Category Archives: booknotes

Readers’ wildlife photos

John Avise, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Irvine (and an avid birder) sent me a group of lovely bird pictures that he took on an Antarctic trip similar to mine. His notes and IDs are indented. This time I’m sending some bird photos that I took on my own cruise adventure to […]

Nicholas Christakis has a new book

You’ll surely remember Nicholas Christakis of Yale University, a good man who, along with his wife, got ensnared in a net thrown by The Woke.  If you don’t remember that tale, read the New York Times article below or my post on Christakisgate (the NYT piece is largely about his new book; more on that […]

Stephen Law recommends five books on pseudoscience

Most of you have probably heard of Stephen Law, a philosopher at the University of London and provost of the Center for Inquiry UK (he’s also an atheist).  At the Five Books site, which I keep recommending as a great way to find what to read in an area you’re curious about, Nigel Warburton has just done an […]

Jane Goodall apparently guilty of plagiarism and sloppy science writing

Jane Goodall’s observations of the chimps at Gombe is perhaps the most famous work in primatology in the 20th century, and she’s rightly famous for her meticulous observations, her absolute dedication to her fieldwork, her discovery of many traits in our closest relatives that were thought unique to humans, and her tireless work on biological […]

Evolution: Making Sense of Life

by Greg Mayer Another book that was just published in August is a new textbook of evolution intended for biology majors, Evolution: Making Sense of Life, by Carl Zimmer and Douglas Emlen; the title evokes Theodosius Dobzhansky‘s famous 1973 paper “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution” (pdf). Carl Zimmer, a […]

Roots of Ecology

by Greg Mayer My friend and colleague Frank Egerton, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, is the author of a new book, Roots of Ecology: Antiquity to Haeckel, published last month by the University of California Press.  With two sections on Darwin, and two others featuring Alfred Russel Wallace, the book will […]

The Academy of Natural Sciences at 200

by Greg Mayer This year is the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, the oldest natural history museum in the United States. Although now surpassed in size by some later-founded institutions, it is still one of the most important natural history museums in America, rich in types and […]