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New Scientist Top 25 Most Influential Popular Science Books

Shortlist of 25 popular science books selected by New Scientist magazine coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring".

As this list has grown, I thought it necessary to point out the original 25. Any others now on this list were added by Goodreads members. Here are the top 10 as voted by the New Scientist readers in 2012:
1. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (1859)
2. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (1988)
3. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (1976)
4. The Double Helix by James Watson (1968)
5. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962)
6. The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris (1967)
7. Chaos by James Gleick (1987)
8. Gaia by James Lovelock (1979)
9. An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Malthus (1798)
10. The Ascent of Man by Jacob Bronowski

And the remaining 15 from the original list:
- Black Holes and Time Warps by Kip Thorne (1994)
- Brighter Than a Thousand Suns: A personal history of the atomic scientists by Robert Jungk (1956, first published in German)
- Disturbing the Universe by Freeman Dyson (1979)
- Godel, Escher, Bach: An eternal golden braid by Douglas Hofstadter (1979)
- Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond (1997)
- Phantoms in the Brain by V. S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee (1998)
- Principles of Geology by Charles Lyell (1830-1833)
- The Ambidextrous Universe by Martin Gardner (1964)
- The Emperor's New Mind by Roger Penrose (1989)
- The First Three Minutes by Steven Weinberg (1977)
- The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker (1994)
- The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks (1985)
- The Mysterious Universe by James Jeans (1930)
- What is Life? by Erwin Schrödinger (1944)
- Wonderful Life by Stephen Jay Gould (1989)
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46 books · 89 voters · list created October 25th, 2012 by Jim Razinha (votes) .
130 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


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Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Katy (new)

Katy Nice list. Thanks for putting it together.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads If you want me to remove the stuff not on the list, Jim, just say so.


message 3: by Jim (new)

Jim Razinha Susanna - Censored by GoodReads wrote: "If you want me to remove the stuff not on the list, Jim, just say so."
Not at all...because of the source (and the title), I decided to call out what was New Scientist's original short list. I was unaware at the time that people could add to the list; and the way Goodreads lists work, the order changes with votes, so its appearance at the time of viewing doesn't reflect the order listed in the comment. I didn't agree with some of New Scientist's choices, but just reproduced it here. I think that additions certainly show other possibilities.


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