Science at the Times


Scott Eric Kaufman draws my attention to the fact that the New York Times has posted its Notable Books for 2007 list. The list is divided into “Fiction & Poetry” and “Non-Fiction,” and Scott correctly notes that the “Fiction & Poetry” books all have terrible blurbs, but I’d like to point out a much larger problem with the list, relating to the “Non-Fiction” category:

There is not a single science book on the list of “Notable Books” for the year.

There are books on history, books on politics, personal memoirs, collections of critical essays, but nothing about science. There are biographies galore, but no biographies of scientists.

Bending over backward to be fair, I’ll note that there’s a book on the list about the fight against AIDS in Africa, which includes a shard or two of science. Basically, though, the entire list consists of history, memoir, cultural criticism, and (non-science) biography. Quite an eclectic taste those Times book reviewers have, eh?

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