Buying Christmas gifts for friends and family is a fine art, but you’ll be glad to hear that if a scientist is on your Christmas gift list this year, ValitaCell’s got you covered. Our team have compiled a list of great reads that we believe will keep any reader entertained and engrossed from cover to cover. Read on to discover our team’s recommendations and add them to your list.
|In Helgoland, Carlo Rovelli tells the story of the birth of quantim physics and reflects on the youthful rebellion of physicist Werner Heisenberg who in the 1920’s, challenged prevailing theories of the time. Helgoland was chosen by the Financial Times, Sunday Times and the Guardian as Book of the Year.|
|Each year becomes more critical in the fight against climate change and in this book, Kolbert investigates humanity’s impact on the environment and asks whether we can save nature. In her journey, she meets Australian researchers trying to develop a super coral that will withstand rising sea temperatures, biologists who are trying to preserve the world’s rarest fish and engineers who are turning carbon emissions to stone in Iceland. A fascinating and provactive read at this urgent time.|
Until Proven Safe charts the history and future of quarantine globally from measures taken to contain the Black Death, to an Ebola unit in the UK. The book’s scope moves beyond medicine and reviews the work of NASA and cutting-edge laboratories where future technology to manage communicable diseases is being developed. A pertinent read in these times.
The Disney+ series “Dopesick” has significantly increased the infamy of the Sackler family who created and marketed Oxycontin, a blockbuster painkiller that was the catalyst for the opioid crisis in the USA. This is a gripping tale of a family dynasty and 21st century greed. Shortlisted for the 2021 Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
A new biography of John Von Neumann, one of the most influential mathematicans that has ever lived. Von Neumann played a key role in developing computer science, quantum mechanics and game theory. His work on the Manhattan Project (the code name for the American project to develop an atomic weapon during WWII) led him to create the first ever programmable digital computer.
With so many AI experts in our team, there was plenty of debate about which books to include but “AI 2041” was a unanimous choice. Kai-Fu Lee, the former president of Google China and bestselling author of AI Superpowers, joins novelist Chen Qiufan to imagine our world in 2041 and how it will be shaped by AI. This book is part storytelling and part scientifc forecasting and features 10 short stories set twenty years in the future.
Isaacson is a uniquely talented biographer as he has proven in his previous books covering Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci.The “Code Breaker” tells the story of scientist Jennifer Doudna and the invention of CRISPR, an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. This invention opened up the possibilities of new potential medicines but raises serious moral questions. Isaacson tells the CRISPR history in an exciting and accessible way.
Jeremy Farrar is one of the UK’s leading scientists and the head of the Wellcome Trust. Farrar provdies a fast paced account of working with the UK governement during the Covid-19 pandemic and details the challenge of taking decisions quickly and with limited information. Interviews with top scientists and political figures complement Farrar’s own views on how well the UK government handled the pandemic.
In the final book from the world-famous cosmologist and bestselling author of “A Brief History of Time”, Hawking provides a personal view on the biggest challenges that humanity faces and outlines his answers to some of the biggest questions. Should we colonise space, is time travel possible, will artificial intelligence outsmart us? A fasctinating read from a brilliant mind.
As we look toward 2022 and face into (another) year with Covid-19, it’s important to remind ourselves about the tremendous work of the scientific community over the past number of years. Gilbert and Green were key members of the Oxford university’s Covid-19 vaccine development team and they brilliantly describe their roles in this amazing project. This account of research and action at pace is a must read.