While the summer warmth encourages you to relax, here is a small selection of books to cultivate your mental garden and meditate on the fundamental questions of science and science policy. This list has been compiled on the basis of recommendations and works by authors who have contributed to European Scientist.
Want to look into the future with a novel about artificial intelligence? Marc Rameaux, a specialist contributor in this subject, recommends a classic of the genre : “The Turing Option”, written by Marvin Minsky and Harry Harrison.
As you wander around your local market while on holiday in Provence, do you wonder about the content and quality of the food products? Read “Panique dans l’assiette” [“Panic on your plate”] by Gil Rivière Weckstein to learn all about the food chain.
Do you want to take advantage of the break to do away with your electronic devices and disconnect completely? Sébastien Point, expert on the topic of electromagnetic waves recommends “Electrosensibles. Vivons-nous les prémices d’une catastrophe sanitaire ?” [“Electrosensitive: Are we experiencing the beginning of a health crisis?”] by Jérôme Bellayer. And if you are reading this in a tent with your headtorch, the same author highly recommends his book “Lampes toxiques : Des croyances à la réalité scientifique” [“Toxic Lamps: From Belief to Scientific Reality”]
Would you like to learn more? Anne Perrin, who authored a remarkable study on radiofrequencies for European Scientist, announces a new edition of her study on “Electromagnetic Fields, Environment and Health” first published by Springer.
It’s a short step from electromagnetic waves to energy, and you realise that your tablet is out of power. It’s time to read “The Changing World of Energy and the Geopolitical Challenges: Understanding Energy Developments” by Samuele Furfari, honorary professor at ULB whom we had the pleasure of interviewing. And how about “Our energy future is not set in stone“, by Philippe Charlez ?
Summertime is best for starry skies and storms, so you will have a natural light source, and you will no doubt be curious to learn more about “The mysterious effects of lightning” by astrophysicist Raymond Piccoli, who authored an article on the problems of research funding for ES.
After all this reading, you will definitely need to ask yourself some questions about the concept of “Nature”, especially as the season invites contemplation of the landscape. Fortunately, Edgar Gärtner, a graduate in Mediterranean ecology, philosopher and author of several pieces for European Scientist, has taken an in-depth look into this subject which is now preying on everyone’s mind. In his book “Öko-Nihilismus 2012: Selbstmord in Grün” [“Eco – Nihilism 2012 : Suicide in Green”], he carries out a fundamental critique of ecological ideology, inspired by the works of Albert Camus.
Another essential subject for today’s world, and which cannot be put on hold for a summer break: bioethics. “La Recherche Biomédicale” [“Biomedical Research”], by Senator Claude Huriet, author of several texts for our site, remains topical and raises essential questions.
That brings us naturally from science to philosophy. Vincent Laget, zetetics expert and fervent defender of rationalism , proposes we reread “Matter and mind : a philosophical inquiry” by the Argentine physicist and analytical philosopher Mario Bunge.
And as you will probably take the opportunity to dream during this well-deserved rest, you could reread “Neurophilosophie du rêve” [“Neurophilosophy of dreams”] by Claude Debru, a member of the European Academy of Sciences whose “Progress in Science, Progress in Society”. we had the pleasure of publishing.
Happy reading and happy holidays to all!