Science Shelf Blog, Pi Day 2018 edition

At the Science Shelf, our favorite dessert is pi. So although it is a week past Pi Day 2018, we offer these recently released book treats to our readers (along with my picture in my Pi Day bowtie). I archive my book reviews at my Science Shelf website, so you may want to visit there … Read more

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

Science Shelf Blog, Year End 2017

My standard opening disclaimer: 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 … 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

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.