Do we follow science or does science follow us?

I have reviewed or recommended several science books on this blog and this post gathers them together in one place. Generally, these are non-medical books, although there is overlap. In a future post I will gather my medical book reviews.

a young girl sitting in a field looking at a butterfly with a microscope

Are you tired of hearing “follow the science”?

I know I am, I don’t know where the phrase came from. It’s more accurate to say the science follows us; everywhere we go, and everything we do involves science. It’s true now and was true 100 years ago. Read this piece published March 4, 1922.

Take from the air every aeroplane; from the roads every automobile; from the country every train; from the cities every electric light; from ships every wireless apparatus; from oceans all cables; from the land all wires; from shops all motors; from office buildings every elevator, telephone and typewriter; let epidemics spread at will; let major surgery be impossibleall this and vastly more, the bondage of ignorance, where knowledge now makes us free, would be the terrible catastrophe if the tide of time should but ebb to the childhood days of men still living!…Therefore, whoever desires progress and prosperity, whoever would advance humanity to a higher plane of civilization, must further the work of the scientist in every way he possibly can.

The Work of the Scientist. JAMA. 2022;327(9):882. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.0191

Originally Published March 4, 1922 | JAMA. 1922;78(9):649. (JAMA Revisited is transcribed verbatim from articles published previously, unless otherwise noted.)

I don’t ride trains, I’m not sure what a “wireless apparatus” is, and I haven’t used typewriter in years. But everytime we use our mobile phones, computers, access the internet, or stream videos or music, we can thank the scientists who made it possible.

(This post and the ones linked to contain affiliate links that may pay a small commission to this blog, while you pay nothing extra. Quite a deal. )

Science books and reviews

I have reviewed or recommended several science books on this blog and this post gathers them together in one place. Generally, these cover basic science. In a future post I will gather medical science book reviews. Bookmark these list posts for easy reference later.

the double helix molecule of DNA

THE MUTANT PROJECT-a book review

At the same time, some of the more entrepreneurial see the potential for using genetic modification to selectively breed desirable and profitable human traits-high IQ, increased muscle mass, or designer skin color, and enhanced fertility, including choosing the gender of babies.

Keep reading

Despite the name, this book is not about COVID-19.

an illustration of the coronavirus with its characteristic surface spikes

Pandemic- a book review

If you like history, current events, medical science, or just want to be more knowledgeable about why we should be concerned about infections , antibiotic resistance and vaccine phobia, you should read this book.

Keep reading
a mosaic tile mural featuring tropical birds, parrots, flamingos,

World of Wonders-a book review

World of Wonders is not about medicine, at least not human medicine. Although there is a chapter about the Southern Cassowary, Casuarius Casuarius,  a bird that can and does kill people. All chapters are named for and describe a variety of common, familiar animals and plants-

Keep reading
red sky with stars scattered throughout

Do you know how the universe started? Read what these men think.

I want to introduce you to my new guest blogger, Web developer, David Hynes.  David has a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and an MBA. Before retiring, he worked with my husband as a Senior Staff Information Analyst for a large oil company. He follows politics, technology and science and enjoys music and travel.  I enjoy David’s social media posts which are thoughtful and articulate. He recently commented about an engaging book he was reading and posted a summary of the main points from the first part of the book. He graciously gave permission…

Keep reading

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks 

I haven’t reviewed this book but I read it and wondered why I didn’t know this story before, a true account of a simple but strong woman whose death gave a priceless gift to science- immortal cells.

“Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine: The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, which are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years.

HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. 

Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

As author Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. 

Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.” from Amazon

exploring the HEART of health through books about science

I hope you will bookmark this page in case you didn’t have time to read all the posts.

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

a world globe with two crossed bandaids

Doctor Aletha

And please check out my page full of suggestions to make your life easier.

Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

As a family physician, I explore the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, community, and through writing. My blog, Watercress Words, informs and inspires us to live in health. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

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