Archive for the ‘Medical Books’ Category

Scientific, Technical & Medical Books

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

There is a plethora of titles that encompass the genre of scientific, technical and medical. These include agriculture and farming; astronomy and cosmology; biology; chemistry; earth sciences; engineering; environment; geology; mathematics; medicine and nursing; and physics – to name just a few. Many of these sub-genres overlap with other genres and, even on our website, have been duplicated within other sections. However, regardless of the sections, their genres and sub-genres, each subject is fascinating in its own right, with many fascinating titles to be found amongst the pages of our web site.

The term ‘science’ quite literally means ‘knowledge’, being taken from the Latin word for knowledge: ‘scientia’. So, studying science really relates to the ways and wherefores of obtaining knowledge. I would qualify that by adding ‘…..about the world around us and how it works’. This knowledge is acquired through the methodologies of observation and experimentation, both of which are used to seek explanations to natural phenomena we note occurring around and about us. Science tends to be classified according to whether it is pure science or applied science: the former refers to studying the sciences in order to make sense of those observations obtained through construal and experimentation.

Applied science involves the application of those explanations to involve their effects on the human being and their activities within society. Science is further classified according to the main taxonomy of natural science which is the study associated with the natural world, and social sciences that involves the study of human behaviour within the society they live in. Different fields of science include the natural sciences of biology, chemistry, physics and earth science – each of which can again be sub-divided as shown below: 

Biology Chemistry Physics Earth Sciences
Anatomy Analytical Chemistry Accoustics Environmental Science
Astrobiology Biochemistry Astrodynamics Geodesy
Immunology Computational Chemistry Astronomy Geography
Marine Biology Electrochemistry Astrophysics Geology
  Inorganic Chemistry Biophysics Meteorology
  Polymer Chemistry High Energy Physics Oceanography
  Physical Chemistry Materials Physics Paleontology
  Quantum Chemistry Mechanics Seismology
  Spectroscopy Nuclear Physics  
  Stereochemistry Optics  

Out of those 32 sub-genres and those 4 main genre, there is bound to be books that practically everyone will find interesting – don’t forget, despite the fact that each one of these genre are serious and intent subjects when taken by themselves, a clever author can easily [and often, many do] weave fictional stories around each one of the above sub-genre so that the average person in the street often becomes familiar with different fields of science through reading fiction and then becomes fascinated in the pure subject as a latent interest. Then, of course, we have the subject of medicine – either as a stand-alone subject or, again, within the realms of fiction. There are plenty of reference books written, on just about every discipline imaginable, about medicine. Fiction often incorporates medicine with forensics and mystery, which contributes to the genre of crime, thrillers and mystery. Each genre, in their own way, is a vast subject that can either stand alone or be incorporated with other genres to, perhaps, create a third genre.

Agriculture and Farming
Alex Langlands has taken the sub-genre of agriculture and farming to incorporate history and written about farming methods during the Victorian era. His book ‘Victorian Farm: Rediscovering Forgotten Skills’ endeavours to make the reader aware of how farming operated during the era when farming involved plenty of farm workers – high intensity farming using manpower instead of machinery. In those days, through sheer necessity, people worked hard – very hard, in fact. They were the machines of their day! Overall, this book shows just how resourceful and ingenious the Victorians really were.

An excellent book that is published by WH Freeman and Co Ltd explains how our knowledge of earth sciences impacts upon us, as the people who inhabit the Earth. The 5th edition of this book ‘Understanding Earth’ is co-written by John Grotzinger, Thomas H Jordan, Frank Press and Raymond Siever. The book is divided into 4 discrete sections covering a total of 23 chapters. These chapters covering every aspect of geology you can think of. The 5th edition contains three new chapters:

  • Chapter 9 – Early History of the Terrestrial Planets
  • Chapter 11 – Geobiology: Life Interacts with the Earth
  • Chapter 15 – The Climate System

I am not going to say more – you really need to read this book to realise its full impact. Any comments?  We would love to hear from you.

There are some quite interesting sections on mathematics within our web pages, dealing with algebra; applied mathematics; calculus and mathematical analysis; combinatorics and graph theory; geometry; and mathematical theory. Too many of us still see the word ‘mathematics’ and shudder, with connotations of school mathematics classes. We seem to forget, though, that teachers of mathematics may have labelled you as a child but, as an adult you are a different person – and, when you are a child, you tend to take a single person’s opinion very much to heart [often blighting your future in the process].  

Get over it and move on – what you will not have been aware of at the time you were labelled as being appalling at mathematics by your class teacher, is that your class teacher may have been absolutely abysmal at English, with their spelling and grammar being way off the planet – while you have since succeeded and become top of your field in whatever discipline you chose to follow as an adult. Too many adults blight the lives of children by making off-the-cuff remarks that stay with children for a lifetime. If you are one of those thousands who had problems with mathematics as a child, break your irrational fear of the subject by reading Professor Stewart’s ‘Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities’. Whether you love or hate mathematics, I am sure you will love this book [and, if you are one of those people who had the misfortune of having an inconsiderate mathematics teacher whose actions led you to hate mathematics as you grew up – let us hear from you].

Medicine and Nursing
Within the context of medicine and nursing there are, again, a range of disciplines – all of which are stand-alone subjects which can be studied by themselves, or which can be integrated with other disciplines to provide a broader picture. When we are looking at the genre of medicine and nursing we can take into account basic medical science; medical school and career guides, study and revision guides; medical sciences in general; dentistry; midwifery; nursing; optometry; pharmacy; physiotherapy; First Aid and paramedical services; general practice; together with hospital administration and management – quite a range of books, in fact, to choose from.

Again, not all of these books focus on the study element of each subject –  there are many books listed on our web pages that offer a different sort of insight into the aspects of each sub-genre mentioned above. Books such as ‘The Brain That Changes Itself: stories of personal triumph from the frontiers of Brain Science’ written by Norman Doidge. Another book that makes excellent reading is ‘The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Even Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health’. The title may be a bit of a mouthful but the contents are certainly something to get your teeth into!

This book is written by T. Colin Campbell. Described as ‘the Grand Prix of epidemiology’ by the New York Times, this book cuts through a swathe of mis-information about diets and the dieting industry and provides valuable insights into how your diet  affects your health and well-being. Take note, however: this book is most certainly not a diet book – so, don’t be fooled! There are a plethora of books such as this in our website, so delve deeply and spend some time among our many web pages.