I was one of those kids – you know, always had her nose in a book. Any book. I loved fiction and biographies I’d check out from the library. I loved the high school biology texts my dad used to teach his classes. I loved the big deckle-edged encyclopedic dictionary with color plates (!) my grandparents had on its own special stand. And I inherited, practically with my very breath, my father’s love for biology. I don’t remember not knowing how to read and I don’t remember not feeling completely enamored of all the things there were to learn about the living world.
I’m still that little girl, big-eyed upon seeing through a microscope for the first time. And I still love a good book. Any book.
We live in a time blessed with rapidly advancing technology that has the potential to make life better. We also have the responsibility to make sure that the things we know are used in a responsible way. As the world of science becomes more complex, it seems to move farther from everyday experience and understanding, even though we need that understanding to make decisions about how we go about our daily lives.
I wanted to find a way to increase make conversations about science easier – so I worked with our local library to set up a monthly book discussion series, Science Lit, hoping to use the fun of reading popular fiction to illuminate the scientific ideas in five wonderful books. We had a blast. The first posts here will be a look at those books.