October 26, 2021

Literature Journal

World literature news

Best science book ever

On 19 October 2006, the Royal Institution of Great Britain named The Periodic Table, by Primo Levi, the best science book ever. After taking nominations from many scientists in various disciplines, authors, and other notable people (such as the Archbishop of Canterbury), the Royal Institution compiled a shortlist of books for consideration. This shortlist was presented to the public at an event held at Imperial College and the audience voted to determine which book was “the best.”

The Shortlist
The Periodic Table (1975) by Primo Levi
King Solomon’s Ring (1949) by Konrad Lorenz
Arcadia (1993) by Tom Stoppard
The Selfish Gene (1976) by Richard Dawkins
Other Nominees
The Double Helix by James Watson
The Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht
Pluto’s Republic by Peter Medawar
The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin
The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker
A Leg to Stand On by Oliver Sacks
Consciousness Explained by Daniel Dennett
Shadows of the Mind by Roger Penrose
On Growth and Form by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson
Invention by Norbert Wiener
Gödel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter
Mathematics, Form and Function by Saunders Mac Lane
A Mathematician’s Apology by G.H. Hardy
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
How to Build a Time Machine by Paul Davies
Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon
Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman
The Strategy of Conflict by Thomas Schelling
The Microbe Hunters by Paul de Kruif