January 28, 2008

The Stevens Seventy Greatest Science Books

I don't know how I missed this one back in late November when it was announced, but the Stevens Institute Center for Science Writing has published it's list of The Stevens Seventy Greatest Science Books.

[W]e’ve published “The Stevens Seventy Greatest Science Books.” Written primarily by scientists but also by philosophers, historians, journalists and other worthies, these books stand out for their subject matter, rhetorical style and impact on science and the rest of culture. Although our original goal when we conceived this project two years ago was 100 books, we think “Stevens Seventy” has a mnemonic ring to it. Also, we worried that a larger list might seem boastful, like a list of “My 100 Closest Friends.”

Our list includes books published since 1900 (allowing us to include Interpretation of Dreams and Varieties of Religious Experiences but regrettably eliminating the all-time greatest science book, On the Origin of Species). We allow only one book per author, forcing some difficult choices, and exclude books by Stevens employees. Since we want people to read the books, they must be available from Amazon or other retailers, even if they are not currently in print (although most are).

Go take a look. It's definitely a list to debate and get worked up about!

As a passing note, I've posted about the Stevens Institute list before, back when it was supposed to be 100 books. At the time I also highlighted a few other "Best of" science book lists as well as a "Worst of" list. Oddly, that post from way back in November, 2006 is my all time most popular post. The Internet is a very strange place sometimes.

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