Episode 52 – Science We Can Read About


Sam Kean


This week we discuss our favorite science books and talk to author Sam Kean. Sam discusses the periodic table, scientific discovery and storytelling in his new book The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

What science books do you read? Join the conversation at laboutloud.com to share your favorite science books, and visit the NSTA Science Store for the latest NSTA Press books … and more. 


Science Books We Read: 

Direct download: LOL52.mp3


  • Sarah Wright

    Hi Guys, Love your blog and this topic is great. However, please try to represent more gender balance in your chosen readings (ESPECIALLY in promoting cool science books to students). How about Amy Vedder’s ‘In the Kingdom of Gorillas,’ about her research on mountain gorillas in Rwanda and the Congo? Or a fantastic biography of Amy in the Women’s Adventures in Science (iwaswondering.org) series for middle schoolers, a project of the National Academies of Science? Another young adult novel that’s a great story with lots of sciencey content is Jacqueline Houtman’s ‘The Reinvention of Edison Thomas.’ The list goes on and on….so much good stuff out there! Thanks for sharing this.

  • Danielle

    One of my favorite books about the Periodic Table is “”The Periodic Table: Elements with Style!”” created by Basher and written by Adrian Dingle.

    Talking about the wimpiest element reminded me of it!

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  • Judy

    Oliver Sacks has written many enjoyable science books on a variety of topics, but one of my favorites is his autobiography, “Uncle Tungsten : Memories of a Chemical Boyhood”. Fascinating narrative about the value of exploration and discovery as a means to learning science. Highly recommended.

  • I been wanting to read the following book by Deborah Blum (who was on Periodicity when we hosted it for WSST), but it’s not available for Kindle: The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York

  • E=mc^2: Biography of the World’s Most Famous equation by David Bondaid and Longitude (by the author of Galieleo’s daughter) are both great books that include the stories that surround a lot of important science discoveries.

  • Pingback: Episode 83 – Sam Kean’s Stories from the Human Genome