All the dissemination on the list are, in addition to interesting, tremendously fun or entertaining (the list of the most intellectually stimulating, such as Edward O. Wilson, Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, Sam Kean or Daniel Dennett for another day). Everyone that I am going to mention now has gotten me to love science more and that my eyes widen before the sense of the majority, without giving up the fun. I know that I will never reach his master’s degree, but at least I know what my goal is. They. Here they go:
- Bill Bryson
This will be the only character that repeats in my two lists, both in this one, of disseminators, and in the one I made about travelers, because Bryson writes about all kinds of subjects, and in all of them he does it with a competition and a sense of humor that, between surprise and surprise, I had to stop reading to let out a laugh.
I would like Bill Bryson to be my grandfather and sit next to him every night to explain any occurrence to the heat of the fire. And I myself, if I become a grandfather in slippers, I would like to look like Bill Bryson, with that air of Santa Claus swelling and infinitely erudite. You can read my enthusiastic reviews about some of his books, such as A brief history of almost everything, On the antipodes, or at home.
- Natalie Angier
The first disseminator who got me to fall in love platonically with her is, without a doubt, Natalie Angier. Because it is very sharp, intelligent, capable of bashing sentences marked by so many pop references that I get the impression of attending a speech by Gilmore Girls or any series by Aaron Sorkin. Angier also knows how to talk about everything. No discipline resists him. For me as if he tells me his last day of shopping at the supermarket.
- Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan was not characterized by the humorous spark of the aforementioned authors, but his way of narrating, close, open, frank, empathic and deeply passionate, is so endearing that I can not help placing it on this list. Sagan is usually the author with whom many lose their virginity in scientific dissemination (I made it, with his The world and his demons, the bedside book of any pro skeptic).
Sagan has inspired me since, as a child, I watched fascinated his Cosmos series. I always thought: Why are my teachers not like him? Then came other deeper books, but equally affordable, such as Broca’s Brain or Billions. Sometimes I tried to imitate, with more or less fortunate, his pedagogical style, as you can read in this replica that I poured on how science is the most reliable way to accumulate knowledge.
- Bee Wilson
Again we met another informant who gave me the same impressions as Natalie Angier: basically, that her brain was wired by spirits that covered all possible knowledge to present them with the ease and ingenuity of screenwriters like Diablo Cody. Not surprisingly, Bee Wilson is uniquely mixing a theme such as cooking and gastronomy with all other scientific disciplines. You can read my review of his book The importance of the fork
- Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell may be blamed for presenting ideas that are perhaps too risky or with insufficient scientific support, which season his books with such suggestive storytelling that he is able to sneak in some tracks without us noticing. However, his texts are so full of brilliant and revolutionary ideas that it is worth accepting that our discriminating sieve will pass up some inconvenient data. You have my reviews of The key to success or Intuitive Intelligence.
- Ken Jennings
Jenning is a good-natured, good-natured guy who has a privileged brain that keeps accumulating seemingly useless data. Jenning pours all that information in her books and gets us to feel that the world is a much weirder place than we thought. For now, Jennings has gotten into the world of travel on a map on the head and childcare with a Handbook for fussy parents, although I have no doubt that he will do so in many other worlds.
- Richard Wiseman
It happens a little like Malcolm Gladwell who, in order to surprise us and repair, sometimes slips dangerously through pseudoscience. However, Wiseman is able to explain the rarest and fun experiments and research in the world. A seemingly trivial knowledge, such as that which arises as a result of the Ig Nobels, but that could finally help us to improve our understanding of the world. Can you read my review of Rarology or is this paranormal?
- John Lloyd
Here we have another curious data hoarder from around the world, assisted by a good team of documentary filmmakers, which presents all the morass of surprising information under a very British mood. Not surprisingly, John Lloyd has a special connection with Monty Python, Hugh Laurie, Mr. Bean, Stephen Fry, a plethora of English comedians who, in addition, has always had a strong bond with knowledge. My review of The Little Big Book of Ignorance.
- Steven Johnson
For knowing how to mix popular culture and science like no other, Steven Johnson is entertaining. Imagine a book that vindicates video games, television, reality shows, role-playing games and all those things that say they are bad for our brain as the main causes of people massively becoming smarter than ever (according to how we define intelligence, of course). This is Steven Johnson: although you do not agree with his thesis, his books are full of valuable information on all kinds of topics, and not only freaks, such as those presented in Trash Culture, washed brains, but also issues of great importance, as Good ideas or Mind wide open.
In that sense, Matt Ridley has always seemed to be the twin brother of Steven Johnson, at the informative level, and I also recommend what makes us human or Genome.
- Julian Baggini
For knowing how to hybridize philosophy, science, and popular culture. Which is not easy given the arid nature of philosophy (and also because its usefulness is at stake). You can read my review of the pig that wanted to be ham.
Finally, I cannot avoid referring to another disseminator who has done the same for mathematics, another discipline that, like philosophy, has hung the arid and fruitless sanbenito: mathematics. I am referring to John Allen Paulo’s, for knowing how to pair, and even make a tasty Macedonian, of subjects as seemingly discrepant as the mathematics and news of a newspaper. You can read my review of the Praise of Irreligion.