Cracking the Digital Ceiling: Women in Computing Around the World, Carol Frieze and Jeria L. Quesenberry, eds., Cambridge U. Press, 2019. $29.99 (paper)

Cracking the Digital Ceiling addresses the stereotype that women are intellectually inferior in the field of computer science. Editors Carol Frieze and Jeria Quesenberry collected perspectives from experts across the globe to show how culture and social constructions shape people’s view of women’s capabilities. For example, the chapter on education in Israel reports that women face strong work–family conflicts that men do not. Women in different cultures and countries face that problem too, and other factors, including unbalanced institutional support and the culture of startup companies, also affect their participation. The editors argue that the problem’s complexity precludes simple solutions: Local and global remedies will need to be implemented in tandem so more women are welcomed into the field of computer science. —al

The Little Book of Cosmology, Lyman Page, Princeton U. Press, 2020. $19.95

At just 152 pages, including appendixes and the index, The Little Book of Cosmology covers a lot of ground in a relatively short space. Aimed at readers with some knowledge of physics concepts, the primer starts off with a few basics about the cosmos, including the size and age of the universe, and then moves to such topics as its composition and evolution, the cosmic microwave background, matter and dark matter, and the cosmological constant. All those components come into play in a chapter on the standard model of Big Bang cosmology. The author, observational cosmologist Lyman Page, tops off the discussion with some intriguing questions yet to be answered, such as whether the cosmological constant is really constant. —cc

Spacefarers: How Humans Will Settle the Moon, Mars, and Beyond, Christopher Wanjek, Harvard U. Press, 2020. $29.95

Although Earth has its share of extreme environments—for example, Antarctica and the top of Mount Everest—its warmth, water, atmosphere, magnetosphere, and gravity make it the best place in the solar system for humans to live. So why leave? asks science journalist Christopher Wanjek. In Spacefarers, Wanjek provides a thought-provoking discussion of the history of the space program, the pros and cons of space travel, and the economic, physical, and biological issues involved. Chapters about living on the Moon, Mars, and other solar objects serve as launching points to discuss current and future technologies and missions and what setting up camp on those worlds would entail. —cc

Time to Eat the Dogs: A Podcast About Science, History, and Exploration, Michael Robinson, 2019–present

Historian Michael Robinson hosts this program to tell stories about science and exploration under extreme conditions and in remote locations. Robinson and his guests cover a remarkable cross section of history of science and recent scientific findings. Historian Paige Madison visited the podcast in February to talk about the discovery of Homo floresiensis fossils in the Liang Bua cave in Indonesia. Robinson also has a gift for highlighting interesting new books; in January, for example, historian Kim Walker told listeners about Just the Tonic: A Natural History of Tonic Water, a book she wrote with Mark Nesbitt. Episodes are released weekly and are roughly 30 minutes in length. —mb

The Crowd and the Cosmos: Adventures in the Zooniverse, Chris Lintott, Oxford U. Press, 2019. $24.95

The vast amount of data that needs to be crunched is a challenge for researchers. The citizen-science initiative Zooniverse harnesses large numbers of people to analyze that data. Chris Lintott, an astrophysicist and the principal investigator behind the initiative, describes in his new book The Crowd and the Cosmos the various scientific achievements those curious people have helped make possible. Examples include cataloging craters on the Moon, transcribing written weather observations from historical ship logs, and hunting for supernovae in telescope images. You can participate in the latest projects at —al

The Art of Electronics: The x Chapters, Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill, Cambridge U. Press, 2020. $59.99

This companion to The Art of Electronics (3rd edition, 2015) covers, as the authors put it, material that is “advanced, important, novel, or just plain fun” but that is not in a typical electronics course. Topics include switches and relays, bipolarity current mirrors, low-voltage switching, and fast LED pulsers—to name just a few. Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill recommend the book to professors, students, and dedicated self-taught electronics enthusiasts. —mb

Rocket Science: From Fireworks to the Photon Drive, Mark Denny and Alan McFadzean, Springer, 2019. $29.99 (paper)

Explaining rocket science doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may sound. In their book Rocket Science, physicists Mark Denny and Alan McFadzean cover the field’s history from the introduction of fireworks to more recent space efforts of NASA, SpaceX, and Blue Origin. With jargon kept to a minimum, the authors describe how modern satellites and spacecraft get to space and navigate once they’re there and how engineers bring them back to Earth. Because the book is aimed at both laypeople and scientists, the mathematical derivations are in the appendix for interested readers. —al