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

The Math of Groundhog’s Day: An Allegory

THE GREAT GROUNDHOG’S DAY CONSPIRACY By Fred Bortz ([email protected]) Many years ago in the Allegheny Mountain town of Punxsutawney PA, a secret committee met, led by Ima Merchant, the head of the local chamber of commerce. Town statistician C. P. Adderly and P. R. Mann, head of a local advertising firm, were also in attendance. … 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

Science Shelf Blog, October 2017

As noted in my previous 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 … Read more

Book Review: The Vaccine Race by Meredith Wadman

The Vaccine Race: Science, Politics, and the Human Cost of Defeating Diseaseby Meredith Wadman(Viking, 448 pages plus 16 page photo insert, $30, February 7, 2017) 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

Book Review: Herding Hemingway’s Cats by Kat Arney

Herding Hemingway’s Cats: Understanding How Our Genes Work by Kat Arney (Bloomsbury Sigma, 288 pages, $27, March 1, 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. For … Read more

Review of Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett

Rain: A Natural and Cultural History by Cynthia Barnett Reviewed by Dr. Fred Bortz See other reviews at the Science Shelf Book Review Archive This review originally appeared in The Dallas Morning News and is the copyrighted property of Alfred B. Bortz. Individuals may print single copies for their own use. For permission to publish … 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

Fred Bortz Lives!

For the person who found my blog by searching “Fred Bortz died,” I am pleased to report that it was a different and older Fred Bortz. That’s great news for me, but not so great for the family of the other Fred.