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Popular Science Collection: Home

UC San Diego Library's Popular Science Collection

On the 2nd floor of the West Wing in the Geisel Library Building, the Popular Science (PopSci) Collection houses many of our popular and general-interest science books. Rather than scatter them throughout the collection, we have shelved them together to provide a richer browsing and discovery experience.

There are more than 500 titles in the collection, all available for faculty, staff, graduate students, undergraduates to check out. You can also browse the latest books added to the collection and what has been ordered.

If you have questions about this collection or guide, contact Teri Vogel

For purchase suggestions, please use our purchase recommendation form and indicate you are recommending this for the Popular Science Collection.

The New Books list and rotating book covers on this page will give you an idea of what to find in this collection. We limit ordering to books published in the last 2-3 years. Topics include, but aren't restricted to the list below. Books that don't fit in this collection may still be good candidates for the regular collection. 

  • Current and/or "hot" topics: space exploration, climate change, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, robotics, big data. biotechnology, renewable energy, etc.
  • Science and popular culture
  • Futurism, forecasting
  • Underrepresented groups in STEM 
  • Anthologies of science essays (Best of...)
  • Biographies and science history, including graphic novels
  • Science trivia
  • Puzzles and brain-twisters
  • Science and politics
  • Science literacy
  • Historical, philosophical or sociological aspects of science
The Exceptions: Nancy Hopkins, MIT, and the Fight for Women in Science
Vitamin C: A 500-Year Scientific Biography from Scurvy to Pseudoscience
A History of the World Through Body Parts: The Stories Behind the Organs, Appendages, Digits, and the Like Attached to (or Detached from) Famous Bodies
Fire and Flood: A People's History of Climate Change, from 1979 to the Present
Altered Earth: Getting the Anthropocene Right
The Rise and Reign of the Mammals: A New History, from the Shadow of the Dinosaurs to Us
What's Gotten Into You: The Story of Your Body's Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night's Dinner
A Hacker's Mind: How the Powerful Bend Society's Rules, and How to Bend them Back
When the Sahara Was Green: How Our Greatest Desert Came to Be
Do Not Erase: Mathematicians and Their Chalkboards
Quantum Steampunk: The Physics of Yesterday's Tomorrow
The Devil's Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance
The Blue Revolution: Hunting, Harvesting, and Farming Seafood in the Information Age
_Surviving Extinction Together
The Inside Story
We Are Electric: Inside the 200-Year Hunt for Our Body's Bioelectric Code, and What the Future Holds
How Data Happened: A History from the Age of Reason to the Age of Algorithms
The Darkness Manifesto: On Light Pollution, Night Ecology, and the Ancient Rhythms that Sustain Life
Planta Sapiens: The New Science of Plant Intelligence
_A Short History of What We Live By
Travels with Trilobites: Adventures in the Paleozoic
Quantum Field Theory, As Simply As Possible
Alien Listening: Voyager's Golden Record and Music from Earth
Back to the Moon: The Next Giant Leap for Humankind
The Book of Minds: How to Understand Ourselves and Other Beings, from Animals to AI to Aliens
The New Guys: The Historic Class of Astronauts That Broke Barriers and Changed the Face of Space Travel
Singular Creatures: Robots, Rights, and the Politics of Posthumanism
Ghost Particle: In Search of the Elusive and Mysterious Neutrino
Beyond Measure: The Hidden History of Measurement from Cubits to Quantum Constants
Superspy Science: Science, Death and Tech in the World of James Bond
Mathematical Intelligence: A Story of Human Superiority Over Machines
The Matter of Everything: How Curiosity, Physics, and Improbable Experiments Changed the World
The Skeptics' Guide to the Future: What Yesterday's Science and Science Fiction Tell Us About the World of Tomorrow
Equity for Women in Science: Dismantling Systemic Barriers to Advancement
The Curious History of the Heart: A Cultural and Scientific Journey
Noise : a flaw in human judgment
Twice as Hard: The Stories of Black Women Who Fought to Become Physicians, from the Civil War to the 21st Century



Elementary!: Puzzles for the Chemically Curious and the Periodically Perplexed



Everyday Chemicals: Understanding the Risks