Science Literacy Week is taking place from September 19th-25th, 2022. This initiative showcases the many ways young people and Canadians of all ages can explore science through libraries, museums, science centres, schools, and institutions. Below is the 2022 list of books recommended by the SNOLAB community.
Underland by Robert McFarland
In Underland, Robert Macfarlane takes us on a journey into the worlds beneath our feet. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland’s glaciers, to the underground networks by which trees communicate, from Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves, this is a deep-time voyage into the planet’s past and future.
What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
The millions of people around the world who read and loved What If? still have questions, and those questions are getting stranger. Thank goodness xkcd creator Randall Munroe is here to help. Planning to ride a fire pole from the Moon back to Earth? The hardest part is sticking the landing. Hoping to cool the atmosphere by opening everyone’s freezer door at the same time? Maybe it’s time for a brief introduction to thermodynamics. Want to know what would happen if you rode a helicopter blade, built a billion-story building, made a lava lamp out of lava, or jumped on a geyser as it erupted? Okay, if you insist.
Before you go on a cosmic road trip, feed the residents of New York City to a T. rex, or fill every church with bananas, be sure to consult this practical guide for impractical ideas. Unfazed by absurdity, Munroe consults the latest research on everything from swing-set physics to airliner catapult–design to answer his readers’ questions, clearly and concisely, with illuminating and occasionally terrifying illustrations. As he consistently demonstrates, you can learn a lot from examining how the world might work in very specific extreme circumstances.
Mysteries Of the Quantum Universe by Thibault Damour & Mathieu Burniat
Take an incredible journey through the quantum universe with explorer Bob and his dog Rick, as they travel through a world of wonders, talk to Einstein about atoms, hang out with Heisenberg on Heligoland and eat crepes with Max Planck. Along the way, we find out that a dog – much like a cat – can be both dead and alive, the gaze of a mouse can change the universe, and a comic book can actually make quantum physics fun, easy to understand and downright enchanting.
Graphic Science: Seven Journeys of Discovery by Darryl Cunningham
Much is known about scientists such as Darwin, Newton, and Einstein, but what about lesser-known scientists—people who have not achieved a high level of fame, but who have contributed greatly to human knowledge? What were their lives like? What were their struggles, aims, successes, and failures? How do their discoveries fit into the bigger picture of science as a whole? Overlooked, sidelined, excluded, discredited: key figures in scientific discovery come and take their bow in an alternative Nobel Prize gallery in a colourful graphic novel by Darryl Cunningham.
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story by Angela Saini
In Inferior, acclaimed science writer Angela Saini weaves together a fascinating—and sorely necessary—new science of women. As Saini takes readers on a journey to uncover science’s failure to understand women, she finds that we’re still living with the legacy of an establishment that’s just beginning to recover from centuries of entrenched exclusion and prejudice. Sexist assumptions are stubbornly persistent: even in recent years, researchers have insisted that women are choosy and monogamous while men are naturally promiscuous, or that the way men’s and women’s brains are wired confirms long-discredited gender stereotypes.
As Saini reveals, however, groundbreaking research is finally rediscovering women’s bodies and minds. Inferior investigates the gender wars in biology, psychology, and anthropology, and delves into cutting-edge scientific studies to uncover a fascinating new portrait of women’s brains, bodies, and role in human evolution.
I am a book. I am a portal to the Universe by Stefanie Posavec and Miriam Quick
Hello. I am a book. But I’m also a portal to the universe.
I have 112 pages, measuring 20cm high and wide. I weigh 450g. And I have the power to show you the wonders of the world.
Lift me up to the sky, rest me on your lap, drop me from a height, wear me as a hat. Together, through data, we’ll uncover the stories hidden in the everyday. How long is an anteater’s tongue? How tiny is the DNA in your cells? How fast is gold mined? How loud is the sun? And how many stars have been born and exploded in the time you’ve taken to read this sentence?
Hold me in your hands and let me show you what I’m made of – and what waits for you in the corners of our awe-inspiring universe.
The Joy of Science by Jim Al-Khalili
Today’s world is unpredictable and full of contradictions, and navigating its complexities while trying to make the best decisions is far from easy. The Joy of Science presents 8 short lessons on how to unlock the clarity, empowerment, and joy of thinking and living a little more scientifically.
In this brief guide to leading a more rational life, acclaimed physicist Jim Al-Khalili invites readers to engage with the world as scientists have been trained to do. The scientific method has served humankind well in its quest to see things as they really are, and underpinning the scientific method are core principles that can help us all navigate modern life more confidently. Discussing the nature of truth and uncertainty, the role of doubt, the pros and cons of simplification, the value of guarding against bias, the importance of evidence-based thinking, and more, Al-Khalili shows how the powerful ideas at the heart of the scientific method are deeply relevant to the complicated times we live in and the difficult choices we make.
The Sky Is for Everyone: Women Astronomers in Their Own Words edited by Virginia Trimble and David A. Weintraub
The Sky Is for Everyone is an internationally diverse collection of autobiographical essays by women who broke down barriers and changed the face of modern astronomy. Virginia Trimble and David Weintraub vividly describe how, before 1900, a woman who wanted to study the stars had to have a father, brother, or husband to provide entry, and how the considerable intellectual skills of women astronomers were still not enough to enable them to pry open doors of opportunity for much of the twentieth century. After decades of difficult struggles, women are closer to equality in astronomy than ever before. Trimble and Weintraub bring together the stories of the tough and determined women who flung the doors wide open. Taking readers from 1960 to today, this triumphant anthology serves as an inspiration to current and future generations of women scientists while giving voice to the history of a transformative era in astronomy.
The First Astronomers: How Indigenous Elders read the stars by Duane Hamacher
Our eyes have been drawn away from the heavens to our screens. We no longer look to the sky to forecast the weather, predict the seasons or plant our gardens. Most of us cannot even see the Milky Way. But First Nations Elders of the world still maintain this knowledge, and there is much we can learn from them.
These Elders are expert observers of the stars. They teach that everything on the land is reflected in the sky, and everything in the sky is reflected on the land. How does this work, and how can we better understand our place in the universe?
Guided by six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, Duane Hamacher takes us on a journey across space and time to reveal the wisdom of the first astronomers. These living systems of knowledge challenge conventional ideas about the nature of science and the longevity of oral tradition. Indigenous science is dynamic, adapting to changes in the skies and on earth, pointing the way for a world facing the profound disruptions of climate change.
The First Astronomers shows us how respectful collaborations can drive exciting and innovative solutions to global challenges that impact us all.
Stay Curious and Keep Exploring: 50 Amazing, Bubbly, and Colorful Science Experiments to Do with the Whole Family Hardcover by Emily Calandrelli
From the host of Netflix’s Emily’s Wonder Lab and FOX’s Xploration Outer Space comes a book featuring 50 experiments that introduce the wonders of science to the whole family. MIT engineer Emily Calandrelli shares the science behind each experiment while showing you where to find STEAM concepts in the world around you. You’ll learn how to think like a scientist with Make a Hypothesis! and Try This! prompts, where you can experiment within the experiment. With Calandrelli’s expert guidance, illustrations throughout, and easy-to-find grocery items, you can make:
With chapters like Magic Tricks, Kitchen Science, and Fun with Physics, this book is packed with experiments that will delight little scientists and their lab assistants. Grab your goggles and a family member to get started on a journey to spark curiosity, critical thinking, and fun family times!
Painted Skies by Carolyn Mallory
Leslie is new to the Arctic, and no one told her there would be so much snow, and so many interesting animals to see. Along with her new friend, Oolipika, Leslie soon discovers one the Arctic’s most unique and breathtaking natural wonders, the northern lights.
Having never seen such lights before, Leslie is understandably shocked by them. Oolipika, on the other hand, knows that the ancient lights are more than just colours, and that the mischievous, playful spirits that the northern lights hold can be dangerous.
This contemporary narrative introduces young readers to an Inuit legend about the northern lights, followed by an epilogue that explains the science behind this amazing natural phenomenon.
The End of Everything (Astrophysically Speaking) by Katie Mac
We know the universe had a beginning. With the Big Bang, it expanded from a state of unimaginable density to an all-encompassing cosmic fireball to a simmering fluid of matter and energy, laying down the seeds for everything from black holes to one rocky planet orbiting a star near the edge of a spiral galaxy that happened to develop life as we know it. But what happens to the universe at the end of the story? And what does it mean for us now?
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky
A charmingly illustrated and educational book, New York Times best seller Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.
How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk
All summer, Pearl has been trying to build the perfect sandcastle, but out-of-control Frisbees and mischievous puppies keep getting in the way! Pearl and her robot friend Pascal have one last chance, and this time, they’re going to use code to get the job done. Using fundamental computer coding concepts like sequences and loops, Pearl and Pascal are able to break down their sandcastle problem into small, manageable steps. If they can create working code, this could turn out to be the best beach day ever!