qmunicate’s Favourite STEM books


qmunicate recommends their favourite STEM related books for you all to enjoy. From sex, to physics, to, well, everything else, you’re bound to find something to tickle your fancy. So, kick back with a nice mug of moderately boiled H²0 infused with extracts of Camellia sinensis, and enjoy getting your science on.

Don’t Put That in There! And 69 other sex myths debunked – Dr Aaron E. Carroll and Dr Rachel C. Vreeman

As you can judge from the title, this science book has a funny take on sex education. It answers the important questions such as ‘do blondes really have more fun?’ (to an extent they do) and ‘will doing the washing turn a woman on?’ (turns out that you have a healthier relationship if you actually help out your partner with the housework). The book is accessible, and humorous, which can make a potentially awkward topic for some easy to discuss. Vreeman and Carroll tackle the common beliefs spread through the playground, presenting the science for more obvious myths, as well as those which are more easily believed. While the science is all there, the reader does not necessarily need a degree, the information is presented in a way that anyone can understand it, whilst still being interesting. I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in sex education, or as a read for anyone wanting to have safer and better sex.

[Rachel Gillett]

A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

Describing this book as ‘short’ is somewhat pushing the definition of that word, but it really does cover almost everything you could want to know about the history of science. Almost every discipline is represented here – medicine, evolutionary biology, geology, astrophysics, chemistry, among many, many others. Each topic is divided into long, comprehensive chapters in which Bryson covers not only the scientific processes, but the history of the ideas and research that led to their discovery. His portraits of the scientists themselves, in particular those whose contributions have been largely forgotten by history, are particularly touching; his account of the tense relationship of Watson, Crick and the under-remembered Rosalind Franklin is a fascinating highlight. A combination of history, pop-science and biography, this is a well-researched, in-depth and accessible gem for the eternally curious.

[Clare Patterson]

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics – Carlo Rovelli

The world of physics is a strange one in which each new discovery seems to leave us more confused than we were before, but in these seven short chapters Carlo Rovelli accomplishes the seemingly impossible task of making the likes of general relativity and the quantum world somewhat intelligible for the masses.

Rovelli’s lessons are accessible, succinct and entertaining such that anyone would find them fascinating regardless of their familiarity with the subject. From elementary particles to cosmic phenomena the book gives a thorough sketch of our current understanding of our universe, illuminating what may otherwise be an intimidating unfathomable place.

Seven Brief Lessons is also as beautifully written as it is informative, each metaphor inspiring the same excitement about physics that surely drives those who devote their lives to it. This makes it easy for re-reading chapters when you don’t quite grasp how spacetime works at first, and then reading again for the sheer fun of it. The brevity makes it great for quick sessions, allowing one to read a chapter and mull it over before trying again.

Anyone with any curiosity for the weird and wonderful that is the totality of our universe must read this book, and it happens to make the perfect gift for any occasion.

[Jimmy Donaghy – @JimmyDonagee]

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