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Thread: Popular science books take off: a big bang in physics publishing

  1. #1
    Midas Guest

    Popular science books take off: a big bang in physics publishing

    The universe is expanding at an ever-accelerating rate, yet we still don’t know what much of it is made of. If I had to guess, I’d say that most of it consists of books telling us that the universe is expanding at an ever-accelerating rate. The soaring popularity of popular physics books is a publishing phenomenon.

    Traditionally, evolutionary biology has received most attention from publishers. As the philosopher and neuroscientist Daniel Dennett says, no area of science has been so well served by its writers: Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould and John Maynard Smith are particularly fine examples.

    But since Dennett wrote that in 1995, evolutionary theory has been fighting for shelf space, as quantum physics and relativity mount a comeback. The past few weeks have seen Stephen Hawking’s new book, The Grand Design, move from the books pages to the front pages with its provocative argument that physicists do not need a creator to explain the universe’s existence. But a reader could equally well pick up We Need to Talk about Kelvin by Marcus Chown; In Search of the Multiverse by John Gribbin; Quantum by Manjit Kumar; Void by Frank Close; and dozens more.

    “There’s a real interest in science books at the moment,” says Stuart Clark, author of The Universe (part of the “Big Question” series). And it’s not as if they’re light reading. Clark’s own book asks what stars are made from, whether there are alternative universes, what the fate of the universe will be, and whether, ŕ la Hawking, there is cosmological evidence for the existence of God.

    The full story available from here : Popular science books take off: a big bang in physics publishing - Telegraph

    What's this got to do with education? Other than the obvious fact that those who buy such books will learn from them, I feel it's a crying shame that the government hasn't also picked up on the surge of interest in science and reversed the trend over the last decade or so of the general dumbing down of science in schools, typified by the introduction of combined science over and above the teaching of science as separate subjects. We're crying out for more specialists in many science fields, yet the supply of suitably qualified school leavers and graduates is woefully small. Let's hope something changes very quickly, otherwise we'll lose another generation of people who could be of vital importance to our future and to our economy.

  2. #2
    soloman Guest

    Re: Popular science books take off: a big bang in physics publishing

    How right you are!
    We neglect science at our peril.
    How can students prefer media studies to science apart from the obvious fact it is easier and already to hand?

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