The winter holiday season is quickly approaching, which if you’re lucky means some extra free time away from work or school. Here at UnderTheC, we have compiled a recommend reading list of some of our favorite science related books to keep you occupied and entertained!
Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime by Ellen Prager (Justin)
“With Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime, marine scientist Ellen Prager takes us deep into the sea to introduce an astonishing cast of fascinating and bizarre creatures that make the salty depths their home. From the tiny but voracious arrow worms whose rapacious ways may lead to death by overeating, to the lobsters that battle rivals or seduce mates with their urine, to the sea’s masters of disguise, the octopuses, Prager not only brings to life the ocean’s strange creatures, but also reveals the ways they interact as predators, prey, or potential mates. And while these animals make for some jaw-dropping stories—witness the sea cucumber, which ejects its own intestines to confuse predators, or the hagfish that ties itself into a knot to keep from suffocating in its own slime—there’s far more to Prager’s account than her ever-entertaining anecdotes: again and again, she illustrates the crucial connections between life in the ocean and humankind, in everything from our food supply to our economy, and in drug discovery, biomedical research, and popular culture.”
Sex in the Sea by Marah Hardt (Justin)
Sex in the Sea uniquely connects the timeless topic of sex with the timely issue of sustainable oceans. Through overfishing, climate change, and ocean pollution we are disrupting the creative procreation that drives the wild abundance of life in the ocean. With wit and scientific rigor, Hardt introduces us to the researchers and innovators who study the wet and wild sex lives of ocean life and offer solutions that promote rather than prevent, successful sex in the sea.
The Last Great Sea by Terry Glavin (Kathleen)
The Last Great Sea is about the North Pacific Ocean, which is still a wild and relatively unexplored marine area. The book focuses on natural history, with an emphasis on history. It discusses the flora and fauna of the region but largely concentrates on the local indigenous peoples, and their interactions with colonialism from both the East and West. I didn’t know much about this geographic area from a scientific standpoint and had definitely never studied its history, so this book was really valuable in expanding my worldview on both counts.
Pandora’s Locks: The Opening of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway by Jeff Alexander (Olivia)
Pandora’s Locks chronicles the early findings of invasive species by scientists in the context of the history of the St. Lawrence Seaway. “Blending science with compelling personal accounts, this book is the first comprehensive account of how inviting transoceanic freighters into North America’s freshwater seas transformed the [Great Lakes].”
Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy by Robert Hazen and James Trefill (Rob)
Science Matters discusses a wide range of key scientific topics to inform you on “the knowledge you need to understand public issues,…, a mix of facts, vocabulary, concepts, history, and philosophy…the more general, less precise knowledge used in political discourse.” It provides a great background in topics from the cosmos to evolution without too much jargon providing not only a basic understanding but also an appreciate of these topics.
The World is Blue by Sylvia Earle (Rob)
Renowned oceanographer and Explorer-in-Residence at National Geographic, Sylvia Earle, explains how “we have taken the ocean for granted.” She discusses the enormous diversity within the ocean, and how this is being loss as a result of climate change, pollution, and over-fishing. The World is Blue gives a non-scientist a fantastic introduction to why we need to study and protect the ocean environment.