Science Shelf Blog, January 2018

These regular blog posts are for educated but non-expert readers who love science. For many years, I regularly sold freelance book reviews to major metropolitan newspapers. Over the past few years, the market for such reviews dried up, but I did not want to leave the field entirely. Fortunately, publishers still send me their catalogs … Read more

Introducing the Science Shelf Blog

Due to the shrinking freelance book review market, my opportunities to publish full-length reviews of science titles in major metropolitan newspapers are now few and far between. Because I do not want to leave that territory completely, I have decided to develop a blog that publishes short reviews of science books that I receive as … Read more

Book Recommendation: Quantum Fuzz

Quantum Fuzz: The Strange True Makeup of Everything Around Usby Michael S. Walker(Prometheus, 420 pages, $28, February 14, 2017) Recommended by Dr. Fred Bortz For my science book reviews, see the Science Shelf Book Review Archive Note: This recommendation is the copyrighted property of Alfred B. Bortz. Individuals may print single copies for their own … Read more

Review of The Pope of Physics by Gino Segre and Bettina Hoerlin

The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Ageby Gino Segre and Bettina Hoerlin(Henry Holt, 368 pages, $30, October 18, 2016) Reviewed by Dr. Fred Bortz For more reviews, see the Science Shelf Book Review Archive Note: This review is the copyrighted property of Alfred B. Bortz. Individuals may print single … Read more

Review of The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee (Scribner, 608 pages plus 8 page photo insert, $30, May 17, 2016) Reviewed by Dr. Fred Bortz For more reviews, see the Science Shelf Book Review Archive Note: This review is the copyrighted property of Alfred B. Bortz. Individuals may print single copies for their own use. … Read more

Review of Stuff Matters by Mark Miodownik

Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials that Shape Our Man-Made World by Mark Miodownik (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 272 pages, $26.00, July 2014) Reviewed by Dr. Fred Bortz Discover more book reviews at The Science Shelf This review is the copyrighted property of Alfred B. Bortz. Individuals may print single copies for their own use. For … Read more

Nobel Laureates Debate the Future of Nuclear Power

At a Nobel Forum in December 2013, several past laureates discussed the future of nuclear power. Their conclusions were far from unanimous. All agreed that nuclear power is the only current technology capable of replacing fossil-fuel plants on a large enough scale to mitigate the risk of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. But … Read more

Pro-Nuclear Environmentalism

On the 46th of 64 pages of my 2012 book for middle grade readers, Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future, I finally ask the question that the earlier chapters are designed to lead up to: “Is nuclear power worth the risk?” The remainder of the book provides a definite response, but … Read more