Everyone is searching for suggestions to develop his/her aptitudes and skills in a particular field. Such an exchange increases our passion and creates a wide network of collaborators!
These are a few of my preferred books and web content, which inspired me and gave me the opportunity to develop some good ideas.
Let me know your feedback about them!
The fossil hunter. Dinosaurs, evolution, and the woman whose discoveries changed the World by Shelley Emling
This is the biography of Mary Anning, the famous and, at the same time, the unknown woman that discovered the first Plesiosaurus (and many more within the sediments of the Jurassic Coast (southern U.K.). Her extraordinary life is described with personal details and in a time where men were the only people allowed to have a real career, her scientific discoveries allowed her to reach the likes of George Cuvier, Richard Owen and Louis Agassiz. Absolutely to read!
Discovering Dorothea by Karolyn Shindler
This is the story of an insatiable person who dedicated her life to studying fossils from the Mediterranean islands and the Middle East. Dozens of new species are named after her; even though she discovered, described, and provide taxidermized specimens of extant and extinct species to many European museums, information about her life are still spotted among her field notes and official papers.
The map that changed the World by Simon Winchester
This is the biography of William Smith, the father of Geology. The book is one of the most detailed and fascinating descriptions of the life of a man that dealt with so many scientific, social and cultural problems, and gave so much to modern science, that everyone should know something about his challenges.
T. rex and the Crater of Doom, by Walter Alvarez
This is not the best book I ever read, but I have to admit that it opens a historical and retrospective window to one of the most outstanding discoveries of the last century, i.e. the concept that dinosaurs extinction is in fact related to a dramatic impact (catastrophism) of a meteor at Chicxulub.
He started to think about the K-Pg boundary (Cretaceous-Paleogene) in Italy, close to the town of Gubbio, and he met a young Isabella Premoli Silva, a great paleontologist (retired) at the University of Milan (Italy).
W. Alvarez defines geologists and paleontologists as historians of the Earth, a definition particularly fascinating for anybody who wants to approach this research field!
Lucy, the origin of humankind by Donald Johanson and Maitland Edey
The discovery of Australophitecus afarensis, friendly named Lucy, and of the hard work that preceded and after this extraordinary skeleton!
Nelson Mandela, long walk to freedom! by Nelson Mandela
What’s about resilience? What is an ideal dream? What are you for your Country, your people, for the humanity? These are few and simple questions that drive you to read this autobiography of Mandela, or Madiba. He has worked hard to affirm his ideas, with humility and determination, lost his time and his private life, and finally, something had changed….for everyone, all around the world.
Madame Curie. A biography by Eve Curie
This is an extraordinary story of a young woman who starts her adventure in her early ages as part of the Polish “intelligentzia” under the Russian oppression, then move to Paris at the Sorbonne, following a dream about learning science, and ending with the highest scientific recognition of two Nobel Prizes. She spent her entire life inquiring about chemical properties of matters, discovering polonium and radium, and radioactivity. As Natalie Angie wrote in her introduction: “…every accomplishment [in her life] must be preceded by amplifiers like ‘the first’ and ‘the only'”.
This book is particularly special because written by her daughter, Eve. As a consequence, it discloses Marie’s personal life, her family, her trouble with living expenses, her infinite love for Pierre, etc., giving a real and complete idea of what makes a woman in science unique.