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Art and science

Art and science

Book of the Year 2012

18 Dec 2012

Books about biophysics, the BP oil spill and some funky quantum hippies all made it onto Physics World‘s shortlist for the 2012 Book of the Year. But which of the 10 outstanding candidates has snagged the top honours?

In this podcast, you will hear James Dacey quizzing Physics World‘s editor, Matin Durrani, and reviews editor, Margaret Harris, about a few of their favourite shortlisted books. What makes these books stand out? How well do they meet our criteria of being well written, novel and scientifically interesting? And above all, why should physicists want to read them?

We hope you enjoy hearing about these books as much as we enjoyed reading them. Be sure to listen all the way to the end of the podcast, which features a guest appearance by the winning author as well as a discussion about why their book deserved the award.

2012 Books of the Year Shortlist (alphabetical by author)

A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher Joel Achenbach

The Science Magpie: A Hoard of Fascinating Facts Simon Flynn

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation Jon Gertner

Erwin Schrödinger and the Quantum Revolution John Gribbin

The Geek Manifesto: Why Science Matters Mark Henderson

Life’s Ratchet: How Molecular Machines Extract Order from Chaos Peter M Hoffmann

How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture and the Quantum Revival David Kaiser

How to Teach Relativity to Your Dog Chad Orzel

Pricing the Future: Finance, Physics and the 300-Year Journey to the Black–Scholes Equation George Szpiro

Physics on the Fringe: Smoke Rings, Circlons, and Alternative Theories of Everything Margaret Wertheim

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