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Past Readings

2018 Book Selections

Fred Piper and Sean Murphy, Cryptography: A Very Short Introduction
Paul Halpern, The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality
Jenny Uglow, The Lunar Men: Five Friends Whose Curiosity Changed the World
Nick Bostrom, Super Intelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
Stephen Jay Gould, The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister's Pox: Mending the Gap Between Science and the Humanities
Simon Winchester, The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World

2017 Book Selections

Simon Singh, The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography
Frans de Waal, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are
Eugene S. Ferguson, Engineering and the Mind's Eye
Arlindo Oliveira, The Digital Mind: How Science is Redefining Humanity
Ian Stewart, Calculating the Cosmos: How Mathematics Unveils the Universe
Helen Czerski, Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life
Barry Mazur, Imagining Numbers
Richard Holmes, The Age of Wonder: The Romantic Generation and the Discovery of the Beauty and Terror of Science

2016 Book Selections

  • Eric Scerri, A Tale of Seven Elements
  • William Rosen, The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention
    Nick Lane, The Vital Question, Why Is Life The Way It Is? 
    Reviel Netz, The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book Is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity's Greatest Scientist
    Alan Hirshfeld, Starlight Detectives: How Astronomers, Inventors, and Eccentrics Discovered the Modern Universe
    Arnold Pacey, Technology in World Civilization: A Thousand-Year History
    Joseph Henrich, The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter
    Caspar Henderson, The Book of Barely Imagined Beings
  • Dava Sobel​, Longitude
  • Braden R. Allenby and Daniel R. Sarewitz, The Techno-Human Condition
  • John L. Heilborn​, Galileo​
  • Charles Perrow​, Normal Accidents​

2015 Book Selections

  • Joseph Needham, Science & Civilization, Volume 6, Biology and Biological Technology
  • R. Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path
  • Jo Marchant, Decoding the Heavens: A 2,000-Year-Old Computer and the Century-Long Search to Discover its Secrets
  • Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  • Nicholas Carr, The Glass Cage: Automation and Us
  • Marcus du Sautoy, The Music of the Primes: Searching to Solve the Greatest

2014 Book Selections

  • Margalit Fox, The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code
  • Noson S. Yanofsky, The Outer Limits of Reason: What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us
  • Jim al-Khalili, The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge
  • Lawrence M. Principe, The Secrets of Alchemy
  • Philip Ball, Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything
  • Sam Kean, The Disappearing Spoon and other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
  • Henry Petroski, To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure
  • Michael Blastland and David Spiegelhalter, The Norm Chronicles: Stories and Numbers About Danger
  • Richard P. Feynman, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out:  The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman
  • Amir Alexander, Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World; optional reading G.H. Hardy, Orders of Infinity: The `Infinitärcalcül’ of Paul Du Bois-Reymond

2013 Book Selections

  • Owen Gingerich, The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus.
  • Mario Livio, Brilliant Blunders
  • Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar, Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts