The main event
On October 19 there's an event at Imperial College London where we will vote for the "best science book ever" (see Royal Institution link in the sidebar).
OK, we don't expect the verdict on the night to go down in history. The point is to have the conversation. Examples of what is good, with arguments why, might add up to something. At least, we'll have a list of books to supplement Ian McEwan's science canon.
On the night, we will hear from Tim Radford, Maggie McDonald and Armand Leroi, who will explain why they chose their top three, and argue for their favourite.
They've read lots, but two of them have already got their list down to three titles - and their nominations will be highlighted here. I hope they may add some near misses, too.
Anyone else who wants to mention a particular title, please do - maybe with a few words about why it is worthy, or unworthy. The RI is also polling some of the scientifically inclined literati to see what they think, which ought to be fun.
If we get to 100 titles at some point, I might even feel a book proposal coming on (though nobody wanted to play last time I tried that one).
If we don't the list should certainly remind people about some writers who have fallen beneath the radar since the pop-science publishing boom took off in the '80s. Loren Eiseley, anyone?