Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “science”

Rocky Mountain Flowers: The Daring Life and Art of Pioneering Plant Ecologist Edith Clements
Rocky Mountain Flowers: The Daring Life and Art of Pioneering Plant Ecologist Edith Clements

“There seems little doubt that the application of the principles of ecology to human affairs, whether personal, national or world-wide, would go far in solving the problems that beset us.”

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Perfect Flowers: Adventures in Nature’s Nonbinary Botany, with a Side of Emily Dickinson
Perfect Flowers: Adventures in Nature’s Nonbinary Botany, with a Side of Emily Dickinson

Rewilding the landscape of possibility for the poetry of being.

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Probable Impossibilities: Physicist Alan Lightman on Beginnings, Endings, and What Makes Life Worth Living
Probable Impossibilities: Physicist Alan Lightman on Beginnings, Endings, and What Makes Life Worth Living

How our cosmic improbability confers dignity and meaning upon our shared existence.

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The Conscience of Color, from Chemistry to Culture
The Conscience of Color, from Chemistry to Culture

“Colors are not possessions; they are the intimate revelations of an energy field… light waves with mathematically precise lengths… deep, resonant mysteries with boundless subjectivity… Our lives, when we pay attention to light, compel us to empathy with color.”

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Citizen Science, the Cosmos, and the Meaning of Life: How the Comet That Might One Day Destroy Us Gives Us the Most Transcendent Celestial Spectacle
Citizen Science, the Cosmos, and the Meaning of Life: How the Comet That Might One Day Destroy Us Gives Us the Most Transcendent Celestial Spectacle

Encounters with the beautiful and the sublime in the science of “the single most dangerous object known to humanity.”

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From Cacao to Clitoria: Luscious 19th-Century French Botanical Illustrations of the Most Vibrant Flora of the Americas
From Cacao to Clitoria: Luscious 19th-Century French Botanical Illustrations of the Most Vibrant Flora of the Americas

How the world relished the world before Instagram.

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How Memory Makes Us and Breaks Truth: The Rashomon Effect and the Science of How Memories Form and Falter in the Brain
How Memory Makes Us and Breaks Truth: The Rashomon Effect and the Science of How Memories Form and Falter in the Brain

“We are our memory… that chimerical museum of shifting shapes, that pile of broken mirrors.”

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The Ocean and the Meaning of Life
The Ocean and the Meaning of Life

“Contemplating the teeming life of the shore, we have an uneasy sense of the communication of some universal truth that lies just beyond our grasp… the ultimate mystery of Life itself.”

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Matter, Music, and the Mind
Matter, Music, and the Mind

“Sound is sea: pattern lapping pattern… Matter delights in music, and became Bach.”

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The Vast Wonder of the World: An Illustrated Homage to Ernest Everett Just’s Trailblazing Life and Life-Redefining Science
The Vast Wonder of the World: An Illustrated Homage to Ernest Everett Just’s Trailblazing Life and Life-Redefining Science

How a visionary turned the art of noticing into a leap of science.

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