The editors of Seed select the year’s outstanding books

Goodbye to 2008 with one last list:


Autism's False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure
By Paul A. Offit (Columbia University Press)
In a perfect world, the public's knowledge would mirror the scientific consensus. In Autism's False Prophets, vaccine expert Offit dissects how shady lawyers, suspect science, self-interested politicians, and equivocating journalists have derailed this hope, convincing millions that vaccines cause autism even as the scientific community has proven the theory false. More than a book about a disease, it is an ode to uncorrupted science and a cautionary tale that data alone is never enough. Buy

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
By Mary Roach (W.W. Norton)
There are many humorous science books. There are not many hilarious science books. With Bonk, a review of science's study of sexual behavior, Mary Roach has written a volume so viscerally funny, it's easy to overlook how obsessively she researched her subject. But Roach's tales of a day with pig inseminators, a hands-on experience with penile implants, and a romp under an ultrasound machine serve as not-so-subtle reminders of her commitment to writing the first-ever comprehensive book on sex research. Buy

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