The Science Books We’re Reading in Summer 2020

This write-up appeared in the June 2020 situation of Uncover journal as “What We’re Looking

This write-up appeared in the June 2020 situation of Uncover journal as “What We’re Looking at.” Subscribe for more tales like these.


Nerve: Adventures in the Science of Fear

by Eva Holland

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Confession: I’m terrified of centipedes. For the duration of my childhood, my parents’ upstairs bathroom was a well-liked hangout for these creepy crawlers, and I’d steer clear of going in there for days if a single created an visual appeal. But soon after looking through Nerve, I discovered myself questioning why I was however frightened of these typically harmless critters. 

Worried of heights considering the fact that childhood, science journalist Holland decided to confront her lifelong phobias soon after the unexpected demise of her mother — which had been her greatest panic of all. She jumped out of an airplane, tortured herself with a single rock climb soon after one more and even traveled to the Netherlands to partake in emerging therapies for phobias. But she does not take into account herself a daredevil — in truth, she spends a total chapter reckoning with the phenomenon of individuals who really do not seem to be to be frightened of anything at all. In Nerve, her extensive seem at panic, occasionally as a examination issue and other occasions as a important observer, reframes the dialogue of how we technique these often-paralyzing reactions that seem to be ingrained in our personalities. 

Holland’s adventure is a white-knuckle ride, but she continues to be analytical and introspective, meticulously accumulating the understanding she wants to occur to terms with what haunts her. Although rarely prescriptive in nature, Nerve created me imagine 2 times about the fears and anxieties that I have gripped tightly by my own everyday living — and no matter if it is time to alter my perspective on centipedes, much too.


Elements: The Strange Chemistry of What We Place in Us and on Us

by George Zaidan

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Processed food stuff is poor for you, ideal? Turns out the respond to is not so uncomplicated. Wielding tutorial investigate with an irreverent and humorous tone, science communicator Zaidan breaks down complex thoughts about our beloved treats and merchandise. 


They Are Now Right here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers

by Sarah Scoles

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Strange objects in the night time sky have fascinated experts and conspiracy theorists for generations. But as an alternative of inquiring the age-old issue — “Are UFOs genuine?” — science journalist Scoles desired to discover more about the individuals behind these sightings. In They Are Now Right here, she embarks on a vibrant journey to satisfy characters from all walks of everyday living who continue to keep their eyes fixed on objects in the night time sky. 


Unnatural Companions: Rethinking Our Love of Animals in an Age of Wildlife Extinction

by Peter Christie

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We really like our animals, but Fido might be wreaking more havoc on the atmosphere than we know. Science journalist Christie investigates how our really like of animals impacts wildlife populations — from the pet amphibian trade threatening wild axolotl populations in Mexico to domestic pet dogs spreading ailments all over the world.


Why We Swim

by Bonnie Tsui

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We’re land animals by nature, but the urge to swim however, er, swims in our blood. In a poetic blend of science and memoir, writer and former aggressive swimmer Tsui will take to the seas, lakes and swimming swimming pools to uncover why humankind has this kind of an affinity for open up water.