The Military’s Role in Oceanography, Deadly Pharmaceutical Negligence, and Other New Science Books

Einsteins Fridge: How the Difference in between Hot and Cold Explains the Universeby Paul SenScribner, 2021 ($ 28).

Pharmaceutical-industry regulation is seldom included in the plot of murder mysteries– but that is precisely how Dearens Kill Shot checks out. In it, the Associated Press investigative reporter traces the troubling story of a contaminated batch of pain-relieving steroid injections that sickened nearly 800 people around the U.S. in 2012 and killed more than 100. As a growing number of clients who got the injections began to show indications of fungal meningitis, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started to examine. The source of the botched drugs was a family-owned drug store that turned into a profitable business by making use of a loophole in U.S. drug regulations. The businesss pharmacists were prosecuted for murder and scams, but no decision will revive the lives of those eliminated by lethal carelessness.– Tanya Lewis.

“From sewage pumps to jet engines … to the biochemistry of lifesaving drugs, all the innovation that we take for given needs an understanding of temperature level, energy, and entropy,” he writes. To elucidate this field– consisting of Einsteins lesser-known contributions– Sen sums up the history of thermodynamics, blending the biographies of crucial researchers with descriptions of how their work led to specific innovations.

The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferredby Chanda Prescod-WeinsteinBold Type Books, 2021 ($ 28).

Science on a Mission: How Military Funding Shaped What We Do and Dont Understand About the Oceanby Naomi OreskesUniversity of Chicago Press, 2020 ($ 40).

How much does funding affect the course of scientific discovery? In this insightful book, science historian (and Scientific American writer) Oreskes analyzes the military support that poured into oceanography programs during World War II and the cold war. The expansion of marine warfare created a sudden requirement to much better understand the deep sea. Oreskes reveals that sometimes, that largesse enriched our understanding– for instance, the requirement to study the impact of water density on sonar transmission caused an advancement in comprehending deep ocean circulation. Military secrecy likewise prevented discussions and publication of essential ocean research; bathymetric information about undersea topography that would have been beneficial for the advancement of plate tectonic theory were kept classified. Overall, the book advises us that science does not happen in a vacuum.– Andrea Thompson.

Kill Shot: A Shadow Industry, a Deadly Diseaseby Jason DearenAvery, 2021 ($ 27).

In this insightful book, science historian (and Scientific American columnist) Oreskes examines the military support that poured into oceanography programs during World War II and the cold war. Military secrecy likewise avoided discussions and publication of vital ocean research study; bathymetric data about undersea topography that would have been helpful for the development of plate tectonic theory were kept categorized.” I used to think physics was simply physics, different from individuals,” composes theoretical physicist Prescod-Weinstein. In this eye-opening book Prescod-Weinstein describes her work studying particle physics, dark matter and cosmology, as well as how that work is affected by being a “queer agender Black female” in physics. In it, the Associated Press investigative journalist traces the disturbing story of an infected batch of pain-relieving steroid injections that sickened nearly 800 people around the U.S. in 2012 and eliminated more than 100.

” I used to believe physics was simply physics, different from individuals,” composes theoretical physicist Prescod-Weinstein. In this eye-opening book Prescod-Weinstein describes her work studying particle physics, dark matter and cosmology, as well as how that work is impacted by being a “queer agender Black female” in physics. In some way her awe at the cosmos stayed undamaged, and it illuminates this remarkable tour of the universe, from cosmic inflation to the physics of melanin.