2019 OBCB Science and Technology

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Science and Technology Titles

Brusatte, Stephen. The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World. William Morrow Paperbacks, 2019.

This title traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers, how their species benefited from a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period , and then how they became the dominant species every wide-eyed child memorizes.

Carreyrou, John. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. Knopf Publishing Group, 2018.

A technology start-up with a lot of promise, Theranos managed to deceive investors and customers into believing their product actually worked. But, it didn’t. Carreyrou documents his investigation into one of the biggest scandals of the decade.

Doctorow, Cory. Little Brother. Tor Books, 2008.

A story told through the eyes of teenaged “white hat” hackers living in a near future San Francisco who find themselves targets of the federal government in the aftermath of a terrorist attack in the city. Though more than a decade old, this novel remains relevant as it explores how a culture of mass surveillance can go too far and how a nation balances privacy and security.

Edugyan, Esi. Washington Black. Vintage Books, Division of Penguin Random House LLC, 2019.

The antebellum novel reimagined, this is the story of "a disfigured Black boy with a scientific turn of mind" who lives a bold life that enslaved people cannot imagine, but who spends that bold life running from shadows until he doesn't any longer.

Epstein, David. Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World. Riverhead Books, 2019.

Epstein examines the practices of successful athletes, authors, scientists and more to dispel the idea that more practice is always required to become good at something. Instead, he argues a wide range of skills can lead to greater success in the long term, even if it's less efficient in the short term.

Eubanks, Virginia. Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor. St. Martin’s Press, 2018.

Eubanks explores all of the ways that technology advancements have disproportionately harmed poor and working-class communities in this engaging, data-driven book.

Fainaru-Wada, Mark. League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth. Crown Publishing Group, 2014.

This title is the most comprehensive examination, to date, of the NFL’s fight to keep CTE research and findings under control.

Fies, Brian. A Fire Story. Abrams Comic Arts, 2019

A wrenching graphic memoir of a community devastated by the California wildfires.

France, David. How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS. Knopf, 2013.

An insider’s detailed account of the activists who took scientific research into their own hands to fight for treatment for HIV/AIDS, a disease which took the lives of thousands of mostly gay and transgender people while being largely ignored by the wider public and government officials.

Gilio-Whitaker, Dina. As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, From Colonization to Standing Rock. Beacon Press, 2020.

Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) outlines Native peoples long history of advocating for environmental protections and sovereignty and urges today’s environmentalists to take inspiration and wisdom from this history and its leaders.

Grant, John. Debunk It! Fake News Edition: How to Stay Sane in a World Misinformation. Zest Books, 2019.

At the heart of this updated, helpful, and humorous tool is the application of the scientific method to evaluate sources of information.

Green, Hank. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. Dutton Books, 2018.

Green uses mathematics, science, and classic rock references to energize the main character's journey of self-­discovery as she navigates her relationships, fear-mongering enemies, and the press, while social-media moves the needle in ways she cannot anticipate or control.

Higginbotham, Adam. Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster. Simon & Schuster, 2020.

This well-researched study follows the Chernobyl disaster from construction to meltdown to present day. This title provides both a big picture overview and a detailed study of the mistakes that were made.

Jauhar, Sandeep. Heart: A History. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2018.

Pairs medical history with revelations of Jauhar’s own family's tragic encounters with heart disease, delivering a contemplation of our most precious internal organ.

Kolbert, Elizabeth. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. Henry Holt and Co., 2014.

There have been five mass extinction events over the last half-billion years, and Kolbert explains why scientists believe that we are in the middle of our sixth--this time, caused by humans.

McIlwain, Charlton D. Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, from the Afronet to Black Lives Matter. Oxford University Press, 2020.

Before there was Black Lives Matter, Black people employed computing technology and the internet to advocate for racial justice, be in community, and build their wealth. McIlwain has crafted a timely history of the Black community’s role in the creation and evolution of the Internet through archival sources and the voices of many who lived and made this history.

Morris, Brittney. Slay. Simon Pulse, 2020.

Teen game developer, honors student, and math tutor, Kiera, battles a real-life troll intent on ruining her Black Panther-inspired video game created to be a safe and inspiring community for Black gamers.

Noble, Safiya Umoja. Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. New York University Press, 2018.

Data discrimination is prominent in internet culture. In this academic text, Noble highlights the racism and sexism that is built into search algorithms, exposing some of the internet’s internal biases.

Oh, Axie. Rebel Seoul. Tu Books, 2017.

Jaewon gets a job as an assistant to the Neo State’s secret weapon, an enhanced human being named Tera, who has been a product of the State for her entire life. As Jaewon gets deeper into the inner workings, he starts to realize that some things are not as good as they seem.

Quamman, David. Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic. W.W. Norton Company, 2012.

Quamman joins reputable virologists as they try to solve the mystery of the origins of some of the deadliest viruses in human history.

Ramirez, Ainissa. The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another. MIT Press, 2020.

A survey of how eight inventions--clocks, steel rails, copper wire, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, labware, and silicon chips--changed the ways humans relate to technology.

Robinson, Mary. Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018.

Meet leaders and everyday people from across the globe who fight for their communities as they face the worst effects of climate change. The lived experience of these “accidental” activists inspire us to start small to affect noticeable change.

Ronson, Jon. So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. Riverhead Books, 2015.

Through a series of case studies, Ronson explores how the advent of social media has also led to a rise in public shaming in which everyday people are relentlessly critiqued for posting the wrong thing or making a mistake online.

St. Clair, Kassia. The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History. Liveright, 2018.

From the linen fiber in ancient Egypt to the most technically advanced spacesuits, our cultural history can be told through the fibers and fabrics we use.

Walden, Tillie. On a Sunbeam. First Second, 2018.

Across the vast universe, a crew is tasked with rebuilding and restoring old buildings. But for Mia, this job is about finding and rebuilding a part of herself she thinks she has lost.

Wiener, Anna. Uncanny Valley. MCD, 2020.

As a young, broke millennial, Wiener left a job in publishing to join Silicon Valley at the start of the tech boom. Throughout this candid memoir, Wiener highlights both the internal changes she underwent while working for major tech companies as well as the changes to the cities these companies inhabit and the possible long term effects on our democracy.