Books to loan to students 5/5

The last in this sequence – but by no means the end of my bookshelf, from which many more are loaned (and usually returned, surprisingly) – is sadly no longer in print. At least, the listings I found are for old copies at extortionate prices. The Unnatural Nature of Science by Lewis Wolpert is not about any particular discipline, or trying to answer any questions kids might normally ask. Instead it’s about science itself, about how scientific hypotheses are formulated and approached. It’s easier going than some of the philosophy of science books I’ve flipped through, but gives some good explanations for the need to examine bias in methods, blinding and the use of controls as well as falsifiability.

This is certainly one of the more challenging books I’d loan out. I have others that are at a fairly high level, for example in evolutionary biology or physics, but they’re not ones I’d loan except to real enthusiasts. This week I’ve tried to focus on those that might be more appropriate for kids up to age 16. A later sequence will look at fiction books for reluctant readers, as I seem to have spent the last few years trying desperately to get my form to read. The ironic thing is that I’d commit murder for a chance to read more often and they act like I’m asking them to submit to the Spanish Inquisition…

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