1 Book, 1 Film, 1 Podcast: Science
It is indisputable that science is one of the most important and sought after academic disciplines in the world. Science more than anything else has enabled humans to create the complicated world that we live in, and by studying it you can better understand truths about the universe, life or even useful chemical reactions. It really is the cornerstone of knowledge.
But Science isn’t valued because you can simply understand the world, it helps you change the world. That’s why you will find graduates in Chemistry, Physics and more being successful in every industry, science related or not. This makes studying science an absolutely worthwhile endeavour.
But what do we actually mean when we say “science”? Science is a fairly broad word, covering a variety of fields of study. A traditional breakdown is between the three subjects Physics, Chemistry and Biology; however there are many more such as Psychology or Geology, to name just a few. In fact the more you study Science, the more you realise that there is much crossover between different disciplines. Indeed this crossover is where many exciting breakthroughs originate. Many universities recognise this by offering a Natural Sciences course, allowing you to select a range of topics to study, not limiting you to one scientific discipline.
Not only is Science a vital discipline, but it’s exciting and interesting too. Here’s our recommendations of a book, film and podcast that demonstrate how useful, thought provoking and fun science can be.
Book: The Science of Everyday Life: Why Teapots Dribble, Toast Burns and Light Bulbs Shine by Marty Jopson
Science books, at times, can be overly complicated and inaccessible, giving the subject an unfair reputation as not being for everyone. Marty Jopson does a fantastic job on making sure that this is not the case. The Science of Everyday life is fun, interesting and above all is incredibly relatable making this book the perfect reading material, whether you want to supplement your studies, develop your passion for science or you simply enjoy a good book.
Dealing with aspects of Physics, Chemistry and Biology the book identifies interesting situations and problems which occur frequently in ordinary life, and explains them using scientific knowledge with clear and engaging communication. So you can understand what ‘spice’ really is, how bread goes stale, what microwaves actually do and much more.
Film: An Inconvenient Truth
This 2006 documentary is a true classic. Using Al Gore and his climate change focused 2000 presidential campaign, it explains the history, causes and effects of the world’s environmental issues as well as offering several solutions to the problem. This documentary is thought provoking and encourages discussion among those who watch it. It also shows great foresight, many of its predictions and warnings are becoming all too clear 15 years on, and it is especially important to show to anyone who doubts the severity of climate change or mankind’s responsibility for it.
Al Gore explains the phenomenon in a clear and interesting manner while still conveying the severity of the issue at hand. His presentation of the facts and evidence surrounding climate change really gave this documentary the status it has and deserves, so if you are passionate about climate change, this is definitely one for you.
Podcast: The Infinite Monkey Cage
There really isn’t anything like a podcast to further explore an area you are studying. Not only can they be highly entertaining, but they often feature academic experts in the topic of interest, giving you access to the most advanced and up-to-date ideas out there.
Physicist Brian Cox has produced a lot of scientific programming for the BBC, all of this is worth a look, but in The Infinite Monkey Cage he combines his scientific expertise with the lighter touch of comedian Robin Ince to craft a funny, entertaining and informative podcast well worth listening to.
Each episode focuses on a specific topic of interest and usually features three guests, two scientists and one comedian. This combination creates the perfect melange of discussion, education and chaos that gives the podcast the outstanding (and award winning) reputation that it has. There are 151 episodes so far, so you won’t run out of material any time soon!
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