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A new world of physics books

PW books podcast

Physics World podcasters. Left to right: Margaret Harris, James Dacey, Matin Durrani

By James Dacey

“What I have to say about this book can be found inside the book,” was Einstein’s reply to a New York Times reporter’s request for a comment on his book, The Evolution of Physics.

But books, from my experience, have always had the power to raise questions that can stay with you, sometimes for years after finishing the final page.

In a new move at Physics World we are venturing deep into the world of books by creating a series of podcasts devoted to physics books and the issues they cover. These programmes will uncover the stories behind the stories, as we’ll be discussing some of the books recently reviewed in Physics World. And hopefully some of the authors will be a bit more forthcoming than Einstein and we’ll hear them discuss their books. I’ll be presenting the shows alongside Physics World‘s editor Matin Durrani and the magazine’s reviews editor Margaret Harris.

On Friday we went into a studio at the University of Bristol to record our first podcast, a snapshot of which you can see in the photo above. The books we discussed in this debut programme all raised some interesting questions around the theme of “women in science”. The titles we discussed were the following:

Discoverers of the Universe: William and Caroline Herschel by Michael Hoskin
Science Secrets: the Truth About Darwin’s Finches, Einstein’s Wife and Other Myths by Alberto Martinez
Soft Matter: the Stuff that Dreams are Made Of by Roberto Piazza

The programme will be available by mid-October and it will also contain an interview with feminist historian Julie Des Jardins about her book, The Madame Curie Complex. Keep your eyes on this website for this podcast, which will be available to listen to or download by mid-October. And, don’t forget that in the meantime you can continue to read book reviews each month in Physics World and on

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