The Ten Best Science Books of 2017

These books not only inspired awe and wonder—they helped us better understand the machinations of our world

(Amazon)
smithsonian.com

At its heart, science is about curiosity. So it stands to reason that a book about science should make you examine your world more closely, and in doing so, give you a sense of childhood wonder and whimsy. It should make you say, “Oh, wow.”

But the best science and tech writing goes one step further. With delight and mystery—and sans unnecessary jargon and technical details—this genre can help us better understand some of the world’s most complex and abstract concepts, from gravitational waves (Gravity’s Kiss) to Darwinian evolution (The Evolution of Beauty) to antibiotic resistance (Big Chicken). Each of these remarkable tomes from 2017 does just that, shining a light on the hidden connections and invisible forces that shape the world around us. In doing so, they make our experience of that world that much richer.

About Rachel E. Gross
Rachel E. Gross

Rachel is the Science Editor, covering stories behind new discoveries and the debates that shape our understanding of the world. Before coming to Smithsonian, she covered science for Slate, Wired, and The New York Times.

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