Public Understanding of Science, Technology & Economics
The Foundation has supported over 100 authors since 1993 in the research and writing of a wide range of books aimed at public understanding of science and technology.
Popular categories include: books that elucidate the scientific basis of issues that are often confusing, controversial, or unnecessarily obscure, such as George Church and Ed Regis's Regenesis, Richard Rhodes's Deadly Feasts, and Jared Diamond's Collapse; books that profile scientific and technological figures from varying angles but with an emphasis on the human story, such as Bernard Carlson's Tesla, Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin's American Prometheus, or Dava Sobel's Galileo's Daughter; books about the relevance of technology to daily life such as Henry Petroski's The House with Sixteen Handmade Doors, Brian Hayes's Infrastructure, and Jeff Hecht's City of Light; books that explore the connection between science, technology, and art such as Eric Kandel's The Age of Insight and Stanley Greenberg's Time Machines; books about the relationship between women and technology such as Theresa Riordan's Inventing Beauty and BettyAnn Kevles's Almost Heaven; as well as a popular college textbook with a science, technology, and business emphasis called Inventing America: A History of the United States.
The Foundation also supported a book series about great innovators, which features such titles as Richard Rhodes's Hedy's Folly about screen siren and technological pioneer Hedy Lamarr, Mark Kurlansky's biography of Clarence Birdseye, Birdseye, who patented our frozen food process, and Edward Ball's The Inventor and the Tycoon about Eadweard Muybridge and the invention of motion pictures.
The Foundation’s Book program aims to reach a wide, lay audience.
"Failure: Why Science Is So Successful delves into the origins of scientific research as a process that relies upon trial and error, one which inevitably results in a hefty dose of failure. In fact, scientists throughout history have relied on failure to guide their research, viewing mistakes as a necessary part of the process. Citing both historical and contemporary examples, Firestein strips away the distorted view of science as infallible to provide the public with a rare, inside glimpse of the messy realities of the scientific process." more