The Silicon Valley ACS Section has a book club where we read and discuss books at the intersection of science, society, politics, history, law, art, etc. The goal is to foster interest in science beyond research and learn more about society’s issues. In addition, we hope the book club encourages people to meet and talk and possibly become more involved in their community.
The leader for our next book is Natalie McClure. She has chosen “The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York” by Deborah Blum. This is a story of the development of Toxicology Forensics in New York City during the Prohibition years. It is an easy read, although occasionally a little gruesome, as it deals in all the causes of murders and deaths that they had to address. The chemistry is mostly accurate but a little lightweight. Some interesting stories of industrial radium poisoning, deliberate arsenic poisoning and a lot of methanol, both deliberate and inadvertent!
Our meeting date is yet to be determined.
We have two more people lined up for the next books. The leaders will choose a book for their event and lead the discussion. If you are interested in this role, let me know.
“Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World” by Laura Spinney
Other books we have considered:
|Atul Gawande||Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End|
|Carl Djerassi||How I Beat Coca-Cola and Other Tales of One-Upmanship|
|Ed Young||I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life|
|Elizabeth Grossman||Chasing Molecules: Poisonous Products, Human Health, and the Promise of Green Chemistry|
|Jack Gilbert||Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for your Child’s Developing Immune System|
|James Gleick||Time Travel: A History|
|Sean Carroll||The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself|
|Margareta Sequin||The Chemistry of Plants and Insects, Plants, Bugs, and Molecules|
|Mary Roach||Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal|
|Michael White||Acid Tongues and Tranquil Dreamers: Tales of Bitter Rivalry That Fueled the Advancement of Science and Technology|
|Patrick Coffey||Cathedrals of Science: The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry|
|Penny Le Couteur||Napoleon’s Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History|
|Rebecca Skloot||The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks|
|Sharon Weinberger||The Imagineers of War: The Untold Story of DARPA, the Pentagon Agency That Changed the World|
|Siddhartha Mukherjee||The Gene: An Intimate History|
|Siddhartha Mukherjee||The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer|