Picks

ChemEd X contributors and staff members are continually coming across items of interest that they feel others may wish to know about. Picks include, but need not be limited to, books, magazines, journals, articles, apps—most anything that has a link to it can qualify.

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by Hal Harris
Fri, 04/01/2005 - 00:00

Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel" is one of the most thought-provoking books I have read in the last few years. It is an examination of the factors that have led societies to flourish and to gain ascendency over one another.

Recent activity: 9 years 9 months ago
by Hal Harris
Tue, 03/01/2005 - 00:00

Several of Michael Shermer's writings have been Hal's Picks in the past. Back in October of 1997, I recommended his "Why People Believe Weird Things", Chapter Ten of which was "Confronting Creationists - Twenty Five Creationist Arguments, Twenty Five Evolutionist Answers".

Recent activity: 9 years 9 months ago
by Hal Harris
Tue, 02/01/2005 - 00:00

We teachers of science tend to assume that our students are largely rational - that they can be brought to understanding through a gradual accumulation of experiences that lead to conclusions about how the world works, and that nature can be led to disclose herself through a logical process.

Recent activity: 9 years 9 months ago
by Hal Harris
Sat, 01/01/2005 - 00:00

How do you know that no two snowflakes are exactly alike? Does it matter? For the scientist, the similarities between snowflakes are just an interesting, and probably much more important, than their differences. The author of the text in "The Snowflake" is Chairman of the Physics Department at Caltech.

Recent activity: 9 years 9 months ago
by Hal Harris
Wed, 12/01/2004 - 00:00

Joe Schwarcz is the director of McGill University's Office for Science and Society, and he also hosts a popular radio show in Canada, in which he answers questions about science he has posed to his listeners. "Dr. Joe and What You Didn't Know" is the fourth in a series of books in which his answers are compiled.

Recent activity: 9 years 9 months ago
by Hal Harris
Mon, 11/01/2004 - 00:00

Most people would be surprised to learn that, by the time of his death in 1955, the FBI had compiled a file of more than fourteen hundred pages on the world's most famous and most revered scientist, Albert Einstein.

Recent activity: 9 years 9 months ago
by Hal Harris
Fri, 10/01/2004 - 01:00

In his surprise 1959 bestseller about Kepler, The Sleepwalkers, Arthur Koestler claimed that Nicolaus Copernicus' book, De Revolutionibus had very little influence on the other astronomers of his time because it was little-read.

Recent activity: 9 years 9 months ago
by Hal Harris
Wed, 09/01/2004 - 01:00

Robert Hooke's name is familiar to most of us only because of "Hooke's Law", f = - kx, which describes the potential for a harmonic oscillator. I became aware of some of the other contributions of this remarkable man by reading one of Lisa Jardine's previous books, "Ingenious Pursuits", which was my pick for May, 2000.

Recent activity: 9 years 6 hours ago
by Hal Harris
Sun, 08/01/2004 - 01:00

Many have pointed out the similarity between the science of chemistry and the art of cooking. I'm sure that there is a lot of truth in that; some of the best amateur chefs I know are professional chemists. I don't happen to know any professional chefs who are amateur chemists, but Robert Wolke comes pretty close to that.

Recent activity: 9 years 9 months ago
by Hal Harris
Fri, 07/02/2004 - 02:00

About half of the carbon dioxide from anthropogenic sources since the beginning of the industrial revolution is no longer in the atmosphere. For a long time, it has been recognized that the oceans have been absorbing the gas, and this is often viewed positively by environmentalists, because the impact on climate change would otherwise be much larger.

Recent activity: 9 years 9 months ago