Part writing exercise, part communication initiative, and part motivation for me to finally make some progress on the backlog of books I have on my shelf, I’ve decided to repurpose my research website as a popular science book blog.
Prior to beginning my Ph.D. in Fall 2014, I was a huge fan of popular science books. Partly inspired by a science writing course I took as an undergrad, and partly a natural extension of my interest in the life sciences, I read and analyzed popular science books with some frequency. When I began my Ph.D., however, I found it difficult to spend all day reading scientific papers and technical protocols, and then come home are read more about science. To be clear, I enjoyed my Ph.D. research immensely and was exceptionally lucky to have a fantastic advisor. I never spent more than an average 8 or 9-hour workday in the lab, and more often than not, was able to take weekends off. Still, a sense of scientific knowledge overload persisted, and all my non-fiction science books went unread.
For better or worse, my enthusiasm for buying popular science books never faded, only the brain energy to actually read them. This habit is not without physical consequences; I’ve moved four times since 2014, and books are pretty freaking heavy. It’s been exactly one year since I defended my dissertation, and as I’m once again about to pack up my apartment and move, I’ve decided my brain is ready for more scientific knowledge. That, and there’s a global pandemic preventing me from hanging out in bars in my free time.
Each post will be 500 words or under and cover my experiences with reading a non-fiction science-related book written for a general audience. As a starting point, these books will have been purchased before starting this blog, hence, the backlog. Comments, dank memes, and book recommendations are welcome.