Calling all Psocoptera! Science Book Clubs in the Bay Area

I admit it, I watch way too much television. Some good television (KQED QUEST for example), but mainly bad television: American Idol, Amazing Race, pretty much anything on the VH1 channel. My brain was turning to mush.

After some cajoling from the wife, I trekked down to the library to check out the science section. I was amazed at the bevy of great pop science books. Most are accessible, quick reads on pretty much every science topic under the sun. However, I'm a social creature, I wanted to discuss science books with peers.

A few quick searches and voila! Science book clubs exist right here in the Bay Area (one of them hosted by myself so I'd have more control on book selection). Lively discussion and science books, it's a good combination.

Down to a Science Book Club

Book: "How We Decide" by Jonah Lehrer


When: Monday, May 25th, 7-9 PM

Where: Books Inc, 601 Van Ness @ Turk, 2 blocks north of SF City Hall

Details: Ever had a experience of option paralysis? Like when you are looking at the 11 different types of Cheerios in the cereal aisle? If you're anything like me, decision making is an "interesting" process. Jonah Lehrer tackles the neurobiology of decision making and points out a few ways you may be able to overcome that paralysis. Watch Jonah discuss decision making at the Commonwealth Club or listen to him discuss Choice on RadioLab.

California Academy of Science Book Clubs

Teens Talk Books: Underwater Explorations

Book: Shark Life: True Stories about Sharks and the Sea by Peter Benchley

When: June 6th, 11:00 am in Education Classroom

Where: California Academy of Sciences

Coming face to face with the jaws of a great white shark.  Chasing leaping orcas near Vancouver.  Swimming with hoards of hammerheads in the Sea of Cortez.  Benchley, the author of Jaws, shares his many underwater adventures with sharks and other marine creatures, while helping the reader learn more about these majestic creatures, how to swim with them safely, and why it is vital for us to protect our oceasn.  Join us for a discussion of Benchley's fascinating read!

Reservations: Free with admission to the museum, but participants should call the Naturalist Center at 415-379-5494 to reserve a space.

Bookworms (Adult Book Group): Why Do Oceans Matter?

Book: Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans by Sylvia Earle

When: June 16th, 6:30 pm in the Naturalist Center

Where: California Academy of Sciences

Details: In recognition of World Ocean Day this month, the group will read and discuss noted marine biologist Sylvia Earle's book which is both a plea for ocean conservation and a very personal story of her own lifelong exploration of life in the deep.

Reservations: Free.  Reserve a space by calling 415-379-5494.

This Week In Science Online Book Club - Hosted by

An Ocean of Air: Why the Wind Blows and Other Mysteries of the Atmosphere

Details: Most of the time we hardly notice that we're moving through air. But when a storm system whips it into a whirling mass that grows into a tornado or a hurricane, then the air around us makes headlines. Science consultant Walker (Snowball Earth) presents a lively history of scientists' and adventurers' exploration of this important and complex contributor to life on Earth, from Galileo's early attempts to show that it has weight to the explorations by 20th-century scientists Oliver Heaviside and Edward Appleton of the ionosphere, which acts as a giant mirror bouncing radio waves from one side of the globe to another. Walker provides readers with easy-to-follow discussions of the science behind the discovery that carbon dioxide levels are rising exponentially.

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