Science Books Bill Gates Thinks Everyone Should Read
Bill Gates is an avid reader, and reports reading up to fifty books every year. He reads so much that he started a blog, Gates Notes, to share his thoughts and review almost every book he reads. Among the hundreds of reads Gate’s has reviewed, the ones on science books take the cake. Science is ever evolving. Finding the best authors and researchers out there according to one of the most successful people in the world today makes narrowing down books to read easier.
Interested in science books? See below for the reads Gate recommends.
The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
“Technology is amoral. It is neither good nor bad. It is up to all of us—not just scientists, government officials, and people fortunate enough to lead foundations—to think hard about these new technologies and how they should and should not be used. Reading The Gene will get you the point where you can actively engage in that debate.” Read the full review here.
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
“The other thing that struck me is the way the book pushes you to think big and long-term. If everyone learned that the world would end two days from now, there would be global panic, plus a big dose of hedonism. But what if it were ending two years from now? Would people keep going to work? Would kids go to school? If they did, what would you teach them?” Read the full review here.
The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years by Sonia Shah
“If you want to read just one book about malaria, The Fever is probably the best choice. Author Sonia Shah doesn’t overwhelm you with data and analytics, but she does cover the whole history of the disease, which—as the title suggests—goes back further than you might think.” Read the full review here.
Sustainable Materials With Both Eyes Open by Julian Allwood and Jonathan Cullen
“Although the book isn’t aimed at a general audience, the authors keep things lively with colorful illustrations and funny analogies. I’ve read other books about steel, but none of them featured a photo of the Carhenge exhibit in Nebraska. I’ve read a lot of books about physics, but I don’t remember seeing such an extended riff on how atoms act like people dancing in a nightclub.” Read the full review here.
The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life by Nick Lane
“Nick has a very scientific demeanor. In reading his books and talking to him, I never got the impression that he was claiming more than he should or trying to pull a fast one on the reader. It’s always clear where he’s citing someone else’s work and where he’s building out his own ideas. And he would be the first to tell you that some of his ideas might be wrong.” Read the full review here.
21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
“But Harari is such a stimulating writer that even when I disagreed, I wanted to keep reading and thinking. All three of his books wrestle with some version of the same question: What will give our lives meaning in the decades and centuries ahead? So far, human history has been driven by a desire to live longer, healthier, happier lives. If science is eventually able to give that dream to most people, and large numbers of people no longer need to work in order to feed and clothe everyone, what reason will we have to get up in the morning?” Read the full review here.
Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food by Pamela C. Ronald, Raoul W. Adamchak
“I certainly recommend this book to people who are curious about the future of agriculture and the controversies around it. Many other food books exalt localism and tradition (i.e., lack of new science) as almost religious values. I think some go overboard with their negative views of modern farming, giving very little thought to the productivity increases that poor farmers need – and that the world needs – in order to feed itself, while coping with climate change and evolving threats from plant disease and pests.” Read the full review here.
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
“The reason Munroe’s approach is a great way to learn about science is that he takes ideas that everybody understands in a general way and then explores what happens when you take those ideas to their limits.” Read the full review here.
While over on Gates Notes, don’t forget to check out all the other book reviews. Not everything Gate’s reads are about business and science. He has a lot of recommendations for fiction, memoir, and comedic books. There’s lot’s to choose from for your next read!