Top ten science books

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Sat Feb 26 00:17:28 EST 2000

Here is a list of the top ten science books at the moment, check them out by their links:

1. The Code Book : The Evolution of Secrecy from Mary, Queen of Scots to Quantum Cryptography
by Simon Singh


People love secrets, and ever since the first word was written, humans have written coded messages to each other. In The Code Book, Simon Singh, author of the bestselling Fermat's Enigma, offers a peek into the world of cryptography and codes, from ancient texts through computer encryption.

2. Longitude : The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
by Dava Sobel

The thorniest scientific problem of the eighteenth century was how to determine longitude. Many thousands of lives had been lost at sea over the centuries due to the inability to determine an east-west position. This is the engrossing story.

3. Flu : The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It
by Gina Bari Kolata


Feeling tired, achy, and congested? You'll hope not after reading science writer Gina Kolata's engrossing Flu, a fascinating look at the 1918 epidemic that wiped out around 40 million people in less than a year and afflicted more than one of every four Americans.

4.  The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
by Kuhn, Thomas S. Kuhn

There's a "Frank & Ernest" comic strip showing a chick breaking out of its shell, looking around, and saying, "Oh, wow! Paradigm shift!" Blame the late Thomas Kuhn. Few indeed are the philosophers or historians influential enough to make it into the funny papers, but Kuhn is one.

5. The Illustrated Longitude
by Dava Sobel, William J. H. Andrewes


Dava Sobel's Longitude tells the story of how 18th-century scientist and clockmaker William Harrison solved one of the most perplexing problems of history--determining east-west location at sea. This lush, colorfully illustrated edition adds lots of pictures to the story.

6. The Knowledge Web : From Electronic Agents to Stonehenge and Back--And Other Journeys Through Knowledge
by James Burke


How is vivisection related to Stonehenge? It might take a few leaps of history, but you'll find the answer in The Knowledge Web, another of science historian James Burke's compelling collections of circular narratives that have informed and inspired astute readers for years. 

7. The River : A Journey to the Source of HIV and AIDS
by Edward Hooper, Bill Hamilton


For all the devastation and suffering AIDS has caused worldwide, we have devoted surprisingly little attention to its beginnings. Former UN official and BBC correspondent Edward Hooper hopes to find the source of AIDS in The River.

8. The Victorian Internet : The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century's On-Line Pioneers
by Tom Standage


Imagine an almost instantaneous communication system that would allow people and governments all over the world to send and receive messages about politics, war, illness, and family events. The government has tried and failed to control it.

9. The Discoverers : A History of Man's Search to Know His World and Himself
by Daniel J. Boorstin


Perhaps the greatest book by one of our greatest historians, The Discoverers is a volume of sweeping range and majestic interpretation. To call it a history of science is an understatement; this is the story of how humankind has come to know the world.

10. ENIAC: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the World's First Computer
by Scott McCartney


Today's computers are fantastically complex machines, shaped by innovations dreamt up by hundreds of engineers and theorists over the last several decades. Does it even make sense, then, to ask who invented the computer? McCartney thinks so.

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