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

TEPCO admits Fukushima reactors should have been upgraded or replaced. Now what?

Since completing my recent middle grade book, Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future, which is about the implications for our energy future of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns that followed the massive earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, I have been following developments in Japan’s nuclear industry closely. In July of … Read more

Author Q&A about Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future

Readers of this blog might be interested in the backstory of my book for young readers Meltdown! The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future. A great advocate for nonfiction who writes under the online persona Book Kvetch published this very nice Q&A, which I hope you will enjoy.

Richard Muller shows what it means to be a climate change skeptic

We interrupt your weekend with MAJOR SCIENCE/POLITICAL NEWS. As the headline of this ThinkProgress blog entry notes, this is indeed a political bombshell. MacArthur “genius” grantee Richard Muller, a highly respected physicist and self-declared climate change skeptic has changed his mind in precisely the way a scientist should: He examined the evidence. As far as … Read more

Review of The Violinist’s Thumb and Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius as Written by Our Genetic Code

The Violinist’s Thumb and Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius as Written by Our Genetic Code by Sam Kean (Little, Brown, 416 pages, $25.99, July, 2012) Reviewed by Dr. Fred Bortz See other reviews archived at the Science Shelf Note: This review is the copyrighted property of Alfred B. Bortz. Individuals may print … Read more

Opinion: Hostile Alien Invaders Are Unlikely

Sorry Stephen Hawking, I agree with Jill Tarter. Hostile alien invaders are unlikely–at least not the kind envisioned in SciFi movies. I received the news release reproduced below and it reminded me of a book manuscript that I now have under consideration at a major publisher of books for young readers. That manuscript looks ahead … Read more