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Nigel Shadbolt's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Nigel Shadbolt recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Nigel Shadbolt's favorite book recommendations of all time.

*Shortlisted for the 2019 Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize*

One of the most fascinating scientific detective stories of the last fifty years, an exciting quest for a new form of matter. “A riveting tale of derring-do” (Nature), this book reads like James Gleick’s Chaos combined with an Indiana Jones adventure.

When leading Princeton physicist Paul Steinhardt began working in the 1980s, scientists thought they knew all the conceivable forms of matter. The Second Kind of Impossible is the story of Steinhardt’s...
Recommended by Barbara Kiser, Nigel Shadbolt, and 2 others.

Barbara KiserIt’s a window on the process of discovery, a blow-by-blow account of a long wrangle with theory and evidence. Paul Steinhardt — a cosmologist fascinated by novel forms of matter — relates his indefatigable decades-long quest for an ‘impossible’ material, the quasicrystal, with Holmesian intensity…This is a book offering a real sense of the collaborative, generous-minded aspect of doing science. (Source)

Nigel ShadboltPaul Steinhardt, a world-renowned physicist, takes us on a journey through the history of our understanding of crystals. He explains how scientific orthodoxy came to a firm view as to the sorts of structures nature would generate. (Source)

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Recommended by Nigel Shadbolt, and 1 others.

Nigel ShadboltIt is a book that lays out in compelling detail the causes and effects, impact and consequences of air pollution. Tim Smedley provides reams of data, cases studies galore and stories of bad policies and bad behaviour that make for an urgent call to action. He points out that much of the real damage is being done by particulates that are much smaller than current legislation deals with, and he... (Source)

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How does our diet affect our skin? What makes the skin age? And why can't we tickle ourselves?

Providing a cover for our delicate and intricate bodies, the skin is our largest and fastest growing organ. We see it, touch it and live in it every day. It's a habitat for a mesmerizingly complex world of micro-organisms and physical functions that are vital to our health and our survival. It’s also one of the first things people see about us and is crucial to our sense of identity. And yet how much do we really know about it?

Through the lenses of science, sociology...
Recommended by Nigel Shadbolt, and 1 others.

Nigel ShadboltHere is a story that combines fascinating clinical insights with biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology and history. It is replete with stories about how the skin has featured in our history and culture, how it has served to identify and segregate. You will not be able to see yourself in quite the same way again. (Source)

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A concise and engaging investigation of six interpretations of quantum physics.

Rules of the quantum world seem to say that a cat can be both alive and dead at the same time and a particle can be in two places at once. And that particle is also a wave; everything in the quantum world can be described in terms of waves—or entirely in terms of particles. These interpretations were all established by the end of the 1920s, by Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Paul Dirac, and others. But no one has yet come up with a common sense explanation of what is going on. In this...
Recommended by Nigel Shadbolt, and 1 others.

Nigel ShadboltThis is a riveting and mind-bending book that explains the various ways in which scientists have sought to make sense of the quantum world. John Gribbin is one of the UK’s foremost science writers. He effortlessly explains the quantum phenomena themselves, the history of their discovery and the challenges they pose. He does this with elegant simplicity whilst pointing out how deeply unsettling... (Source)

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Without calculus, we wouldn’t have cell phones, TV, GPS, or ultrasound. We wouldn’t have unraveled DNA or discovered Neptune or figured out how to put 5,000 songs in your pocket.

Though many of us were scared away from this essential, engrossing subject in high school and college, Steven Strogatz’s brilliantly creative, down‑to‑earth history shows that calculus is not about complexity; it’s about simplicity. It harnesses an unreal number—infinity—to tackle real‑world problems, breaking them down into easier ones and then reassembling the answers into solutions that feel...

John UrschelI hope they enjoy it as much as I did. If you or someone you know is studying Calculus, this book is highly recommended. (Source)

Kirk Borne"Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe" book by @stevenstrogatz Great #Mathematics book that explores the History of Modern Science from this amazing perspective! (Source)

Nigel ShadboltInfinite Powers is a wonderful motivational for anyone taking a course in calculus. For those readers who remember calculus with dread from maths classes of yore, here is a text that explains just why the material has always had such a key place in our curricula. It charts a history of ideas that sought to make sense of the world through mathematics—to develop methods that find the deep laws and... (Source)

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Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued. If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you're a woman.

Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. It exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against...

Konnie Huq@FenTiger697 @WokingAmnesty @CCriadoPerez @Hatchards @radioleary Brilliant book by the brilliant @CCriadoPerez 😍 (Source)

Feminist Next Door@Rockmedia Awesome book (Source)

Nigel ShadboltInvisible Women is an exposé of just how much of the world around us is designed around the default male. Deploying a huge range of data and examples, Caroline Criado Perez, who is a writer, broadcaster and award winning campaigner, presents on overwhelming case for change. Every page is full of facts and data that support her fundamental contention that in a world built for and by men, gender... (Source)

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