Canadian book is a 2013 American book and vice versa. It happens.
  • There were 325 different books mentioned among the various lists. My list is in a Google Docs spreadsheet here. If you have any questions about the spreadsheet, just let me know.

In the list below, the number in the brackets is the number of different lists the book appeared on.

Enjoy -- and good reading!

  1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain (20)
  2. The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don't by Nate Silver (14)
  3. Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen (13)
  4. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (9)
  5. The Social Conquest of Earth by Edward O. Wilson (9)
  6. Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks (8)
  7. Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe by George Dyson (7)
  8. On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson, Author of Silent Spring by William Souder (6)
  9. Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt (6)
  10. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan (6)
  11. The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gernter (6)
  12. Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams (5)
  13. Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients by Ben Goldacre (5)
  14. The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World by Sean M. Carroll (5)
  15. Connectome: How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are by Sebastian Seung (4)
  16. The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate by Robert D. Kaplan (4)
  17. God's Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine by Victoria Sweet (4)
  18. Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile by Taras Grescoe (4)
  19. The Universe Within: From Quantum to Cosmos by Neil Turok (4)
  20. Makers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson (4)
  21. Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy (4)
  22. Before the Lights Go Out: Conquering the Energy Crisis Before It Conquers Us by Maggie Koerth-Baker (4)

And two honourary mentions:

I'm including the Strayed book because although it seems to be mostly a story of personal discovery, there seems to be some element of nature writing in the book. When I first saw it I didn't thing there was enough to qualify for listing. Without reading the book itself, I'm still pretty sure that's the case. But it received so many mentions in all the various lists I saw and was so widely praised, I thought I should mention it.

As for Trinity, it's a science graphic novel which was a personal favourite last year. It did receive a few mentions but not enough to to qualify. Hence, an honourary mention. It's my blog after all! And I hope to catch up a bit on my reviewing and get some thoughts up about the book here on the blog in the near future.

BTW, I really do appreciate the comments I've gotten both online and off about the usefulness of this bizarre project/obsession. It can be a bit of a slog sometimes as well as taking up a good bit of my available blogging energy during the late fall and sporadically during the winter, so the comments help keep me motivated.

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Around the Web: Aaron Swartz chronological link roundup

The recent death of Aaron Swartz has provoked a lot of commentary on the web so I thought I would gather some of it here. This is by no means an attempt to be comprehensive as the amount of commentary has been truly vast. I've tried to gather enough so that someone working through even a small selection of the posts would get a good idea of all the dimensions of the story. I've also tried to perhaps give a bit of a library/academia slant in the selection.

As usual with these compilations, readers should feel free to suggest further readings in the comments especially those that add a dimension that I've missed.

My own personal thoughts are here: Library vendors, politics, Aaron Swartz, #pdftribute

Some general resources.

   

The story:

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Best Science Books 2012: Teaching Biology, Part 3

Another list for your reading, gift-giving and collection development pleasure.

Every year for the last bunch of years I’ve been linking to and posting about all the “year’s best sciencey books” lists that appear in various media outlets and shining a bit of light on the best of the year.

All the previous 2012 lists are here.

This post includes the following: Top Books of 2012: History of Science, Paleontology , Zoolology.

  • Islam, Science, and the Challenge of History by Ahmad Dallal
  • Smoking Ears and Screaming Teeth: A Celebration of Scientific Eccentricity and Self-Experimentation by Trevor Norton
  • The Abacus and the Cross: The Story of the Pope Who Brought the Light of Science to the Dark Ages by
    Nancy Marie Brown

  • Science in the 20th Century and Beyond by Jon Agar
  • A History of Science in Society: From Philosophy to Utility, Second Edition by Lesley B. Cormack, Andrew Ede
  • Fear of Food: A History of Why We Worry about What We Eat by Harvey Levenstein
  • Inventing Chemistry: Herman Boerhaave and the Reform of the Chemical Arts by John C. Powers
  • War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America's Campaign to Create a Master Race, Expanded Edition by Edwin Black
  • Pathfinders: The Golden Age of Arabic Science by Al-Khalili
  • The Secrets of Alchemy by Lawrence M. Principe
  • The Evolution of Primate Societies by John C. Mitani, Josep Call, Peter M. Kappeler and Ryne A. Palombit
  • Living in a Dangerous Climate: Climate Change and Human Evolution by Renée Hetherington
  • Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You: Busting Myths about Human Nature by Agustin Fuentes
  • The Complete World of Human Evolution (Second Edition) by Chris Stringer and Peter Andrews
  • Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson
  • Human Biology: An Evolutionary and Biocultural Perspective by Sara Stinson, Barry Bogin and Dennis O'Rourke
  • Genetics of Original Sin: The Impact of Natural Selection on the Future of Humanity by Christian de Duve, Neil Patterson and Edward O. Wilson
  • Evo-Devo of Child Growth: Treatise on Child Growth and Human Evolution by Z. Hochberg
  • Origin of Our Species by Chris Stringer
  • Evolving Human Nutrition: Implications for Public Health by Stanley Ulijaszek, Neil Mann and Sarah Elton
  • The Dawn of the Deed: The Prehistoric Origins of Sex by John A. Long
  • Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History by David E. Fastovsky and David B. Weishampel
  • Embryos in Deep Time: The Rock Record of Biological Development by Marcelo R. Sánchez
  • Rereading the Fossil Record: The Growth of Paleobiology as an Evolutionary Discipline by David Sepkoski
  • Piltdown Man and Other Hoaxes: A book about Lies, Legends, and the Search for the Missing Link by Jonathan Maxwell
  • Return to the Sea: The Life and Evolutionary Times of Marine Mammals by Annalisa Berta, James L. Sumich and Carl Buell
  • African Genesis: Perspectives on Hominin Revolution by Dr Sally C. Reynolds and Andrew Gallagher
  • A World of Insects: The Harvard University Press Reader by Ring T. Cardé, Vincent H. Resh, Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson
  • Animal Architects: Building and the Evolution of Intelligence by James L. Gould and Carol Grant Gould
  • Animal Eyes by Michael F. Land and Dan-Eric Nilsson
  • Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind by Richard Fortey
  • Learning From the Octopus: How Secrets from Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease by Rafe Sagarin
  • How Not to Be Eaten: The Insects Fight Back by Dr. Gilbert Waldbauer and James Nardi
  • Walking Sideways: The Remarkable World of Crabs by Judith S. Weis

I'm always looking for recommendations and notifications of book lists as they appear in various media outlets. If you see one that I haven't covered, please let me know at jdupuis at yorku dot ca or in the comments.

I am picking up most of my lists from Largehearted Boy.

For my purposes, I define science books pretty broadly to include science, engineering, computing, history & philosophy of science & technology, environment, social aspects of science and even business books about technology trends or technology innovation. Deciding what is and isn’t a science book is squishy at best, especially at the margins, but in the end I pick books that seem broadly about science and technology rather than something else completely. Lists of business, history or nature books are among the tricky ones.

And if you wish to support my humble list-making efforts, run on over to Amazon, take a look at Steve Jobs or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks or maybe even something else from today's list.

(I think this is the last one so I'll give it a day or two and then call it closed for purposes of the summary post. I'm hoping to have that by the end of the month.)

One response so far

Best Science Books 2012: Cryptomundo

Jan 18 2013 Published by under best science books 2012, science books

Another list for your reading, gift-giving and collection development pleasure.

Every year for the last bunch of years I’ve been linking to and posting about all the “year’s best sciencey books” lists that appear in various media outlets and shining a bit of light on the best of the year.

All the previous 2012 lists are here.

This post includes the following: Cryptomundo The Top Cryptozoology Books of 2012.

  • The Beast Of Boggy Creek by Lyle Blackburn
  • The Bigfoot Filmography: Fictional and Documentary Appearances in Film and Television by David Coleman
  • The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals by Karl P.N. Shuker
  • Sasquatch in British Columbia by Christopher Murphy
  • The Untold Story of Champ: A Social History of America’s Loch Ness Monster by Robert E. Bartholomew
  • Sea Serpent Carcasses: Scotland – from The Stronsa Monster to Loch Ness by Glen Vaudrey
  • Monster Diary: On the Road in Search of Strange and Sinister Creatures by Nick Redfern
  • Investigating the Impossible: Sea-Serpents in the Air by Ulrich Magin
  • Bigfoot in Kentucky by BM Nunnelly
  • Strange Pennsylvania Monsters by Michael Newton
  • Monsters of West Virginia: Mysterious Creatures in the Mountain State by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
  • Monsters of Maryland: Mysterious Creatures in the Old Line State by Ed Okonowicz
  • Monsters of Virginia: Mysterious Creatures in the Old Dominion by L. B. Taylor Jr.
  • Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America by Linda S. Godfrey

I'm always looking for recommendations and notifications of book lists as they appear in various media outlets. If you see one that I haven't covered, please let me know at jdupuis at yorku dot ca or in the comments.

I am picking up most of my lists from Largehearted Boy.

For my purposes, I define science books pretty broadly to include science, engineering, computing, history & philosophy of science & technology, environment, social aspects of science and even business books about technology trends or technology innovation. Deciding what is and isn’t a science book is squishy at best, especially at the margins, but in the end I pick books that seem broadly about science and technology rather than something else completely. Lists of business, history or nature books are among the tricky ones.

And if you wish to support my humble list-making efforts, run on over to Amazon, take a look at Steve Jobs or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks or maybe even something else from today's list.

(I think just one more then I'll stop adding new lists. I hope to have the summary post by the end of the month.)

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Library vendors, politics, Aaron Swartz, #pdftribute

On January 10, 2013 Rick Anderson published a post at The Scholarly Kitchen published on six mistakes library staff are making when dealing with our vendors. Most of them were fairly standard stuff like don't be rude, don't waste people's time. That sort of thing. (Yes, sometimes I think that every time I link to a Scholarly Kitchen article, an open access journal loses its wings.)

The sixth, however, was a bit different.

Putting political library concerns above patron needs. I’ve saved for last the “mistake” that I know is likely to be the most controversial, but I think it must be said. Because the issue is so complicated, this will be a topic for a full post at a later date, but for now I’ll just say that it has long seemed to me (and comments from my vendor-side informants seem to confirm it) that too often, we in libraries put politics ahead of mission and service. By “politics,” I mean our personal views about how the world ought to be, and more specifically our views about how the scholarly communication economy ought to be structured. Again, I realize that this is a very complicated, even fraught, issue, and I also realize that one’s beliefs about how scholarly communication ought to be shared will inevitably have some effect on the purchasing decisions one makes on behalf of the library and its constituents. The question isn’t whether politics ought to enter into such decisions. The question is one of balance. More specifically, the question is: To what degree is it appropriate to sacrifice the short-term good of our patrons in the pursuit of long-term economic reform in scholarly publishing (or vice versa)? I will write more about this soon, but for now I’ll simply say that it seems clear to me that, in too many cases, we are making that sacrifice in an ill-advised way.

Basically, don't challenge vendors when it comes to creating a fairer, more open scholarly communications ecosystem if that goal conflicts with short term patron needs. (Some other reactions to the Scholarly Kitchen post: Jacob Berg, Wayne Bivens-Tatum.)

Upon reading this, I'll admit to being curious as to exactly what examples of this behaviour Anderson had in mind. After all, "we are making that sacrifice in an ill-advised way."

His response (And some of Anderson's other relevant writings here, here and here.):

One example would be when a library chooses to maintain conventional interlibrary loan practices at a per-transaction cost of $20 rather than take advantage of a $5 short-term loan option, based on the belief that giving up ILL would endanger traditional first-sale rights in the ebook realm. Another might be canceling a high-demand Big Deal package—not because it’s no longer affordable, but because the library wants to help undermine the Big Deal model in the marketplace or believes that the publisher in question is making unreasonable profits. (And yes, I know of specific examples of both of those decisions being made in research libraries.)

I’m not saying either one of those decisions is wrong. But each one does constitute the sacrifice of a definite, short-term, and local benefit in favor of a theoretical, long-term, and global benefit, and the appropriate balance between those two sets of considerations is what I think could usefully be discussed.

Fair enough. Defending first sale rights in a era of licensed ebooks and patron driven acquisitions is very likely tilting at windmills. That battle may be more important in public libraries than academic libraries, so I'll grant that the short term/long term issue is difficult to decide here. The second example is more problematic. I'm assuming he's referring to something like the decision by SUNY Potsdam to cancel their American Chemical Society subscription in the face of unsustainable price increases. Those kinds of price increases aren't in our patron's best interests in anything beyond a ridiculously short time frame and here I think the best course is to work with those patron communities to push for reform together. Our political responsibility as librarians, as academics, as faculty at our institutions, as members of society, is to find ways to maintain the long term viability of the academic enterprise.

Balance, of course, is important here. We can't cut off our noses to spit our faces. But it's also possible to go too far with a false notion of what balance might be. In a sense we need a higher level of balance, a meta-balance if you will, that enables us to both do our best to take care of the short term needs of our communities but at the same time empowers us to make hard decisions with our communities that serves a wide range of long term needs.

The primary long term need I'm talking about, one that embraces all of society, nationally and internationally, is a fairer and more open scholarly communications ecosystem. Our vendors are just that -- our vendors. They aren't our friends, they aren't our colleagues, they aren't our patrons, serving them isn't our mission. We aren't on the same side. Some vendors share many of the same values that we do, some not so much. They provide us with products and services, we pay their bills. And that's OK. A fair profit is OK too, for the commercial publishers. Not making mistakes in our dealings with them is important. Helping them build better products and services is fine too. Solid, respectful and productive professional relationships are vital. Even a certain amount of friendliness and collegiality.

As for "political," in my books every decision in this context is political. Deciding against activism is just as political as deciding for it.

Which brings us to Aaron Swartz.

By this point in time, pretty well anyone reading this probably knows the story. A couple of years ago, Swartz improperly downloaded a very large chunk of the JSTOR database from the MIT network, violating the JSTOR terms of service. While JSTOR declined to pursue the matter once he returned the files, MIT and the US Attorney's office continued to pursue charges, with the trial upcoming. Had he been found guilty, he would have faced very serious jail time. On January 11, 2013 he committed suicide. It's obviously difficult to know how much his legal problems were a factor, but it seems that they did to some extent.

Swartz worked tirelessly during his short life to promote innovation, openness and access to all sorts of information. What he did in this particular case was clearly an act of guerrilla open access.

Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations. Want to read the papers featuring the most famous results of the sciences? You’ll need to send enormous amounts to publishers like Reed Elsevier.

There are those struggling to change this. The Open Access Movement has fought valiantly to ensure that scientists do not sign their copyrights away but instead ensure their work is published on the Internet, under terms that allow anyone to access it. But even under the best scenarios, their work will only apply to things published in the future. Everything up until now will have been lost.

That is too high a price to pay. Forcing academics to pay money to read the work of their colleagues? Scanning entire libraries but only allowing the folks at Google to read them? Providing scientific articles to those at elite universities in the First World, but not to children in the Global South? It’s outrageous and unacceptable.

“I agree,” many say, “but what can we do? The companies hold the copyrights, they make enormous amounts of money by charging for access, and it’s perfectly legal — there’s nothing we can do to stop them.” But there is something we can, something that’s already being done: we can fight back.

Those with access to these resources — students, librarians, scientists — you have been given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out. But you need not — indeed, morally, you cannot — keep this privilege for yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world. And you have: trading passwords with colleagues, filling download requests for friends.

Meanwhile, those who have been locked out are not standing idly by. You have been sneaking through holes and climbing over fences, liberating the information locked up by the publishers and sharing them with your friends.

But all of this action goes on in the dark, hidden underground. It’s called stealing or piracy, as if sharing a wealth of knowledge were the moral equivalent of plundering a ship and murdering its crew. But sharing isn’t immoral — it’s a moral imperative. Only those blinded by greed would refuse to let a friend make a copy.

Large corporations, of course, are blinded by greed. The laws under which they operate require it — their shareholders would revolt at anything less. And the politicians they have bought off back them, passing laws giving them the exclusive power to decide who can make copies.

There is no justice in following unjust laws. It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture.

We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that's out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.

With enough of us, around the world, we’ll not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge — we’ll make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?

Aaron Swartz
July 2008, Eremo, Italy

While personally I'm pretty solidly with Peter Suber on this issue and not a big fan guerilla OA, Swartz's ultimate goal is something I completely agree with. That goal was to make scholarly research available to everyone.

But why is it important? Why am I writing this post?

Because at the end of the day, love him or hate him, agree or disagree with his methods, what Aaron Swartz did was a political act. Aaron Swartz's was on the side of the angels.

And we -- academic libraries and librarians -- should be too. Our political acts will be different, they may be more measured, more balanced, more gradual, more nuanced, more collaborative, more respectful of the law, but political they will be. And focused on the same objective.

Speaking of objectives, what should we all do next? Libraries and librarians should continue our open access activism, pressuring publishers and governments towards business models and policies that promote openness. Taking advantage of the #pdftribute moment, we should support our faculty and researchers in choosing open options for disseminating their research. Jonathan Eisen's has some great suggestions in Ten simple ways to share PDFs of your papers #PDFtribute and 10 things you can do to REALLY support #OpenAccess #PDFTribute.

What side of history do we want to be on?

8 responses so far

Best Science Books 2012: The Guardian

Jan 16 2013 Published by under best science books 2012, science books

Another list for your reading, gift-giving and collection development pleasure.

Every year for the last bunch of years I’ve been linking to and posting about all the “year’s best sciencey books” lists that appear in various media outlets and shining a bit of light on the best of the year.

All the previous 2012 lists are here.

This post includes the following: Christmas gifts 2012: the best science books, Best science books of 2012, Christmas gifts 2012: the best wildlife books.

  • The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World by Sean M. Carroll
  • A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss
  • Ocean of Life: How Our Seas Are Changing by Callum Roberts
  • The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body by Frances Ashcroft
  • Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen
  • The Geek Manifesto: Why Science Matters by Mark Henderson
  • This Is Improbable: Cheese String Theory, Magnetic Chickens and other WTF Research by Marc Abrahams
  • Beyond the Blue Horizon: How the Earliest Mariners Unlocked the Secrets of the Oceans by Brian Fagan
  • Wired for Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind by Mark D. Pagel
  • Inside the Centre: The Life of J Robert Oppenheimer by Ray Monk
  • The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age by Nathan Wolfe
  • Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio 22 by Rosamund Kidman Cox
  • Extinct Birds by Julian P Hume and Michael Walters
  • Extinct Boids (sic) by Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy
  • Drawn from Paradise: The Discovery, Art and Natural History of the Birds of Paradise by David Attenborough and Errol Fuller
  • Fighting for Birds: 25 Years in Nature Conservation by Mark Avery
  • Silent Spring Revisited by Conor Mark Jameson
  • Wildlife in Trust: A Hundred Years of Nature Conservation by Tim Sands
  • Birds in a Cage: Warburg, Germany, 1941. Four P.O.W. birdwatchers. The unlikely beginnings of British wildlife conservation. by Derek Niemann
  • Mushrooms by Peter Marren
  • Field Guide to Micro-moths of Great Britain and Ireland by Phil Sterling
  • The Unfeathered Bird by Katrina van Grouw
  • Scotland by Peter Friend
  • Partridges by GR Potts and Francis Buner
  • Grasshoppers & Crickets by Ted Benton
  • Otter Country by Miriam Darlington
  • The Profit of Birding by Bryan Bland
  • A Patch Made in Heaven by Dominic Couzens
  • My Garden and Other Animals by Mike Dilger
  • Jewels beyond the Plough by Richard Jefferson and John Davis
  • Troubled Waters by Bruce Pearson
  • Bird Sense by Tim Birkhead

I'm always looking for recommendations and notifications of book lists as they appear in various media outlets. If you see one that I haven't covered, please let me know at jdupuis at yorku dot ca or in the comments.

I am picking up most of my lists from Largehearted Boy.

For my purposes, I define science books pretty broadly to include science, engineering, computing, history & philosophy of science & technology, environment, social aspects of science and even business books about technology trends or technology innovation. Deciding what is and isn’t a science book is squishy at best, especially at the margins, but in the end I pick books that seem broadly about science and technology rather than something else completely. Lists of business, history or nature books are among the tricky ones.

And if you wish to support my humble list-making efforts, run on over to Amazon, take a look at Steve Jobs or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks or maybe even something else from today's list.

One response so far

Best Science Books 2012: ScienceGeek / Shabbeer Hassan

Jan 15 2013 Published by under best science books 2012, science books

Another list for your reading, gift-giving and collection development pleasure.

Every year for the last bunch of years I’ve been linking to and posting about all the “year’s best sciencey books” lists that appear in various media outlets and shining a bit of light on the best of the year.

All the previous 2012 lists are here.

This post includes the following: ScienceGeek / Shabbeer Hassan Best Science Books of 2012.

  • Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells us About Morality by Patricia Churchland
  • The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution by Faramerz Dabhoiwala
  • Wired for Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind by Mark Pagel
  • The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age by Nathan Wolfe
  • Bad Pharma: How drug companies mislead doctors and harm patients by Ben Goldacre
  • Inside The Centre: The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Ray Monk
  • Ignorance: How It Drives Science by Stuart Firestein
  • Connectome: How the brain’s wiring makes us who we are by Sebastian Seung
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • Mortality by Christopher Hitchens

I'm always looking for recommendations and notifications of book lists as they appear in various media outlets. If you see one that I haven't covered, please let me know at jdupuis at yorku dot ca or in the comments.

I am picking up most of my lists from Largehearted Boy.

For my purposes, I define science books pretty broadly to include science, engineering, computing, history & philosophy of science & technology, environment, social aspects of science and even business books about technology trends or technology innovation. Deciding what is and isn’t a science book is squishy at best, especially at the margins, but in the end I pick books that seem broadly about science and technology rather than something else completely. Lists of business, history or nature books are among the tricky ones.

And if you wish to support my humble list-making efforts, run on over to Amazon, take a look at Steve Jobs or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks or maybe even something else from today's list.

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Best Science Books 2012: Schaumberg Township District Library

Jan 15 2013 Published by under best science books 2012, science books

Another list for your reading, gift-giving and collection development pleasure.

Every year for the last bunch of years I’ve been linking to and posting about all the “year’s best sciencey books” lists that appear in various media outlets and shining a bit of light on the best of the year.

All the previous 2012 lists are here.

This post includes the following: Township District Library Best Science Books of 2012.

  • The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds by Zickefoose, Julie
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Cahalan, Susannah
  • An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases by Velasquez-Manoff, Moises
  • Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas, and the Weather of the Future by Climate Central
  • How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks about Being Sick in America by Brawley, Otis Webb
  • On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson by Souder, William
  • The Social Conquest of Earth by Wilson, Edward O.
  • The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body by Ashcroft, Frances M.
  • Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by Quammen, David
  • Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder by Wortmann, Fletcher

I'm always looking for recommendations and notifications of book lists as they appear in various media outlets. If you see one that I haven't covered, please let me know at jdupuis at yorku dot ca or in the comments.

I am picking up most of my lists from Largehearted Boy.

For my purposes, I define science books pretty broadly to include science, engineering, computing, history & philosophy of science & technology, environment, social aspects of science and even business books about technology trends or technology innovation. Deciding what is and isn’t a science book is squishy at best, especially at the margins, but in the end I pick books that seem broadly about science and technology rather than something else completely. Lists of business, history or nature books are among the tricky ones.

And if you wish to support my humble list-making efforts, run on over to Amazon, take a look at Steve Jobs or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks or maybe even something else from today's list.

No responses yet

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