Best Science Books of 2006

by F.

Drawing on the lists from the FT, The Economist, and The New York Times, the “best” science books are listed below. This shouldn’t be taken too seriously, of course. But it’s often useful to have a list from which to winnow the enormous heap of books out there.

  • The Revenge Of Gaia: Earth’s Climate Crisis And The Fate Of Humanity, by James Lovelock. Both The FT And The Economist listed it; The New York Times didn’t.
  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. Again, Both the FT And The Economist liked it while the Times was silent.
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History Of Four Meals by Michael Pollan. Penguin Press; 464 Pages; $26.95. Bloomsbury; £12.99. The Economist and the Times listed it; The FT didn’t (but Publishers Weekly did).
  • The Trouble With Physics: The Rise Of String Theory, The Fall Of A Science, And What Comes Next By Lee Smolin was The Economist’s pick for the “Physics Is Fucked Up” book of 2006, while the FT opted for Not Even Wrong: The Failure Of String Theory And The Continuing Challenge To Unify The Laws Of Physics by Peter Woit.

The rest of these are from the FT only (The Economist and New York Times lists were shorter):

  • After Dolly: The Uses And Misuses Of Human Cloning By Ian Wilmut And Roger Highfield.
  • The Human Touch: Our Part In The Creation Of A Universe By Michael Frayn
  • Nature’s Engraver: A Life Of Thomas Bewick By Jenny Uglow
  • Richard Dawkins: How A Scientist Changed The Way We Think Edited By Alan Grafen And Mark Ridley
  • Seed To Seed: The Secret Life Of Plants By Nicholas Harberd
  • The Medical Detective: John Snow And The Mystery Of Cholera By Sandra Hempel
  • The Meaning Of The 21st Century: A Vital Blueprint For Ensuring Our Future By James Martin
  • Leonardo’s Lost Robots By Mark Elling Rosheim
  • The Many Faces Of God: Science’s 400-Year Quest For Images Of The Divine By Jeremy Campbell
  • In Search Of Memory: The Emergence Of A New Science Of Mind By Eric R. Kandel
  • The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism To Intelligent Design By Ronald L. Numbers
  • Europe’s Physician: The Various Life Of Sir Theodore De Mayerne By Hugh Trevor-Roper
  • Us And Them: Understanding Your Tribal Mind By David Berreby
  • Breaking The Spell: Religion As A Natural Phenomenon By Daniel C. Dennett