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Ellardin
2012-03-05, 07:18 PM
Hello, so I just have the feeling that I am lacking in University level Science textbooks and I want to expand my Library on several topics:

- The Scientific Method (Both Natural and Social, not literary theory)
- Scientific Experimentation
- Theories and procedures of Experimentation
- Research and Statistics
- Advanced Mathematics
- Philosophy of the Scientific Method
- Chemistry
- The Science of History and different cultures
- Theories of Energy
- Anatomy
- Medicine
- Science and Mythology
- Science and Mysticism
- Science and Psychicsm
- Psychical Research: Theories, Possibilities and Debunking
- Theories of the Brain, and the mind.
- Sentience

If you have any recommendations I would love to hear them. Why did you choose the work that you did? What did you like best? The worst? How accessible is it to somebody who is a fourth year Social Sciences Student that hasn't been able to take any research, methods or statistics classes?

The Extinguisher
2012-03-07, 03:28 PM
I'm not sure you're looking for University textbooks so much as non-fiction boos about those topics. They will probably be a lot more accessible. All of my textbooks, even my first year ones, needed you to have a background in the subject.

Especially for stuff like Chemistry and Math. My differential equations textbook was really well put together, but unless you have all the calculus background, it won't make sense.

Weezer
2012-03-07, 08:41 PM
For calculus the textbook is Calculus: Early Transcendentals by Stewart. I used it for Calc 1 through 4 and it was always pretty good. But I'm with Extinquisher, are you sure you don't really wan't good non-fiction books on those subjects? I'm a chem major and learning straight from textbooks never really works, especially for difficult fundamentals.

Ellardin
2012-03-07, 09:36 PM
Yes, I'm sure I want university level textbooks and not non-fiction books, I don't think it would be that much of a hassle to learn from them because I have some rudimentary texts that are meant for the general public on science and math.

Manga Shoggoth
2012-03-08, 11:38 AM
How accessible is it to somebody who is a fourth year Social Sciences Student that hasn't been able to take any research, methods or statistics classes?

If this is your position, I can do no better than recommend The Cartoon Guide to Statistics (Larry Gonick with Woollcott Smith) Collins, 1994, ISBN 0-06-273102-5

Radar
2012-03-08, 12:21 PM
There is one serious problem: academic textbooks are in most cases seriously expensive. I think the best course of action, would be to first browse the books in your local library and check, if you could gain access to local university's library - they could even help you pick the right books.

Anyway, you didn't mention physics, but Feynman Lectures on Physics are that good. Knowledge of Calculus and Differential Equations would probably help with it, but you can easily understand it with highschool level of education.

For statistics, A Modern Course in Statistical Physics by L.E. Reichl is very good (partialy, because it relates mathematical concepts with real problems), but it's not an elementary book - some more basic books on statistics and probability theory is needed.

I don't know, if there even are books on scientific method or theory of energy outside of pure philosophy. At any rate, you should definately read this (http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm) speach by Feynman on Cargo Cult Science - it's from the 1974, but is still very true. It touches the most important problems regarding scientific method and the dangers of pseudoscience.

Yora
2012-03-08, 12:35 PM
And why would you need to know about all these things at an "advanced basic" level?

Kindablue
2012-03-08, 12:57 PM
There is one serious problem: academic textbooks are in most cases seriously expensive.

Yeah, if you don't want to spend a few thousand on this, you should definitely buy used books that are old enough that no professor would want to use them in class but not so old to be actually useless. Those are dirt cheap, especially if you buy them straight from the students who are just trying to get rid of them.

Ellardin
2012-03-08, 01:22 PM
Thanks for some suggestions everyone. Money is not an issue with me, I am willing to spend whatever money is required to get the gems out there. I really just want some of these books for personal interest, as many of my classes on religious studies, anthropology, sociology, and history, always go on about the objections that empirical scientists have to scholars in our field because it isn't objective enough and only a few select Naturalist scholars in my field of studies are doing the true research based on the scientific method.

However, my classes have never explored the scientific method or what methods the criticisms are being made from. In many articles I will read that X does not conform to the scientific method, but leave the discussion at just mentioning the scientific method and not explore it as it pertains to the subject matter. So in learning the scientific methods at the University level will simply broaden what I know.

Also, I really like University textbooks.

jseah
2012-03-08, 03:29 PM
Clayden, Greeves, Warren and Wothers; Organic Chemistry
Shriver and Atkins; Inorganic Chemistry
Lodish; Molecular Cell Biology


Those books I got for my first year university Natural Sciences Tripos. It's not how the books are called by publishers or on the market, but that's the names they go by here in cambridge.

Do bear in mind that those are 1st to 2nd year university level only. Past that, there's too many to learn it all.
Still, those are excellent introductory texts that give a grounding required to understand more specialized texts.

You probably want to find textbooks about current materials and methods that are being used if you want to understand actual science journals though.
It's hard to know what those guys talking about NMR, Mass Spectrometry and ligand screening actually mean if you don't know what the methods are and what they do.

EDIT:
If you want to understand the scientific method as applied, why not try a biography of some famous scientist (check to see if it mentions his thought processes and research).
Or a "history of science" kind of book that charts the progress in the last X years of some field. (eg. the book I have to read: Cowan, Sudhof, Stevens; Synapses)

Radar
2012-03-08, 04:32 PM
In such a case, the Feynman's speach I linked earlier is one of the best sources I know. The main reason is stated in it: scientific method is usualy learned by experiance and direct contact with people using it.

The main principle is simple: self-criticism and self-doubt. Always try to find and test conclusions alternative to your own. Isolate all variables in your study and try to eliminate those, you do not want to consider. Specific methods are field-dependant. In social sciences you will have to deal with problems like (among others): stating questions in a way, that won't suggest an answer, proper choice of sample group, people lying (even in anonymous polls).

If you didn't encounter game theory yet, you might want to look into it - it's a very interesting point of view on social dynamics. Unfortunately I don't know any good books on it, since "it's beyond the scope of my reaserch" (http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=749).

There's also this (http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=761). :smallwink:

Selrahc
2012-03-08, 04:52 PM
Hello, so I just have the feeling that I am lacking in University level Science textbooks and I want to expand my Library on several topics:

Are you at university? It might be an idea to just ask one of your professors if they have any recommendations. They're hopefully quite up on what good books are available at the university library.

Caesar
2012-03-08, 06:22 PM
- Science and Psychicsm
- Psychical Research: Theories, Possibilities and Debunking


Misspellings aside, if your university has actual full-on text books on these subjects, you may very well be going to the wrong university. :smallconfused:

As far as "theories of energy", just pick up a book on thermodynamics. Any book. Mathematically, they are all the same, and if you can't follow the math then words aren't going to help much as far as true understanding. However, Asimov did write quite a good series of "laymen's guide to X", one which was thermodynamics, if you are looking for an introduction to the most basic concepts.

Dr.Epic
2012-03-08, 06:23 PM
Hello, so I just have the feeling that I am lacking in University level Science textbooks and I want to expand my Library on several topics:

- The Scientific Method (Both Natural and Social, not literary theory)
- Scientific Experimentation
- Theories and procedures of Experimentation
- Research and Statistics
- Advanced Mathematics
- Philosophy of the Scientific Method
- Chemistry
- The Science of History and different cultures
- Theories of Energy
- Anatomy
- Medicine
- Science and Mythology
- Science and Mysticism
- Science and Psychicsm
- Psychical Research: Theories, Possibilities and Debunking
- Theories of the Brain, and the mind.
- Sentience

If you have any recommendations I would love to hear them. Why did you choose the work that you did? What did you like best? The worst? How accessible is it to somebody who is a fourth year Social Sciences Student that hasn't been able to take any research, methods or statistics classes?

A. Maybe narrow down the list to just 2-3 subjects. Unless you have a few thousand sitting in some bank account, college textbooks are usually expensive.

B. Some of those topics you listed sound weird, and I doubt they exist. I can't imagine finding a textbook for "Science and Mythology".

Ellardin
2012-03-08, 08:14 PM
Misspellings aside, if your university has actual full-on text books on these subjects, you may very well be going to the wrong university. :smallconfused:

I would have to respectfully disagree, I have ran into some texts such as Occult and Supernatural Phenomena by D.H Rawcliffe where psychology is used to explain the phenomena, and The Basic Experiments in Parapsychology by Rao are just interesting.

Books that explore the strange, weird, or outright bizarre opens up the mind to the possibilities that may or may not exist. Besides that area of knowledge try to approach the seemingly impossible, and perhaps it is impossible, by science. It's all very interesting regardless of the actual results.

SlyGuyMcFly
2012-03-08, 08:58 PM
Clayden, Greeves, Warren and Wothers; Organic Chemistry
Shriver and Atkins; Inorganic Chemistry

Hey! I was going to recommend those! :smallbiggrin:

Eldan
2012-03-09, 07:43 AM
As for Neuroscience, I can recommend Neuroscience by Purves, Augustine, Fitzpatrick, Hall, LaMantia McNamara and White, which I quite liked. Though it does require a bit of a background in biology.

Agent 451
2012-03-09, 02:18 PM
B. Some of those topics you listed sound weird, and I doubt they exist. I can't imagine finding a textbook for "Science and Mythology".

Depends on how far into a discipline you want to get. I know for a fact that there are textbooks that look at Archaeology and how it has been conflated with such things like the end of the Mayan calendar signaling the end of the world, Atlantis, etc., and debunks those common misconceptions (and outright fallacies).

Here's a link to the textbook. (http://www.amazon.com/Frauds-Myths-Mysteries-Pseudoscience-Archaeology/dp/076742722X)

Edit: On a different note, there is also a manga take on molecular biology. Haven't looked at it personally, but I saw it at the university bookstore the other week and this conversation reminded me of it. Link. (http://www.amazon.com/The-Manga-Guide-Molecular-Biology/dp/1593272022/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331320788&sr=1-6)

Radar
2012-03-09, 02:55 PM
Edit: On a different note, there is also a manga take on molecular biology. Haven't looked at it personally, but I saw it at the university bookstore the other week and this conversation reminded me of it. Link. (http://www.amazon.com/The-Manga-Guide-Molecular-Biology/dp/1593272022/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331320788&sr=1-6)
o_O
I have seen many oddly themed mangas, but this takes the cake.

Agent 451
2012-03-09, 03:11 PM
I've had very limited exposure to molecular biology, but flipping through the book it was hands down 100% better than my high school biology textbook. Couldn't say if it would hold up to real scrutiny though.

Dr.Epic
2012-03-09, 03:33 PM
Depends on how far into a discipline you want to get. I know for a fact that there are textbooks that look at Archaeology and how it has been conflated with such things like the end of the Mayan calendar signaling the end of the world, Atlantis, etc., and debunks those common misconceptions (and outright fallacies).

Here's a link to the textbook. (http://www.amazon.com/Frauds-Myths-Mysteries-Pseudoscience-Archaeology/dp/076742722X)

Edit: On a different note, there is also a manga take on molecular biology. Haven't looked at it personally, but I saw it at the university bookstore the other week and this conversation reminded me of it. Link. (http://www.amazon.com/The-Manga-Guide-Molecular-Biology/dp/1593272022/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331320788&sr=1-6)

Archaeology is looking at the ruins of the past and part the customs and life of those people. It kind of makes sense when studying it you'd also mention the beliefs, religions, and mythos of those people. Other subjects I'm not sure about.

Agent 451
2012-03-09, 03:55 PM
For sure it makes sense, but there is a lot that is taken out of context by the media as well as individuals who have no training or background (like any person who is part of the cast of Ancient Aliens on the History Channel).

Likewise, for the vast majority of human history there are no written records, so anything we "know" about a culture and its religion, etc., is nothing but an extension of our own beliefs and views of what we believe the material culture of a society to represent.

It isn't as bad as that within the discipline itself (anymore), but it's easy for anyone not versed in the practice of cultural relativism to just run with their own unfounded, and often Eurocentric views of past cultural practices.

Eldan
2012-03-09, 04:51 PM
Archaeology is looking at the ruins of the past and part the customs and life of those people. It kind of makes sense when studying it you'd also mention the beliefs, religions, and mythos of those people. Other subjects I'm not sure about.

Subjects such as "Commonly held misconceptions about Science X" or "Public views about science" can easily fill entire books. And you could call those modern myths. He could mean that.

jseah
2012-03-09, 07:42 PM
o_O
I have seen many oddly themed mangas, but this takes the cake.

I just bought The Manga Guide to Biochemistry. Let's see how it is when it arrives. =)

Agent 451
2012-03-09, 10:37 PM
Commonly held misconceptions about Science X

This seems relevant (http://i3.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/252/645/464.png)*.

*Please note that not all of us look at ceramic sherds, some of us look at the incredibly small marks that use leaves on the edges of stone tools... I told that cat about it in detail, you can see the result.

FireJustice
2012-03-09, 11:54 PM
Clayden, Greeves, Warren and Wothers; Organic Chemistry
Shriver and Atkins; Inorganic Chemistry
Lodish; Molecular Cell Biology



I can vouch for those too.
Also can suggets Solomons Fryle; to ORganic Chemistry (again, no the exact name, but is how people refer to it)
Hurrey; inorganic Chemistry
McQuarrie; Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (very good, and has appendix with the math)
Levine; Physical Chemistry

And all of those while complete lack info in the new trends (nanotecnology, for example). Also, some are HEAVY in math theory and statistcs.

If you want a tip, the best way to get this type of information is from papers (I hope your college has acess to the web of sciente isiknowledge.com or ip-science.thomsonreuters.com).

There you can find lots of papers from every single field of research, once you got access (access is not free, normaly the university pays for it), search for the Scientific Method and relative keywords. Specially Rewiews, Trends and Studies.