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 2018
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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