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Popular science authors


New Member
Many scientists are notoriously bad at communicating with nonscientists about their work, and it's really important that people should have some level of knowledge about issues like global warming, cloning, genetic engineering, gene therapy, birth control, evolution and other science/religion issues, and energy. Many political issues are based in these scientific disciplines, and it's much better if people can make informed choices about them rather than depending on the opinions of paid hacks or negative advertising.

There seem to be some good writers out there who are popularising science and reaching the public with good explanations of scientific issues. My particular interest is in the creationism-evolutuion issue, and I'd recommend just about anything by Richard Dawkins, Ken Miller, and Robert Pennock on this issue specifically, to say nothing of authors like Jared Diamond, Ian Tattersall, and Richard Fortey on more exclusively scientific topics.

Does anyone have recommendations about authors to look out for in other fields of popular science?


New Member
A few recommendations:

Steven Pinker for neuroscience/linguistics/evolutionary psychology
John Gribbin for almost any science topic
Alan Weisman for environment/polution


Active Member
Steve Jones tells a good story. There's crossover with Dawkins, but I prefer Jones. I find Dawkins dull.


New Member
I find Stephen Jay Gould's writing a bit hard to handle, sometimes. I must admit that The Structure of Evolutionary Theory pretty much defeated me. I find Niles Eldredge's books easier to read, on the whole. I do like some of Gould's books that are collections of articles, though.


Active Member
How about Carl Sagan for quite a broad view on science? Cosmos and Pale Blue Dot are ones I enjoyed.

Stephen Hawking is quite good too, if you have an interest in the universe and it's creation, though it can be quite heavy.


New Member
The problem with much of popular science(not all) is that its in many ways dumbed down and often claims to present fact where the original articles suggest possibilities and the need for more study. The need to sensationalise is much stronger in popular science as it attempts to reach a different audience.

It would be better if the media, and the people reading/viewing said media, would give more attention to the scientists that actually do this kind of research and that can present it in a more professional manner instead of getting it 2nd hand (or more) through politicians and various celebrities with little or no real knowledge.