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READs: Biographies: Science

Real People's Stories

Natural Sciences / Biology

The Collector: David Douglas and the natural history of the Northwest.

The story of David Douglas, the premier botanical explorer in the Pacific Northwest and other areas of western North America. Douglas' discoveries include hundreds of western plants--most notably the Douglas Fir. The Collector tracks Douglas, from his humble birth in Scotland in 1799 to his botanical training under the famed William Jackson Hooker to his adventures in North America discovering "exotic" new plants for the English and European market. 290 pages.

David Suzuki: the autobiography

David Suzuki is a Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist. 1963 until his retirement in 2001. Since the mid-1970s, Suzuki has been known for his television and radio series, documentaries and books about nature and the environment. He is best known as host of the popular and long-running CBC Television science program The Nature of Things, seen in over forty nations. 405 pages.

The gentle subversive : Rachel Carson, Silent spring, and the rise of the environmental movement

Carson was subversive in her thinking and aggressive in her campaign against pesticides. Carson became the spokeswoman for a network of conservationists, scientists, women, and other concerned citizens who had come to fear the mounting dangers of the human assault on nature. What makes this story particularly compelling is that Carson took up this cause at the very moment when she herself faced a losing battle with cancer. 277 pages.

Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard

Weaving together the stories of the Old World apple in America and the life and myth of John Chapman, this book casts new light on both. 231 pages.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine.. 369 pages.

Physics / Mathematics

E=Einstein : his life, his thought and his influence on our culture

In the history of physics, there has been no greater visionary than Albert Einstein. Through his revolutionary Theory of Relativity, he fundamentally changed the way we look at the universe. But there is more to Einstein than just E=mc². 352 pages.

Robert Oppenheimer: a life inside the center

Oppenheimer was chosen to lead the Manhattan Project and develop the deadliest weapon on earth: the atomic bomb. Upon its creation, Oppenheimer feared he had brought mankind to the precipice of self-annihilation and refused to help create the far more powerful hydrogen bomb, bringing the wrath of McCarthyite suspicion upon him. 825 pages.

Tesla: man out of time

This book explores the brilliant and prescient mind of one of the twentieth century's greatest scientists and inventors. 396 pages

Hidden figures : the American dream and the untold story of the Black women mathematicians who helped win the space race

y Before John Glenn orbited the earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. 346 pages.

Space

Reaching for the Stars: the inspiring story of a migrant farmworker turned astronaut

Born into a family of migrant workers, toiling in the fields by the age of six, Jose M. Hernández dreamed of traveling through the night skies on a rocket ship. This is the story of how he realized that dream, becoming the first Mexican-American astronaut. Hernández didn't speak English till he was 12, and his peers often joined gangs, or skipped school. And yet, by his twenties he was part of an elite team helping develop technology for the early detection of breast cancer. He was turned down by NASA eleven times on his journey to donning that famous orange space suit. 252 pages.

Hidden figures : the American dream and the untold story of the Black women mathematicians who helped win the space race

y Before John Glenn orbited the earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. 346 pages.

Women in Space

Twenty-three women from 10 different countries whose careers span a half century of human spaceflight are profiled in this educational book for young readers. These stories of the pilots, physicists, and doctors who broke the stratospheric ceiling demonstrate the vital role women have played in the history of space exploration.

Rise of the rocket girls : the women who propelled us, from missiles to the moon to mars

In the 1940s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians, it recruited an elite group of young women -- known as human computers -- who, with only pencil, paper, and brain power, helped bring about America's first ballistic missiles. But their hearts lay in the dream of space exploration, and when JPL became part of NASA, the computers helped send the first probes to the moon. 337 pages.

Headstrong: 52 women who changed science-- and the world

Covering Nobel Prize winners and major innovators, as well as lesser-known but hugely significant scientists who influence our every day, This book profiles and spans centuries of courageous thinkers and illustrate how each one's ideas developed, from their first moment of scientific engagement through the research and discovery for which they're best known

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