Our top picks of non-fiction literary and digital contents

Published: December 20, 2021

by the Science & Policy Exchange (SPE) Blog Team

The SPE editorial team has compiled some of our favourite non-fiction reads, shows, and other digital contents to indulge during your well-deserved work-from-home breaks and for the upcoming holidays. Whether your curiosity lies with food science, the environment or emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence: we got you covered!

Please feel free to write to us to discuss our selection or share some of your personal favourites!

Health

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

“A book that made me question not only the food I eat but how I eat it (in what setting, with who, at what pace). It mostly discusses the Western diet, but also compares it to other types of diet, especially concerning chronic diseases.”

TED Talks: The link between health and racism

“From this TED Talk playlists, I was introduced to many challenges regarding the wellbeing of all.’’

GMO Sapiens: The Life-Changing Science of Designer Babies by Paul Knoepfler

“This book provides a comprehensive scientific explanation on a very controversial topic in layman’s terms, thus making it a good introductory book on human genome editing”.

How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body by David R. Hamilton

“An interesting take on how placebo can affect your body. It talks about how neuroplasticity and positive thinking can have subtle effects on your body health. Definitely food for thought.”

Environment

National Geographic: One Strange Rock

“This docuseries allowed me to take a step back and renew my appreciation for nature.’’

Carbon by Kate Ervine

“What I love about this book is that it portrays Carbon’s political dimensions and touches on climate justice, global inequality, and Carbon’s political economy”

A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency by Seth Klein

“This book inspired me because it shows a realistic and step-by-step account of how we can change our politics, economy, and society to tackle the greatest challenge of our generation.”

All We Can Save edited by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson

“Amazing collection of essays and poems on climate change written by women leading the climate movement.”

Technology

AI Superpowers by Kai-Fu Lee

“This book helped me understand how unprecedented developments in AI might impact the economy, society, and us as individuals.”

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

“Enlightening and triggering: this book made me very aware of how the economy is capitalizing on our behaviours and psychology to reinforce the powerful and wealthy.”

Philosophy

The 48 laws of Power by Robert Greene

“This is a very interesting philosophical book because it is up to the reader to decide the morality of the book. Although I personally would not digest these teachings as a way of living, I appreciate the brutal honesty of real-world realities. The take-home message for me is to understand the intricate thoughts of some people and identify these tactics in real-life scenarios.”