Recommended Reading

Some books and articles to shape inquiring minds... these are great for young and old alike!


On diversity in science (and improving it!)

  • The Door in the Dream: Conversations with Eminent Women in Science, by Elga Wasserman (2000) -- Prof. Pompano was given this book when graduating from college, but did not read or appreciate it at the time.  Only later, when beginning as a faculty member, did she realize how enlightening the stories of the pioneering women in science really were.  Here's hoping that other men and women in science will appreciate this fine collection more quickly!

  • Ask For It, by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever (2009) -- An extensively researched book helping women (or anyone) ask for what they need to advance their career and be more fulfilled in their lives.  The much-needed sequel to Women Don't Ask.  Read it before your next job search!

On how humanity interacts with the rest of the world:

  • 2045:  A Story of our Future, by Peter Seidel (2007) -- A novel set in the near-future about what could happen if we don't change the course our global society is on.  Written by an environmental expert.  Some of these predictions have already come true...

  • Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit, by Daniel Quinn (1992) -- "Ishmael is a half ton silverback gorilla. He is a student of ecology, life, freedom, and the human condition. He is also a teacher. He teaches that which all humans need to learn -- must learn -- if our species, and the rest of life on Earth as we know it, is to survive."

On getting through life happily:

Fun and fascinating reading for anyone:

  • The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World, by Stephen Johnson --  "The Ghost Map is the chilling story of urban terror, but it is also a story of how scientific understanding can advance in the most hostile of environments. In a triumph of dynamic, multidisciplinary thinking, Steven Johnson examines the epidemic from the microbial level to the human level to the urban level. Brilliantly illuminating the intertwined histories of the spread of disease, the rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry, Johnson presents both vivid history and a powerful, provocative explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in."
  • The Merchant of Power: Sam Insull, Thomas Edison, and the Creation of the Modern Metropolis, by John Wasik (2006) -- A book at the intersection of science, economics, and history.  "A timely rags-to-riches story, The Merchant of Power recounts how Sam Insull--right hand to Thomas Edison--went on to become one of the richest men in the world, pivotal in the birth of General Electric and instrumental in the creation of the modern metropolis with his invention of the power grid, which fuels major cities today. ... The extraordinary fall of a man extraordinary for his time is revealed in this cautionary tale about the excesses of corporate power."