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FOR THE PERSON WHO ENJOYS SCIENCE ON THEIR OWN TERMS

1. The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World by Sarah Stewart Johnson

A young planetary scientist intimately details the search for life on Mars, tracing our centuries-old obsession with this seemingly desolate planet. Mars was once similar to Earth, but today there are no rivers, no lakes, no oceans. Coated in red dust, the terrain is bewilderingly empty.

2. Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake

A mind-bending journey into the hidden world of fungi that will change your understanding of life on earth.

3. What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask.

4. Inconspicuous Consumption by Tatiana Schlossberg

From a former New York Times science writer, this urgent call to action will empower you to stand up to climate change and environmental pollution by making simple but impactful everyday choices.

5. Seaweed Chronicles: A World at the Water’s Edge by Susan Hand Shetterly

On a planet facing environmental change and diminishing natural resources, seaweed is increasingly important as a source of food and as a fundamental part of our global ecosystem. While examining the life cycle of seaweed and its place in the environment, she tells the stories of the men and women who farm and harvest it—and who are fighting to protect this critical species against forces both natural and man-made. Ideal for readers of such books as The Hidden Life of Trees and How to Read Water, Seaweed Chronicles is a deeply informative look at a little understood and too often unappreciated part of our habitat.

6. The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson

The Sea Around Us remains as fresh today as when it first appeared over six decades ago. Carson’s genius for evoking the power and primacy of the world’s bodies of water, combining the cosmic and the intimate, remains almost unmatched: the newly formed Earth cooling beneath an endlessly overcast sky; the centuries of nonstop rain that created the oceans; giant squids battling sperm whales hundreds of fathoms below the surface; the power of the tides moving 100 billion tons of water daily in one bay alone; the seismic waves known as tsunamis that periodically remind us of the oceans’ overwhelmingly destructive power.

HOLIDAY 2020 GIFT GUIDE: ARMCHAIR SCIENTIST
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