Science essays

Issac Asimov used to author books with collections of science essays. Is there anyone more recently doing this sort of thing? Any recommendations?

Thank you!

Meditations at 10,000 Feet by James S. Trefil. He has a few other collections as well.

More recent than Asimov, but still fairly old now are the collections of essays by Stephen Jay Gould.

Jeremy Bernstein is also worth noting, as is the host of Science Friday - Ira Flatow

Most of Asimov’s collections were reprints of the monthly column he wrote for Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine for many years. I’ve yet to find any science writer who was as much fun to read as the Good Doctor.

High recommendation for David Quammen, who is my favorite living science-fact writer. Mostly nature and ecology. His book “Flight of the Iguana” is dated, but superb. “The Song of the Dodo” is one of the most depressing books I’ve ever read – it’s about habitat collapse and extinction – but it’s also an excellent book, and incredibly informative.

These days, Quammen is one of the headline essayists for National Geographic magazine. He wrote the recent (May, 2016) cover story about Yellowstone.

Also, he’s a nice chap and wrote back when I sent him a fan letter.

Very few authors have the same breadth as Asimov, but there are plenty writing on any given subject. Is there any particular topic you had in mind?

The Best American Science and Nature Writing series has been published annually for many years. There’s also an annual The Best Writing on Mathematics.

Astronomy, geology, and history.

I haven’t read it myself, but I see that Neil deGrasse Tyson’s collection of essays Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries is popular; and it is, like Asimov’s books, a collection of essays that previously appeared in a magazine.

I could recommend a book on essays on Weird Optics.

Ok, it’s not a book, but there is an annual “Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate” on Youtube hosted by Neil Tyson and with a panel of distinguished scientists and mathematicians that discuss an interesting subject in depth – well, in-depth for TV at least. Typically a two hour discussion on a single subject. My favorite to date is about the nature of NOTHING. Does NOTHING exist? If so, what is it? What isn’t it?

Freeman Dyson’s books are great reading particularly Disturbing the Universe and The Scientist as Rebel.