Top Scientists Recommend their Favorite Science books

Serageldin-Euclid Research Methods Library of Alexandria

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We are collecting the names of your favorite science books from Scientists like you to share information about science materials we are most passionate about with young scientists and including these into the Research Methods Library of Alexandria

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Jacob Bronowski  "The Ascent of Man", book and Television series(recommended by Ron LaPorte). Dr. Bronowski’s work had a profound effect upon me and my scientific career.  His writings instilled a passion, and love of science.  His thoughts will last 1000 years.

Paul de Kruif: Microbe Hunters (recommended by Vinton Cerf and Gilbert Omenn)

George Gamow: One, Two, Three, Infinity... (recommended by Vinton Cerf)

L. H. Tiffany, C.G.Simpson, C.S. Pittendrigh “Life: An Introduction to Biology” (recommended by Gilbert Omenn). The statement rings true all these decades later that “Two themes encompass the learning of biology:  (1) the capture, storage, and utilization of energy; and (2) the reproduction and evolution of the individual and the species.

Erwin Schroedinger "What is life?" and Lester S. King "Medical thinking, a historical perspective" (recommended by Hong Kyu Lee). To understand diabetes and obesity, I dig down to the bottom; "What is life?" and "what is disease?". The best answer for the first question to me was in the first book and for second question - second book. To understand further, I read books on thermodynamics, metabolic scaling, genetics,  mitochondria, and evolution. For the second part, I studied semiotics and some philosophies. 

Gerald van Belle "Statistical Rules of Thumb" (recommended by Fritz Scheuren)

Berton Roueche “Eleven Blue Men and other Tales of Medical Detection” (recommended by Goldstein, Bernard D and Lowell Sever)

Stafford Beer "The brain of the firm" (recommended by Francois Sauer)

R. Buckminster Fuller "Critical Path" (recommended by Daniel Ari Friedman). "Critical Path" is a book that opens the mind and soul. Fuller's unique spirit and prodigious scope of work is well-conveyed by this comprehensive yet comprehensible book. Further reflections on "Critical Path" can be found at:

Denis Noble "The Music of Life" (recommended by Charles Auffray)

Marcus Aurelius "Meditations" and the complete case book of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (recommended by Musa Kana)

Geoffrey Rose "The Strategy of Preventive Medicine" and Archie Cochrane "Effectiveness and Efficiency: Random Reflections on Health Services" (recommended by Trevor Orchard)

Karl Popper "The Logic of Scientific Discovery" (recommended by Richard Heller).
An obvious choice and I am sure made by many others. The notion of attempting to falsify an hypothesis rather than trying to defend your pet ideas, and the rigour of the science that is required in the attempt should be important for any scientist.

Thomas S. Kuhn "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" (recommended by Turner T.Isoun).
A must read for getting young people excited about the process of scientific discovery.

Stephen Hawking "A Brief History of Time" and Simon Singh "Big Bang" (recommended by Brian Tarran)

Books that Pulin B Nayak passionate about:
1     A Treatise on Probability: John Maynard Keynes, London, Macmillan & Co., 1921.
2     Games and Decisions: R Duncan Luce and Howard Raiffa, New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1957.
3     Risk, Uncertainty and Profit: Frank Knight, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1921.

Richard Royall "Statistical Evidence" (recommended by Timothy Gregoire). Royall makes a very convincing case why likelihood alone makes a basis for assessing the strength of statistical evidence in favor of one proposition over another. He carefully examines the decision-theoretic basis of Neyman-Pearson hypothesis testing, as well as Fisher’s promotion of p-values, and explains why neither of these approaches provides what we really need, that is, a measure of the strength of evidence favoring proposition A over a competing proposition B, without assuming that either proposition is necessarily true.

Books that
Vasiliy Leonov recommend and already translated into Russian:
1. How To Report Statistics un Medicine: Annotated Guidelines for Authors, Editors, and Reviewers. Thomas A. Lamg, Michelle Seic.
2. Medical Statistics at a Glance. Aviva Petrie, Caroline Sabin.
3. Medical statistics made clear: an introduction to basic concepts. Banerjee A. Ashis
4. How to Read a Paper. The basics of evidence-based medicine. Trisha Greenhalgh

Daniel Keyes “Flowers for Algernon” (recommended by Luiza Gharibyan).
This book touches many different humanistic, ethical, and moral themes regarding cognitive impairment and degradation.

Carol Buck "The Challenge of Epidemiology: Issues and Selected Readings", Ashley Montagu "Man's Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race" and Edward R. Tufte "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information" (recommended by Raj BHOPAL)

A. Conan Doyle "The Lost World" (recommended by Faina Linkov). The Lost World impacted me as a young child by introducing me to the field of paleontology, something that I have not been exposed to in school. This book deepened my interest in biology and paleontology, as well as history and geography. 


Books that Dr. Linus Munishi recommend

The Blind Watchmaker - By Richard Dawkins
Guns, Germs and Steel - By Jared Diamond
A Brief History of Time - By Stephen Hawkins

William L. Hays "Statistics" 
Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1963. (recommended by John Kmetz).  I used this book to study for my comps, and it never let me down.  It was one of the best, for its time or the present, at explaining why statistical significance is not the best test to use for experimental results, and promoted omega-squared for a test of strength of association. I also recommend book other than statistics, Robert M. Pirsig
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance",  William Morrow, 1974.  It is an amazing story.

Charles Darwin: The Origin of Species (recommended by Allan Stewart-Oaten) At first,  more a hard slog than inspiring.  But then we become amazed at the mountain of organized evidence describing many environments, species and physiological features.  Most of these are illustrations showing how widely evolution, by natural selection from traits resulting from both inheritance and variability, is observable.  These might be thought "cherry-picking" in some contexts - but there are so many cherries!  Some of his evidence involves features that seem counter-examples at first but turn out to fit the pattern on closer study.  This may be the most convincing observational study ever done, even though Darwin, a renowned experimentalist, was in poor health and had none of the electronic information sources available to us now.


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