Human Nature

Human Nature Library

Books on life, science, and technology.

This page compiles links to recent books that address intersections of science and technology with culture and politics. To request addition of a book to the list, send a copy to Human Nature, c/o Slate, 1350 Connecticut Ave., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036. All books will be screened for merit. The primary list is reserved for books that connect science to society, particularly in ways that relate to Human Nature’s mission. Other books may be assigned to the secondary lists or omitted, depending on relevance.

Primary List

Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People, by Jon Entine.

Babies By Design: The Ethics of Genetic Choice, by Ronald M. Green.

Basic Instinct: The Genesis of Behavior, by Mark Blumberg.

The Big Questions in Science and Religion, by Keith Ward.

Blood Matters: From Inherited Illness to Designer Babies, How the World and I Found Ourselves in the Future of the Gene, by Masha Gessen.

Born and Made: An Ethnography of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, by Sarah Franklin and Celia Roberts.

Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, by Daniel Dennett.

The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering, by Michael Sandel.

The Case of Terri Schiavo: Ethics at the End of Life, edited by Arthur Caplan, James McCartney, and Dominic Sisti.

Coming to Term: Uncovering the Truth About Miscarriage, by Jon Cohen.

A Contract With the Earth, by Newt Gingrich and Terry Maple.

Darwin’s Giftto Science and Religion, by Francisco Ayala.

Dazzle Gradually: Reflections on the Nature of Nature, by Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan.

Designer Evolution: A Transhumanist Manifesto, by Simon Young.

Designs on Nature: Science and Democracy in Europe and the United States, by Sheila Jasanoff.

Embryo: A Defense of Human Life, by Robert George and Christopher Tollefsen.

Enhancing Evolution: The Ethical Case For Making Better People, by John Harris.

Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction Is Changing Men, Women, and the World, by Liza Mundy.

Evil Genes: Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend, by Barbara Oakley.

The Evolution of God, by Robert Wright.

Fat Politics: The Real Story behind America’s Obesity Epidemic, by J. Eric Oliver.

Fingerprints of God: The Search for the Science of Spirituality, by Barbara Bradley Hagerty.

The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank, by David Plotz.

How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer.

Human Dignity and Bioethics: Essays Commissioned by the President’s Council on Bioethics (includes Bostrom, Churchland, Dennett, Gelernter, Neuhaus, Nussbaum, et al).

Imagining the Future: Science and American Democracy, by Yuval Levin.

Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution, by Ronald Bailey.

Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots, by Timothy Hornyak.

The Mind of the Market: Compassionate Apes, Competitive Humans, and Other Tales From Evolutionary Economics, by Michael Shermer.

Medically Assisted Death, by Robert Young.

Medicine by Design: The Practice and Promise of Biomedical Engineering, by Fen Montaigne.

Mind Wars: Brain Research and National Defense, by Jonathan Moreno.

The Neuro Revolution: How Brain Science Is Changing Our World, by Zack Lynch with Byron Laursen.

The Neuroscience of Fair Play: Why We (Usually) Follow the Golden Rule, by Donald Pfaff.

Persons, Humanity, and the Definition of Death, by John Lizza.

Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved, by Frans de Waal.

The Prosthetic Impulse: From a Posthuman Present to a Biocultural Future, edited by Marquard Smith and Joanne Morra.

Reprogenetics: Law, Policy, and Ethical Issues, edited by Lori Knowles and Gregory Kaebnick.

In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, by Eric Kandel.

In the Shadow of Progress: Being Human in the Age of Technology, by Eric Cohen.

Something There: The Biology of the Human Spirit, by David Hay.

Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain—and How It Changed the World, by Carl Zimmer.

Testosterone Dreams: Rejuvenation, Aphrodisia, Doping, by John Hoberman.

Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves, by Sharon Begley.

Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum.

Whose View of Life?: Embryos, Cloning, and Stem Cells, by Jane Maienschein.

Wired For War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century, by P.W. Singer.

The World is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies, and Products That Are Fattening the Human Race, by Barry Popkin.

Related Books on Science

Best of the Brain from Scientific American: Mind, Matter, and Tomorrow’s Brain, edited by Floyd Bloom.

Brain Rules: 12 Principles For Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School, by John Medina.

Related Books on Society

The Abortionist’s Daughter, by Elisabeth Hyde.

Absolute Convictions: My Father, a City, and the Conflict that Divided America, by Eyal Press.

Common Ground Without Compromise: 25 Questions to Create Dialogue on Abortion, by Stephen Wagner.

How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America: Freedom, Politics, and the War on Sex, by Cristina Page.

The Politics of Abortion, by Anne Hendershott.

Protecting the Right to Choose, by Kate Michelman.