Archive for: January, 2014

Best Science Books 2013: Library Journal

Jan 04 2014 Published by under best science books 2013, science books

Every year for the last bunch of years I’ve been linking to and posting all the “year’s best sciencey books” lists that I can find around the web in various media outlets.

From the beginning it’s been a pretty popular service so I’m happy to continue it. The previous posts for all the 2013 lists are here.

This time it's Library Journal Best Books 2013 Top Ten, Sci-Tech.

  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
  • Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan
  • The World’s Rarest Birds by by Erik Hirschfeld, Andy Swash, Robert Still
  • The Devil’s Cormorant: A Natural History by Richard J. King
  • Wolves in the Land of Salmon by David Moskowitz
  • Giraffe Reflections by Dale Peterson (text) & Karl Ammann (photos)
  • Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise by David Rothenberg

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. The summary post for 2012 books is here and all the posts for 2012 can be found here.

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

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The Canadian War on Science 2013: A year in advocacy

Jan 02 2014 Published by under Canada, Canadian war on science, Politics

2012 was a year of Open Access advocacy for me. I published a ton of posts that year generally around the loose theme of making the scholarly communications ecosystem fairer and more open. In 2013 I did a little of that too, for sure.

But with a lot of the effects of the Conservative government's 2012 omnibus Bill C-38 coming home to roost with numerous cuts and closures and yet more policy changes, the thing that really motivated me to blog in an otherwise very slow blogging year was Canadian science policy.

More precisely, advocating for a fairer, more just system of government funded research and evidence-based decision making.

Most significant was my post The Canadian War on Science: A long, unexaggerated, devastating chronological indictment. I updated it with new items twice and a third significant update is forthcoming. I also chronicled the impact that post had in the wider world, which is another post that's in need of updating as the original post has continued to have a significant impact. I probably need to add another 30-40 items to the impact list. The post is also now well over the 50,000 page view mark. By far, the Chronology post is the most significant contribution of my professional career.

While not large in number, here are the 2013 blog posts on Canadian science policy advocacy.

Somewhat related are my Open Access in Canada resource post and the Death of Evidence mock funeral I helped organize here at York University.

For other science advocacy things I've been involved with that grew out of my Chronology post (media interviews, etc.), please see the Altmetrics post.

What is in store for 2014? For one, I plan to continue the series of interviews with Canadian science policy advocates, beginning with my fellow contributors to the iPolitics series and expanding from there. More posts are in the works, probably first will be something on Department of Fisheries & Oceans libraries. I'll also be doing some retrospective work on the Chretien/Martin era to see how things have evolved since the early 1990s.

And since it's isn't all just me me me...

Here are some key documents, events, organizations and people from 2013, to give a flavour of what the year was like as a whole for Canadian science policy advocacy. I'm excluding most of the things I've been directly involved in from the list below as they are already mentioned above.

Of course, I'm forgetting a bunch of significant items and events, forgetting a bunch of important people. Please let me know in the comments what I've missed. In particular, if I've missed significant events and publications outside Toronto where I'm based, I'd love to hear more.

Also, I call out a bunch of people in the list above. On the one hand, credit where credit is due to the leaders of the various movements and organizations. On the other, all the organizations I mention have numerous other members who contribute enormously to their activities. All their contributions are equally valued. At the end of the day, individual people can make a huge difference and that is worth recognizing. As above, if you think someone not mentioned deserves recognition for their efforts, please let me know in the comments or at jdupuis at yorku dot ca or dupuisj at gmail dot com.

Final words? 2013 was a great year for Canadian science policy advocacy and we should all be proud of the work that has been done. But the next election is in October 2015 so 2014 and 2015 need to be even better years.

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Best Science Books 2013: Booklist Online

Jan 01 2014 Published by under best science books 2013, science books

Every year for the last bunch of years I’ve been linking to and posting all the “year’s best sciencey books” lists that I can find around the web in various media outlets.

From the beginning it’s been a pretty popular service so I’m happy to continue it. The previous posts for all the 2013 lists are here.

This time it's Booklist Online Editors’ Choice: Adult Books, 2013.

  • Catching Cancer: The Quest for Its Viral & Bacterial Causes by Claudia Cornwall
  • In the Kingdom of the Sick: A Social History of Chronic Illness in America by Laurie Edwards
  • Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
  • Imperial Dreams: Tracking the Imperial Woodpecker through the Wild Sierra Madre by Tim Gallagher
  • Radiation: What It Is, What You Need to Know by Robert Peter Gale and Eric Lax
  • Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe by Lee Smolin
  • Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience by Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld
  • Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink

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. The summary post for 2012 books is here and all the posts for 2012 can be found here.

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

No responses yet

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