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Book Reviews

Russell, Nicholas. Communicating Science : Professional, Popular, Literary. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. (Engineering/Architecture: Q223 .R87 2010)

Communicating Science is aimed at science graduates and post-graduates who are told they have a duty to improve their professional communication and to undertake science popularization. This work first began for post-graduate Science communication students in London, but the author has expanded the material "to show that the analysis of science communications relevant to all students interested in the relations between science and wider culture." One third of the book discusses professional writing in history and context; while the rest of the book explores science in media, science fiction and drama. A good example of science communications run amuck is detailed in Chapter 6 - one public understanding outreach initiative in Europe was christened PUS (Public Understanding of Science) and then regenerated as Public Engagement with Science and Technology (PEST).

~ Kim Hoffman, Coordinator of Science Libraries


Goff, John Eric. Gold Medal Physics : the Science of Sports. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, c2010. (Physics Library: GV558 .G64 2010)

Sports and physics are presented as if a media broadcast - pre-game and post-game chapters begin and end the book. Segments (chapters) like "Soccer kicks gone bananas : off-center kicking and the magnus force" remind us that there is a sport (and a science) for every reader!

~ Kim Hoffman, Coordinator of Science Libraries


Orzel, Chad. How to Teach Physics to Your Dog. New York: Scribner, c2009. (Physics Library: QC24.5 .O79 2009)

Chad Orzel's book is a treat that his German Shepard-mix dog Emmy appreciates - as the royalties from the book pay for Emmy's treats! From the New Scientist Blog - CultureLab: Where Books, Arts and Science Collide... "don't let Orzel's laid back nature or clever sense of humor fool you - he is explaining some pretty serious stuff. A level-headed and confident guide, he takes Emmy (and the reader) through everything from wave-particle duality and superpositions to quantum tunneling and the so-called "many worlds" interpretation ('many worlds, many treats')".

~ Kim Hoffman, Coordinator of Science Libraries


Rosswurm, Steve. The FBI and the Catholic Church, 1935-1962. Amherst and Boston: The University of Massachusetts Press, 2009. (available through CLS)

Steve Rosswurm, a professor of history at Lake Forest College in Illinois, is to be congratulated for his dogged pursuit of secret Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) files, as well as other sources in church and labor archives, including the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives at The Catholic University of America, to produce this book. He tells the story of the bitter struggle against Communism waged by an alliance between the FBI under their longtime and controversial head, J. Edgar Hoover, and various bishops, priests, and Lay Catholics of the pre Vatican Council II Church. Notable Catholics include Edward Tamm, the number three man in the FBI; Pittsburgh labor priest, Msgr. Charles Own Rice; a Jesuit informer named Edward A. Conway; and Father John F. Cronin, who worked for the Social Action Department of the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC). Although Rosswurm provides an overall linking text, the six chapters are relatively self contained, reflecting their development as academic papers and/or articles over the past two decades as his research and thinking evolved regarding the various fronts on which this conflict raged. These venues ranged from the halls of government and academia to the print and airwaves of the media and beyond to the Church pews and fields and factories of labor. His essential argument is that both the FBI and the Church were defensively minded, backward looking institutions fighting against a very real, dangerous, and traitorous enemy. Some will question Professor Rosswurm's arguments, but not the lively way he makes them, or the impressive sources he cites.

~ William John Shepherd, Associate Archivist

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