From neurons to nanotech and from quarks to the cosmos, BookLab is the podcast that puts science books under the microscope! Join hosts Dan Falk and Amanda Gefter for a look at the latest in popular science writing: what’s new, what’s hot, and what you ought to be reading right now.










October 2019
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Featured Books:What is Real? by Adam Becker; and Beyond Weird by Philip Ball.

Quantum physics has been with us for more than 100 years – but what is it actually telling us about the world?

Direct download: BookLab_020.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:47am EDT

Featured Book: Adventures in Memory, by Hilde Østby and Ylva Østby


Few things are as fundamental to the human experience as memory. But what exactly is memory?  How do memories actually work, in our brains? And why did we evolve to have memories? 

And on the nightstand: Outside Color, by Mazviita Chirimuuta; and The Invention of Nature, by Andrea Wulf 

Direct download: BookLab_019.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:06pm EDT

Featured Book:Lost in Math, by Sabine Hossenfelder

Physics made enormous progress in the 20th century – but Sabine Hossenfelder says we’ve reached a dead-end in the 21st, because today’s physicists take their equations too seriously.

And on the nightstand: Through Two Doors at Once, by Anil Ananthaswamy; and The Order of Time, by Carlo Rovelli. 

Direct download: BookLab_018.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:06am EDT

Featured Book:The Strange Order of Things, by Antonio Damasio

How did emotions and feelings – and conscious awareness in general – come into existence? Neuroscientist and philosopher Antonio Damasio weighs in.

And on the nightstand: Internal Time, by Till Roenneberg; and The Last Man Who Knew Everything, by David Schwartz.

Direct download: BookLab_017.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:27am EDT

Stephen Hawking’s first book aimed at a popular audience, A Brief History of Time, became a surprise bestseller and turned the world of popular science writing upside down. We look back at this remarkable book, 30 years after its publication.

Direct download: BookLab_016.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

Featured Book: Life 3.0, by Max Tegmark

Artificial intelligence is set to change the world. Will humanity have what it takes to survive, in the age of intelligent machines? 

And on the nightstand: Prehension, by Colin McGinn; and The Social Conquest of Earth by E.O. Wilson.

Direct download: BookLab_015.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 2:01pm EDT

Featured Book: The Big Picture, by Sean Carroll.

Do our lives have any significance in a universe of impersonal particles and forces and physical laws? That’s a big question – but a physicist with an eye on the big picture takes a shot at answering them.

And on the nightstand: You Belong to the Universe, by Jonathon Keats; and Time Travel, by James Gleick.

Direct download: BookLab_014.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:13am EDT

Featured Book: The Gene, by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

The gene shapes who we are. While the science of genetics is still fairly young, it’s advancing at a breakneck speed. What will we do with this new knowledge? 

And on the nightstand: Surfing Uncertainty, by Andy Clark; and Black Hole Blues, by Janna Levin.

Direct download: BookLab_013.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:15pm EDT

Featured Book: Spooky Action at a Distance, by George Musser.

Quantum entanglement is one of the strangest ideas in modern physics – and could end up changing the way we think about space and time.

And on the nightstand: Why Information Grows, by César Hidalgo; and Inventology, by Pagan Kennedy.

Direct download: BookLab_012.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 1:28am EDT

Featured Book: Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, by Lisa Randall.

A physicist puts forward a bold idea about how the dinosaurs met their demise – and the role that an exotic kind of matter may have played.

And on the nightstand:  The Brain, by David Eagleman; and Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli.

Direct download: BookLab_011.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:18am EDT

Featured Books: Ada’s Algorithm, by James Essinger; and It Began with Babbage, by Subrata Dasgupta.

Two new books look at the history of the computer – the invention that would usher in the modern age.

Direct download: Episode_10_mixdown.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:45pm EDT

Two new books look at the history of our species, the rise of science, and how one puny primate conquered the planet: The Upright Thinkers, by Leonard Mlodinov; and Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari.

Direct download: BookLab_009.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:01pm EDT

Featured Book: The Patient Will See You Now, by Eric Topol.

Eric Topol says medicine itself has been sick for years – but he’s confident that we can use digital technology to improve the health care system.

And on the nightstand:  On the Move, by Oliver Sacks; and The Clockwork Universe, by Edward Dolnick.

Direct download: BookLab_008.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:04am EDT

Featured Book: Mind Change, by Susan Greenfield.

Digital technology is all around us, and there’s more of it every day. It’s changing the way we live our lives – and neuroscientist Susan Greenfield says it’s also affecting our brains.

And on the nightstand: Invisible, by Philip Ball; and Unflattening, by Nick Sousanis.

Direct download: BookLab_007.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 5:15am EDT

Featured Book: The Island of Knowledge, by Marcelo Gleiser.

Are there limits to what science can discover? Marcelo Gleiser says that no matter how far science progresses, there’s always something that’s unknowable.

And on the nightstand:  Orfeo, by Richard Powers; and Why Does the World Exist? By Jim Holt.

Direct download: BookLab_006.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Featured Book:  The Human Age, by Diane Ackerman.

Human beings have completely transformed the planet, and even greater changes lie ahead.  According to Diane Ackerman, we must now harness human creativity and create the world we want to live in.

And on the nightstand:  The Moral Landscape, by Sam Harris; and Eureka! By Chad Orzel.

Direct download: BookLab_005.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:21am EDT

Featured Book:  Superintelligence, by Nick Bostrom.

Within a few decades, our computers could be smarter than we are.  According to Nick Bostrom, we should be afraid of where Artificial Intelligence may lead us.

And on the nightstand:  Our Final Hour, by Martin Rees; and Tubes, by Andrew Blum.

Direct download: BookLab_004.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 12:15pm EDT

Featured Book:  Colliding Worlds, by Arthur I. Miller.

The art-science connection:  Over the last 50 years, the world of modern art has been completely transformed, Arthur I. Miller argues, because of the influence that modern science has had on art and artists.

And on the nightstand:  Logicomix, by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou; and Only the Longest Threads, by Tasneem Zehra Husain.

Direct download: BookLab_003.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 11:20am EDT

Featured Book:  Consciousness and the Brain, by Stanislas Deheane.

Stanislas Deheane tackles the problem of consciousness, and tells us how his own research is helping to explain how that three-and-a-half pound lump of squishy gray mater inside your head does what it does.

And on the nightstand:  Time Reborn, by Lee Smolin; and The Idea Factory, by Jon Gertner.

Direct download: BookLab_002.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 3:21pm EDT

Featured Book:  Our Mathematical Universe, by Max Tegmark.

How many universes are there, anyway?  Physicist Max Tegmark says there could be an infinite number of them, and he argues the case in his latest book.

And on the nightstand:  A Universe from Nothing, by Lawrence Krauss; and Me Myself and Why, by Jennifer Oullette.

Direct download: BookLab_001.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:19pm EDT