This has been an excellent year for science books. We’ve picked out our top 10 science books from 2019.
The Weil Conjectures by Karen Olsson
André and Simone Weil were brother and sister. One a renowned mathematician known for contributions to algebraic geometry and number theory, the other a famous philosopher and political activist. Maths and philosophy become entangled in this fascinating memoir of the two 20th-Century figures.
Something Deeply Hidden by Sean Carroll
From physicist Sean Carroll comes a history of quantum discoveries, and a guide to a subject that has baffled and blinded with its potential. Tackling huge questions, myths and conundrums about our Universe is no easy task, but Carroll does so elegantly.
Stillicide by Cynan Jones
Set in the near future, this fiction book tells the story of a Britain caught between floods and droughts, where water is a commodity to be fought for. Hear the narration of the story on the BBC Radio 4 podcast of the same name.
Stillicide by Cynan Jones is out now (£12, Granta).
It’s Not OK to Feel Blue and Other Lies, curated by Scarlett Curtis
Singer Sam Smith and actress Emilia Clarke are two of over 70 contributors to this collection of essays, stories and poems about their own mental health. One to pass between friends, family and colleagues, to generate conversations around a needlessly taboo subject.
Anatomicum by Jennifer Paxton and Katy Wiedemann
This beautiful book explores the human body from underneath the skin as if it were a journey through a museum. Katy Wiedemann’s delicately drawn diagrams accompany
Jennifer Paxton’s detailed anatomical information for a learning experience that is quite unlike any other.
Anatomicum by Jennifer Paxton and Katy Wiedemann is out now (£25, Wellcome).
Superheavy by Kit Chapman
How do scientists make elements that don’t naturally exist? In this engaging book, Kit Chapman opens our eyes to the way superheavy, unstable elements at the far reaches of the periodic table have changed our lives, and predicts what’s next for nuclear science.
Superheavy by Kit Chapman is out now (£16.99, Bloomsbury Sigma).
Superior by Angela Saini
A timely look at the history of racism and racial bias within the scientific community. Perhaps most shocking is the sign of race science returning to modern conversations around genetics and political power.
Superior by Angela Saini is out now (£16.99, 4th Estate).
The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
What will continued climate change do to our planet? The future is much worse than we think, says David Wallace-Wells, who is deputy editor of New York magazine and a science writer. Sparking debate and conversation across the world, The Uninhabitable Earth is one of 2019’s best books.
The NASA Archives: 60 Years in Space by Piers Bizony, Andrew Chaikin and Roger Launius
A stunning visual journey through the NASA archives, documenting six decades of space exploration. Essays discuss the past, present and future of the American space agency, and with over 400 images, illustrations and photographs, most not widely seen by the general public, this is a coffee table book that is a delight to pick up and peruse.
Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez
The winner of this year’s Royal Society Science Book Prize reveals the shocking way that the world was designed with only one gender in mind. From female participants missing from research studies, to health apps allowing users to track copper intake but not periods, the holes in our knowledge of women – called the ‘gender data gap’ by Criado Perez – has led to a history of discrimination.
Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez is out now (£16.99, Chatto & Windus).