Drugs, geeks and fitness

While I’ve been writing my own book, Deceived Wisdom, I’m afraid I’ve not had an awful lot of time to read and review the various science books that have been piling up on my desk. So, here’s a quick round-up based on the publisher descriptions of those in my reading queue.

Drugs Without the Hot Air (9781906860165): David Nutt – From health to family to society, Nutt offers a science-based perspective on drug use and abuse. He applies the same objective criteria to legal and illegal substances and argues that legality is not a clear measure of harm, some illegal drugs are far less hazardous and detrimental to individuals and society than legal drugs, such as alcohol. Nutt takes on questions of ranking drugs for true harms, whether addiction is curable and how the so-called war on drugs may have serious unintended consequences for the wellbeing of our children.

Geek Nation: How Indian Science is Taking Over the World (9781444710168): Angela Saini – One in six employed scientists with science or engineering doctorates in the U.S. is Asian, and by the turn of the millennium, there were claims that a third of all engineers in Silicon Valley were of Indian origin, with Indians running 750 of its tech companies. In this entertaining exploration of India’s rise as a centre of scientific excellence, Angela Saini delves inside the psyche of the nation’s science-hungry citizens, curious, colourful characters who easily square spirituality with being "geeks."

Amazon.com: Fitness for Geeks: Real Science, Great Nutrition, and Good Health (9781449399894): Bruce W. Perry – Fitness For Geeks is designed to appeal to a broad audience of techies and other engineers, athletes, gym rats, adventurers, in short anyone with a scuffed-up muddy pair of running or cycling shoes (or bare feet) who wants to take a cerebral approach to health. The "measure mantra" is a useful concept for people seeking fitness ("what gets measured gets managed and fixed"), and now you have the software, gear, and companion book to do it.