Posts filed under ‘Science’

The 300-pound Gorilla in the Room: University of Arizona Philosophy Class Selects The Invisible Gorilla

The Invisible Gorilla Paperback cover

The University of Arizona has selected The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons as a required text for their Philosphy Department’s Logic & Critical Thinking Course.  Based on the authors’ “Gorillas in Our Midst” study, The Invisible Gorilla highlights the work of Chabris and Simons, as well as other researchers, as they investigate attention, perception, memory, and reasoning.  The authors ultimately show students how and why the perception of the mind is often at fault.

Both Chabris and Simons, have received PhDs from Harvard and Cornell respectively.

“A fascinating look at little-known illusions that greatly affect our daily lives…offers surprising insights into just how clueless we are about how our minds work and how we experience the world…Bound to have wide popular appeal.”—Kirkus Reviews

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June 24, 2013 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

University of Texas at San Antonio Students Release Inner Animal with The Age of Empathy

The Age of Empathy TPRoughly seventy-five students in the University of Texas at San Antonio’s anthropology department will soon be using Frans de Waal’s The Age of Empathy to investigate shifting human behavior.  The book, which examines how empathy comes naturally to a great variety of creatures, including humans, studies social behaviors in animals, such as bonding, the herd instinct, the forming of trusting alliances, expressions of consolation, and conflict resolution.  The author uses these findings to assert that, contrary to popular belief, human beings are not inherently selfish and can work together toward a more just society.

Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to read previous posts about the book.

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June 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm Leave a comment

A Hard Nut to Crack: Students to Uncover the Universe’s Mysteries with Stephen Hawking

The Universe in a Nutshell HCStephen Hawking’s The Universe in a Nutshell will be a core component of UVA’s Astronomy 1270: Unsolved Mysteries in the Universe course this upcoming fall.  The approximately 140 students will augment classroom material on theoretical physics topics such as Quantum mechanics, General relativity and Black holes with content from the book.  The students will ultimately follow Stephen Hawking’s attempt to explain the Theory of Everything, which studies the links between all physical phenomena.

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June 7, 2013 at 2:46 pm Leave a comment

Complimentary Copies of Animal Wise by Virginia Morell Now Available

978-0-307-46145-2Random House Academic Marketing is currently giving away free copies of  Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures by noted science writer Virginia Morell.  The author challenges the standard behaviorist model and  reconsiders the boundaries between humans and animals.  Morell conveys to students  laboratories and field sites around the globe, and introduces both scientists and animal-cognition researchers and their work.  She articulates a nuanced understanding of the interior lives of animals, proposing moral and ethical ramifications for human-animal relationships.

Please email rhacademic@randomhouse.com with your name, college and course information to request a copy.

Animal Wise has received the following awards:

A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
An ALA 2014 Notable Book
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013
A Scientific American Best Summer Science Book

“[A] delightful exploration of how animals think….Morell makes a fascinating, convincing case that even primitive animals give some thought to their actions.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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June 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm Leave a comment

Educators: Free Advanced Reader Copies of Five Days at Memorial by Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Sheri Fink Now Available

FIVE DAYS- FINAL JACKETFollowing Hurricane Katrina, physician and Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws students into the lives of those who struggled to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos.  Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, investigates the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing students into a conversation about the consequences and ethics of health care rationing.  Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared Americans are for the impact of large-scale disasters.

Five Days at Memorial is scheduled for to be released on September 10th, 2013.  Please email rhacademic@randomhouse.com with your name, college and course information to request a complimentary advanced reader copy.

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June 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm Leave a comment

Kristen Iversen’s Full Body Burden Now Available in Paperback

Full Body Burden TRFull Body Burden by Kristen Iversen, which was chosen one of the Best Books of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews and the American Library Association, as well as being named a 2012 Best Book about Justice by The Atlantic, is now available in paperback.

A finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence, Iversen’s narrative nonfiction about  growing up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant, has been adopted for Common Reading at Virginia Commonwealth University, St. Bonaventure University, Fort Lewis College, California State University at Sacramento, Madison Community College, and Michigan Tech University.  Iversen was recently honored by the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability in Washington, DC for outstanding contributions to communities living in the shadow of nuclear weapons sites and radioactive waste dumps.

Click here to view Kristen Iversen’s presentation at the 2013 FYE conference.

Click here to visit Kristen Iversen’s webpage.

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June 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm Leave a comment

Now in Paperback, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

9780307352156Watch Susan Cain’s 2012 TED Talk at www.thepowerofintroverts.com

Science and psychology is beginning to recognize how dramatically the introvert-extrovert spectrum shapes culture every bit as profoundly as gender or race. In a new paradigm-shifting book, Quiet, author Susan Cain highlights how misunderstood and and undervalued introverts often are, and gives introverts the tools to take full advantage of their personalities, while showing extroverts how they can learn from them. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with stories of real people, Quiet shows why the world will depend on the strengths of introverts in the decades to come.

Quiet has been selected for common reading at Case Western Reserve University and is now being used in several courses at these following colleges:

Bucknell University; Colby-Sawyer College; Queens University Of Charlotte; University Of North Dakota Main Campus; University Of North Florida; and Wheaton College

Here is a Message from Susan Cain: (more…)

April 24, 2013 at 2:20 pm Leave a comment

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: The Top Common Reading Book of 2011 and 2012

Winner of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine’s Communication Award for Best Book
Winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction
Winner of the Wellcome Trust Book Prize

Named by more than 60 critics as one of the best books of 2010, including: Best Book of the Year at: O, The Oprah Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Bookmarks Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, Entertainment Weekly, East Bay Express, and Kansas City Star, A Discover Magazine 2010 Must Read, National Public Radio, Best of the Bestsellers

In 1951, an African American woman named Henrietta Lacks, stricken with cervical cancer, became an involuntary donor of cells from her cancerous tumor, which were propagated by scientist George Otto Gey to create an immortal cell line for medical research. These cells are now known worldwide as HeLa. In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, award-winning science writer Rebecca Skloot brilliantly weaves together the Lacks’s story–past and present–with the story of the birth of bioethics, the story of HeLa cells, and the dark history of experimentation on African Americans. Important, powerful, and compassionate, this is a remarkable work of science and social journalism.  (more…)

March 12, 2013 at 1:03 am 4 comments

Recommended for Common Reading and Social Science Courses: Full Body Burden, Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats

dcover

Selected for Common Reading at Four Colleges & Universities: California State University, Sacramento;  Fort Lewis College; Michigan Technological University; and Virginia Commonwealth University

Full Body Burden is a haunting work of narrative nonfiction about a young woman growing up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant once designated “the most contaminated site in America.” It’s the story of growing up in the shadow of the Cold War, in a landscape at once startlingly beautiful and—unknown to those who lived there— tainted with invisible yet deadly particles of plutonium.

It’s also a book about the destructive power of secrets—both family secrets and government secrets. Her father’s hidden liquor bottles, the strange cancers in children in the neighborhood, the truth about what they made at Rocky Flats (cleaning supplies, her mother guessed)—best not to inquire too deeply into any of it. But as Iversen grew older, she began to ask questions. In her early thirties, she even worked at Rocky Flats for a time, typing up memos in which accidents were always called “incidents.” And as this memoir unfolds, it also reveals itself as a brilliant work of investigative journalism—a shocking account of the government’s sustained attempt to conceal the effects of the toxic and radioactive waste released by Rocky Flats, and of local residents’ vain attempts to seek justice in court. Based on extensive interviews, FBI and EPA documents, and class action testimony, this taut, beautifully written book promises to have a very long half-life. (more…)

September 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm Leave a comment

Author Rebecca Skloot Shares Inspiration Behind The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The phenomenal story behind a woman named Henrietta Lacks, or better known as HeLa by scientists worldwide, is grabbing the attention of teachers and students alike.

Henrietta was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years.

In the following video clip, author Rebecca Skloot shares her inspiration for writing the book and how one woman’s life changed the world and came to be The  Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Author website: www.rebeccaskloot.com

To read an excerpt, click here

To order an examination copy, click here (more…)

January 27, 2011 at 4:21 pm Leave a comment

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