British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, who served as Oxford University’s professor ‘for public understanding of science’ until 2008, is one of our most frequently recommended authors on Five Books (see our expert interviews below). Rising to public prominence with his book, The Selfish Gene, he is now as well known for his public advocacy of atheism, also a very popular subject on Five Books.
Books by Richard Dawkins
Interviews where books by Richard Dawkins were recommended
The Selfish Gene
by Richard Dawkins
Not by Genes Alone: How Culture Transformed Human Evolution
by Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd
Guns, Germs and Steel
by Jared Diamond
The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire
by Joyce Marcus & Kent Flannery
The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition
by Michael Tomasello
What role did culture play in human evolution? Why did human brains get so big so quickly? When and why did inequality first emerge in human society? Harvard professor and author Joe Henrich picks some of the best books for understanding ‘cultural evolution.’
The professor of quantum information theory at Oxford tells us about books that successfully popularise quantum physics and the science of complex systems. Look, no equations!
The science writer and award-winning blogger Carl Zimmer discusses the strangeness of life, from viruses to manipulative flatworms
Science is the only way to make sense of the world around us and the scientific method the only way to establish truth, says Peter Atkins, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at the University of Oxford. Author of several chemistry textbooks as well as many popular science books, he recommends books that track the evolution of our understanding about the world around us, starting with an anthology of sacred texts and ending with Shakespeare.
Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne tells us why Darwin is still essential reading and sifts the vast amount of more recent writing on evolution for books that are both inspiring to scientists and accessible to general readers. He picks the best books on evolution.
Biology professor—and Catholic—Kenneth Miller tells us what we should read to understand the battle being fought between scientists and creationists.
Former magician and internationally renowned debunker of paranormal claims James Randi sharpens his knives against proponents of flim-flam, pseudoscience and the so-called paranormal – and tells us where the creator of Sherlock Holmes went badly wrong. He selects the best books on scepticism for Five Books.
The Science Correspondent for the Uk’s Channel 4 discusses the magical allure of science. He chooses five great books on subjects ranging from genetics to natural history and astro-physics
The main reason for the survival of religion is not a desire to live a better life, but our fear of death, says atheist author and independent scholar Susan Jacoby. Here she recommends five books she considers essential to “understanding the merits of atheism.”
Many of us have developed a new fascination for viruses and virology during the global COVID-19 crisis. Here, Dorothy Crawford, professor of medical microbiology and the author of Viruses: A Very Short Introduction, selects five of the best books on viruses for the general reader.