Carlos Fiolhais suggests science books to read in the summer

Summer is a good time for readings and these don't necessarily have to be fictional works.

On my podcast, with David Marçal, «Slower than light», as well as in my other podcast from Rádio Observador, with João Miguel Santos, «Ciência Pop», I proposed some science books for the holidays.

I've always defended that summer is a good time for readings and these don't necessarily have to be fictional works. I add to the lists of these podcasts another one, of more recent books, especially for readers of the regional press who want to know more.

The order is alphabetical by author's last name:

– Feynman, Richard, An afternoon with Mr. Feynman, introduction, presentation, notes and translation by António Manuel Nunes dos Santos and Christopher Auretta. Gradiva.
Texts by the famous American physicist Richard Feynman, winner of the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for his quantum theory of matter and light (the text of the Nobel conference can be found in this work).
It is a reissue in the «Ciência Aberta» collection of a collection of texts and interviews by Feynman that had already been published many years ago, but which was out of print. Inspiring like his other books, like the recently reissued What is a Physical Law e Are you kidding Mr. Feynman?

– Hossenfelder, Sabine, Physics and the Great Questions of Life, Bertrand.
The author is a young German theoretical physicist and science communicator, born in Frankfurt -am–Main, where she studied at the University (where I received my doctorate).
And who currently works at the Center for Mathematical Philosophy in Munich.
This book between Physics and Philosophy on «Existential Physics» deals with big questions like the sense of time and free will. Includes interviews with physicists such as Roger Penrose and David Deutch.
One of the author's theses is that the concept of beauty has misguided fundamental physics.

-Neves, Marco, Historical Atlas of Writing, War & Peace. The author, professor at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, and author of several books on the Portuguese language, gives us a beautiful illustrated work that is part of the atlas collection of Guerra & Paz.
In addition to being very informative, it is visually very attractive.

– Nogueira, Bernardo Albuquerque, The Science of Things, illustrations by Carlo Giovanni; Suricata (preface by me). A young chemist with a recent doctorate at the University of Coimbra offers us his first book, aimed at children and young people, which explains in a very simple way not only what the world is like, but also how we have arrived at this knowledge.
It is a beautiful gift for the clarity of the writing and the quality of the illustrations, but it has to be requested from the publisher, as it is not available in bookstores.

– Oliveira, Arlindo. Science, Technology and Society. War & Peace, foreword by Pedro Guedes de Oliveira.
The electrical engineer who directed Instituto Superior Técnico and INESC in Lisbon and is the author of Mentes Digitais (ISTPress, 2017) and Intelligence Artificial (Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos, 2019) brings together a set of chronicles that he published in the newspaper Público, grouped by themes that include algorithms and society, artificial intelligence and great language models such as the much-hyped ChatGPT.

– Ottaviani, Jim and Myrick, Leland, Feynman, Gradiva (my translation).
Graphic novel that tells the biography of the famous American physicist Richard Feynman, who was one of the participants in the Manhattan project, which led to the first atomic bombs, and who deciphered the cause of the disaster of the NASA space shuttle Challenger.
He was a physicist who starred in very amusing stories that are told here in comics.

– Waldinger, Robert and Schulz, A Good Life. Lessons from the biggest ever scientific study on happiness. Paper Moon. A professor of Psychiatry and another of Clinical Psychology linked to the Harvard study on Adult Development explain the paths to happiness.
The study began in 1938, in Boston, following two groups, one of disadvantaged young people and the other of favored young people, whose life path was being followed, as well as that of their children and grandchildren.
The conclusions, which privilege the quality of personal relationships are very interesting and not so much money and professional success.

– White, Gary and Matt Damon, The Value of Water. Our story about finding solutions to the world's greatest challenge, Byzantium. O
The first author is the leader of a non-governmental organization that is trying to face the world water crisis, while the second is the well-known film actor (he plays the role of US general Leslie Groves in the film Oppenheimer, by Christopher Nollan), who has been interested in these issues.
Water is an essential asset to our life and we must know how to take good care of it.