Science Writer Mary Roach
Photo by Jen Siska
Exploratorium Osher Fellow • March - April 2017
Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal - The alimentary canal -- the much-maligned tube from the mouth to rear -- is as taboo, in its way, as the cadavers in Stiff, and as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. In Gulp, we meet the scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks —or has the courage —to ask. How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Why doesn't the stomach digest itself? Can wine tasters really tell a $10 bottle from a $100 bottle? Why is crunchy food so appealing? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis? We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. Like all of Roach's books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void - Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can't walk for a year? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a spacewalk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 4,000 miles per hour? To answer these questions, space agencies set up all manner of quizzical and startlingly bizarre space simulations -- making it possible to preview space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA's new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Packing for Mars takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.
Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife - Spook is about all manner of enterprising, brave, occasionally peculiar people -- from doctors to sheep ranchers -- who have tried to use science to pin down that most floaty question, What happens when we die? Can we prove there's a soul or an afterlife?
- Product Type: Adult Science Book