AMERICAN SCIENTIST'S 100 OR SO
BOOKS THAT SHAPED A CENTURY OF SCIENCE

In the American Scientist, The Magazine of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society of November-December 1999 (Volume 87, No. 6), Philip and Phylis Morrison provide their selection of key scientific works of the twentieth century. They write: "These groups of books and their names are our own doing. They name categories that we slowly recognized within the motley selections. By no means sharp-edged, each denotes a center around which friends can gather, perhaps more like a picnic than a rugby scrum. The terms we use are not normative but descriptive, for the list itself suggested the categories and not the other way around."  Their categories and title selections are listed in the following tables.
 


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BIOGRAPHIES

Charles Darwin Autobiography (1950)
G. H. Hardy A Mathematician's Apology (1940)
James Watson The Double Helix (1968)
Freeman Dyson Disturbing the Universe (1979)
Richard feynman Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (1985) 

FIELD GUIDES

William Garnett Aerial Photographs (1994)
Jonathan Kingdon East African Mammals: An Atlas of Evolution in Africa (1971)
Lynn Margulis & Karlene V. Schwartz Five Kingdoms: An Illustrated Guide to the Phyla of Life on Earth (1998, 3rd ed.)
Ward Ritchie Press Photo-Atlas of the United States: A Complete Photographic Atlas of the USA Using Satellite Photography (1975)
Roger Tory Peterson A Field Guide to the Birds (1934)
Allan Sandage The Hubble Atlas of Galaxies (1961)
John S. Shelton Geology Illustrated (1966)
John Steinbeck & E.F. Ricketts Sea of Cortez (1941)
H. Bradley, W.A. Craigie, J.A.H. Murray & C.T. Onions, eds. Oxford English Dictionary (1933)
Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortus (1930)

THE PHYSICAL SCIENCES - EXPLORATIONS

Timothy Ferris The Whole Shebang (1997)
George Gamow One, Two, Three... Infinity (1947)
Stephen Hawking A Brief History of Time (1988)
Douglas Hofstadter & Daniel Dennett The Mind's I (1981)
Kenneth Hsu & William Ryan The Mediterranean Was a Desert (1983)
Georges Ifrah From One to Zero: A Universal History of Numbers (1985)
Primo Levi The Periodic Table (1984)
John McPhee Annals of the Former World (1998)
Carl Sagan The Pale Blue Dot (1994)
Steven Weinberg Dreams of a Final Theory (1992)
Herman Weyl Symmetry (1952)

THE PHYSICAL SCIENCES - MONOGRAPHS

Paul Dirac Quantum Mechanics (1930)
Albert Einstein The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein: The Swiss Years: Writings, 1902-09 (1930)
Benoit B. Mandelbrot Fractals (1977)
Linus Pauling Nature of the Chemical Bond (1939)
Bertrand Russell & Alfred North Whitehead Principia Mathematica (1910-13, 3 vols.)
Cyril Smith Search for Structure (1981)
John von Neumann & Oskar Morgenstern Theory of Games and Economic Behavior (1944)
Norbert Weiner Cybernetics (1948)
R.B. Woodward & Roald Hoffmann Conservation of Orbital Symmetry (1970)
Albert Einstein The Meaning of Relativity (1922)
Richard Feynman QED (1985)
Donald Knuth The Art of Computer Programming (1968)

HISTORY OF SCIENCE

A. Pais Inward Bound (1986)
John Desmond Bernal Science in History (1954)
Paul de Kruif Microbe Hunters (1926)
Martin Gardner In the Name of Science (reprinted as Fads and Falacies in the Name of Science) (1952)
Arthur O. Lovejoy The Great Chain of Being (1936)
Joseph Needham Science and Civilization in China (1947)
Richard Rhodes The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986)
Charles Singer, E.J. Holmyard & A.R. Hall A History of Technology (1954)
Tom Wolfe The Right Stuff (1979)

SCIENCE ITSELF EXPLAINED

Vannevar Bush Science, The Endless Frontier (1945)
Peter B. Medawar The Art of the Soluble (1967)
Karl Popper The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1934)
C.P. Snow The Two Cultures (1959)
Alfred North Whitehead Science and the Modern World (1945)
Thomas Kuhn The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962)

MANY-SIDED LIFE - EXPLORATIONS

William Beebe Jungle Days (1925)
Rachel Carson Silent Spring (1962)
John R. Horner & Thomas Gorman Digging Dinosaurs (1988)
Francois Jacob The Possible and the Actual (1982)
Aldo Leopold A Sand County Almanac (1949)
Barry Lopez Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape (1986)
Konrad Lorenz King Solomon's Ring (1952)
Jacques Monod Chance and Necessity (1971)
Richard Preston The Hot Zone (1994)
Lewis Thomas The Lives of a Cell (1974)

MANY-SIDED LIFE - MONOGRAPHS

Adrian Forsyth & Kenneth Miyata Tropical Nature (1984)
Stephen S. Morse, ed.  Emerging Viruses (1993)
Erwin Schrodinger What Is Life? (1944)
D'Arcy Thompson On Growth and Form (1917)
Vladimir Vernadskii The Biosphere (1998; French Version, 1929)
Alister Clavering Hardy The Open Sea: Its Natural History (1956-59, 2 vols.)
Edward O. Wilson The Insect Societies (1971)

THE EVOLUTION OF LIFE

Richard Dawkins The Blind Watchmaker (1986)
Stephen Jay Gould Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History (1977)
Jonathan Weiner The Beak of the Finch (1994)
Richard Goldschmidt The Material Basis of Evolution (1940)
Ronald Aylmer Fisher The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection (1930)
George Williams Adaptation and Natural Selection: A Critique of Some Current Evolutionary Thought (1966)
Howard Gruber, with Paul H. Barrett Darwin on Man: A Psychological Study of Scientific Creativity (1974)

THE NATURE AND RISE OF OUR OWN SPECIES

Elizabeth Barber Women's Work (1994)
Gregory Bateson Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology (1972)
Jacob Bronowski Science and Human Values (1965)
Jane Goodall In the Shadow of Man (1988)
R.L. Gregory The Intelligent Eye (1970)
Aldous Huxley The Doors of Perception (1954)
L.S.B. Leakey Adam's Ancestors: The Evolution of Man and His Culture (1934)
Steven Pinker The Language Instinct (1994)
Denise Schmandt-Besserat How Writing Came About (1996)
George B. Schaller The Mountain Gorilla: Ecology and Behavior (1963)
Randy Shilts And the Band Played On (1987)
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin The Phenomenon of Man (1959)
Lev Semenovich Vygotsky Thought and Language (1962)
Charles Leonard Wooley Discovering the Royal Tombs at Ur (1969)

THE NATURE AND RISE OF OUR OWN SPECIES - MONOGRAPHS

C.K. Brain Hunter and Hunted (1981)
Noam Chomsky Syntactic Structure (1957)
Sigmund Freud General Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1920)
Mary Leakey & John Harris, eds. Laetoli: A Pliocene Site in Northern Tanzania (1987)
Richard Lee The Kung San (1979)
Andre Leroi-Gourhan Treasures of Prehistoric Art (1967)
Marvin Minsky The Society of Mind (1986)
Peter & Iona Oppie Children's Games in Street and Playground: Chasing, Catching, Seeking, Hunting, Racing, Duelling, Exerting, Daring, Guessing, Acting, Pretending (1969)
Ivan P. Pavlov Lectures on Conditioned Reflexes (1926)
Oskar Pfungst Clever Hans (The Horse of Mr. Von Osten): A Contribution to Experimental Animal and Human Psychology (1911)

THE NATURE AND RISE OF OUR OWN SPECIES - NOVELS

Sinclair Lewis Arrowsmith (1925)
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Cat's Cradle (1963)
H.G. Wells Tono Bungay (1908)
Thomas Pynchon Gravity's Rainbow (1973)

 
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