Blogger Book Explosion

This year has seen an explosion of books written by science bloggers, and it looks like the trend is going to continue well into 2010.

  • The ever-popular Carl Zimmer brought us two new gems, Microcosm and the soon-to-be-released The Tangled Bank. I can't wait to see what's next.
  • Word has it that even PZ Myers is working on some super-secret book project.

Apologies if I missed anyone or any titles (feel free to make additions/corrections in the comments), but there have been so many new blogger-penned books that it has been hard to keep track of them all! Even though I have not read many (or even most) of these titles, it is good to see so many of my science blogging peers in print. This year especially, it seems that a few authors have taken up science blogging and a number of bloggers have transformed ideas from their blogs into books, transitions that I am hoping to discuss in more detail during a session at ScienceOnline2010 in January.

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I believe Greg Laden is putting together The Congo Memoirs into book form.

I'd add Jonah Lehrer and his "Proust was a Neuroscientist" book, as well as self-published blooks by Ed Yong ('Not Exactly Rocket Science') and FSP ('Academeology'). And then there are OpenLab anthologies....

Coturnix - "Proust was a Neuroscientist" doesn't really fit on a list of books "this year". On the other hand, Jonah Lehrer's "How we decide" should really be on the list.

My Spousal Unit, Sean Carroll of Cosmic Variance, has a book on the arrow of time and the origins of the universe coming out Jan 15th. And I just turned in the manuscript for my third book "Dangerous Curves: A Calculus Diary," inspired by a series of blog posts I wrote in 2007.

I am deeply offended at being forgotten. Not. :)

Thanks for all the additions, everyone. Keep them coming!

Jennifer; How could I forget Dangerous Curves? I just wasn't sure how close it was to completion so that's why I didn't add it in the original post. I am definitely looking forward to seeing it hit the shelves, though. :)

Yes, I believe Greg is working on that... Plus, we (a colleague of mine and I) have another collaborative book project that is currently top top secret but is very exciting and you'all love it.

Also, don't forget David Dobb's "Reef Madness"

It's a chicken and egg issue I guess, but, putting all modesty aside, I set up my blog as a continuation of my book on sand.

Hey Brian, completely unrelated to blogger's books but not to Michael's 11:56AM comment, as a paleontologist, would you not agree that the dinosaur->bird evolutionary tale pretty much answers the chicken and egg question?

Actually, I was being more than a little tongue-in-cheek because the real riddles would go something like (for Brian) "which came first, the dinosaur or the egg?" or (for Michael) "which came first, sand or glass?" (tektites included!)

Aha - arenaceous philosophy! Here's a suggestion: since sand is defined only by size, the very first material in the nano-instant of time following the big bang that aggregated into an object between 0.0625 and 2 mm in size was a sand grain, regardless of what it was made of. So, sand came first.

Next question?

David; I can do even better than that. The evolution of the amniote egg occurred around 340 million years ago and preceded dinosaurs (and there are still some mammals that lay eggs, too!), which are the amniotes that gave rise to birds. So yes, what we know about evolution neatly tidies that one up. :)

Makes perfect sense, an easy one really Brian, thank you, perhaps I should have gone back a stage to the reptiliomorph/egg/internal fetritization question... but Michael, perhaps we should explore the baryogenetic->BBN (primordial nucleosynthesis) creation (may I use that word?!) of beryllium, particularly if the real question is "which came first, the particle or the element?" *smile*

David - I did a little research - "element" comes before "particle" in the dictionary. :-)

And yes, we must resist the hijacking of the word "creation" - perhaps you could start a baryogenetic primordial nucleation cult? I'd join!

very good Michael, although seeing as the debate spans from primordial through prehistoric to classical history, I am not sure that relying upon the Roman alphabet gets you off the hook so easily! (and if one were to initiate the genesis of a new BPN cult would it take seven "days" to complete?)

LOL, Michael! But seeing as seven is supposedly the number of perfection and is also considered a strong force in of itself (, perhaps we would come over as being somewhat more intelligent if we designed an argument that satisfies both the need to believe and the need to prove?-- more seriously though (my hijacking their words is indeed intended to be irreverent!), as a self-confessed non-geologist, is there argument supporting the pre-Earth vitreous origins of meteorites, or are you satisfied that tektites such as moldavite (15 million yrs) or bediasite (34 million yrs), etc. were only formed as a result of impact with the Earth?

(Brian, I apologise if I have inadvertently disrupted the "blogger's books" thread here!)

David - I fear I am no expert at all on these things. Certainly the common view is that tektites are imapct-derived, but what the possibilities are for pre-Earth vitreous objects is beyond my knowledge.

And yes, Brian - sorry to have been clogging up the thread!

Forasmuch as I have some reservations about the push, especially in schools, for "scientific method" as proposed by school textbooks (talk about hijacking!), to the detriment of other, especially field-based, lines of enquiry, as a self-confessed biophiliac I guess my thirst for knowledge and natural curiosity for all things natural appreciates the opinions of others who work more specifically in their respective areas of expertise (mine is actually tropical ecology and certainly not paleo or geo) and so I thank you for the opportunity to tease...

As my last comment on this thread, I thought you might like the following in support of evolution:

1. If God created mountaintops and sunsets, did you ever look at yourself first thing in the morning and wonder what happened?

2. Is occasionally biting the inside of your cheek by intelligent design?

3. The appendix...

It's only the bible, NOT gospel!

RBH, looks like an interesting read (I was already familiar with his Canaries in the Mine)... but I have also admired a British jouranlist's version of the Washington Post's Gene Weingarten remark when the State of Kansas decided to ban evolution from the curriculum: "Go forth and multiply and may your children beget children and your children's children beget even more children and so eventually the genes that made you such pinheads will be eliminated through natural selection"!

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