Big Ideas Reading Group

Big Ideas Reading Group photo

In early 2009, a Special Interest Group of San Francisco Regional Mensa began meeting as a reading group, with the theme of big ideas. We meet the second Saturday of the month at either of two standard meeting locations (exceptions noted).

During and post-COVID we have been meeting via Zoom. Future dates are subject to change.

All are welcome to attend. We have members from all over Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. Each book is selected by the group at least a month in advance. Members are encouraged to read the book before the meeting. The format is open discussion, with just enough moderation to assure everyone gets a fair chance to share. We try to follow these guidelines. Our book list is below. We use this email list for announcements and some discussion. We often reconvene for dinner afterward, so see the restaurants link below. Contact .


Dinner on the Deck

100th Book and 1000th [binary] Year

120th Book and 10th [decimal] Year

Inspiration to Read

Photos and More Photos


This unsolicited testimonial from Mary E. expresses it well:

I love the Big Ideas Reading Group too (even though for various reasons of life logistics that I won't go into here I have missed the last few sessions). I highly recommend it for anyone within driving distance of Cupertino (California). It is my all time favorite Mensa event. That group reads mostly great non-fiction, and I am really loving this month's book (Too big to know... by David Weinberger). Besides the books being really good (at least for my non-fiction tastes), there are always lots of interesting discussions, which in typical Mensa fashion often wonder far from the book :)

We welcome and encourage cross-participation with M-Readers, a Special Interest Group of American Mensa.

We agreed to meet again in 100 years. I propose that we thank Aubrey de Gray, reread his book, and compare his expectations to what actually happened.

  1. The Next Fifty Years: Science in the First Half of the 21st Century, edited by John Brockman
  2. Conversations on Consciousness, a collection of interviews conducted by Susan Blackmore
  3. Decoding the Universe by Charles Seife
  4. The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence, by Ray Kurzweil
  5. Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, by Daniel Dennett
  6. Unweaving the Rainbow by Richard Dawkins
  7. How We Believe by Michael Shermer
  8. Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman
  9. 12-12-2009 The Political Mind by George Lakoff
  10. 01-16-2010 Descartes Error:Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain by Antonio Damasio
  11. 02-13-2010 The Monty Hall Problem: The Remarkable Story of Math's Most Contentious Brain Teaser, by Jason Rosenhouse
  12. 03-13-2010 Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes
  13. 04-10-2010 Don't Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking, by Thomas Kida
  14. 05-08-2010 The Intelligent Universe, by James Gardner
  15. 06-12-2010 How We Decide, by Jonah Lehrer
  16. 07-10-2010 The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, by Richard Dawkins
  17. 08-14-2010 Quantum Evolution, by Johnjoe McFadden
  18. 09-11-2010 Introducing Evolutionary Psychology, by Dylan Evans and Oscar Zarate
  19. 10-09-2010 If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens... Where Is Everybody? Fifty Solutions to Fermi's Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life, by Stephen Webb
  20. 11-13-2010 Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell
  21. 12-11-2010 The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved & Why It Endures, by Nicholas Wade.
  22. 01-08-2011 Visions, by Michio Kaku
  23. 02-12-2011 Fabric of Reality, by David Deutsch
  24. 03-12-2011 (no March meeting)
  25. 04-02-2011 Godel, Escher, Bach, by Douglas Hofstadter
  26. 05-14-2011 Godel, Escher, Bach, by Douglas Hofstadter
  27. 06-11-2011 The Grand Design, by Hawking and Mlodinow
  28. 07-09-2011 Unbounding the Future: The Nanotechnology Revolution, by Drexler, Peterson, and Pegamit.
  29. 08-13-2011 Beyond AI, by J. Storrs Hall
  30. 09-10-2011 Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos, by M. Mitchell Waldrop
  31. 10-08-2011 Guesstimation: Solving the World's Problems on the Back of A Cocktail Napkin, by Lawrence Weinstein
  32. 11-12-2011 Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs that Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime, by Aubrey de Gray
  33. 12-10-2011 Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe, by Peter D. Ward & Donald Brownlee
  34. 01-14-2012 Physics for Future Presidents, by Richard Muller
  35. 02-11-2012 The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievment, by David Brooks
  36. 03-10-2012 The War of Worldviews--Science vs Spirituality, by Leonard Mlodinow with Deepak Chopra
  37. 04-14-2012 The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility. The ideas Behind the World's Slowest Computer, by Stewart Brand
  38. 05-12-2012 The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World, by David Deutsch
  39. 06-16-2012 Note date change. Truth: A Guide, by Simon Blackburn
  40. 07-14-2012 Do Not Go Gentle, Book One, Discovery [book one of three], by Mark Millstorm (Muhlestein). Mark is a member of our group. This is his new book that has just came out on Kindle. You can download a free copy of Kindle and then download the book at $0.99.
  41. 08-11-2012 Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room, by David Weinberger
  42. 09-08-2012 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, with a 2pm pre-meeting event
  43. 10-13-2012 Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World, by Lisa Randall
  44. 11-10-2012 [4pm at Kepler's Books] The Evolution of Cooperation (Revised Edition), by Robert Axelrod with forward by Richard Dawkins.
  45. 12-08-2012 The Drunkard's Walk:How Randomness Rules Our Lives, by Leonard Mlodinow.
  46. 01-12-2013 [4pm at Kepler's Books] The Perfect Swarm: The Science of Complexity in Everyday Life, by Len Fisher.
  47. 02-09-2013 Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics, by Jim Al-Halili.
  48. 03-09-2013 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future: The Ingenious Ideas That Drive Today's Computers, by John MacCormick.
  49. 04-13-2013 NOTE: The book originally scheduled has been set aside. The publisher has retracted it because of accusations of plagiarism etc. In its place, we will discuss Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain, by Michael Gazzaniga.
  50. 05-11-2013 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Models. Behaving. Badly.: Why Confusing Illusion with Reality Can Lead to Disaster, on Wall Street and in Life.
  51. 06-08-2013 The Mind--Leading Scientists Explore the Brain, Memory, Personality, and Happiness.
  52. 07-13-2013 The Future of Everything -- The Science of Prediction, by David Orrell, Ph.D
  53. 08-10-2013 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, by Leonard Mlodinow
  54. 09-14-2013 [4pm at Kepler's Books] The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos, by Brian Greene
  55. 10-12-2013 The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the Impossible, by Lance Fortnow
  56. 11-02-2013 date change and [4pm at Kepler's Books] The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, by Jonathan Haidt
  57. 12-14-2013 The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don't, by Nate Silver
  58. 01-11-2014 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Bad Science, by Ben Goldacre. We followed the discussion with a holiday celebration, a Chinese dinner.
  59. 02-08-2014 Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson.
  60. 03-15-2014 [date change and 4pm at Kepler's Books] The 4% Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality, by Richard Panek
  61. 04-12-2014 Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better, by Clive Thompson
  62. 05-10-2014 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Naked Statitistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data, by Charles Wheelan.
  63. 06-14-2014 How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed, by Ray Kurzweil
  64. 07-12-2014 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Probably Approximately Correct: Nature Algorithms for Learning and Prospering in a Complex World, by Leslie Valiant.
  65. 08-09-2014 Kinds of Minds:Toward An Understanding Of Consciousness, by Daniel C. Dennett. After the meeting, we met for dinner to celebrate 5 years of BIRG!
  66. 09-06-2014 [date change and 4pm at Kepler's Books] Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality, by Max Tegmark
  67. 10-11-2014 Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain
  68. 11-08-2014 Computing with Quantum Cats: From Colossus to Qubits, by John Gribbin. (replacing the original chice of Quantum Computing Since Democritus, by Scott Aaronson)
  69. 12-06-2014 [date change and 4pm at Kepler's Books] Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe, by Lee Smolin
  70. 01-10-2015 [4pm at Kepler's Books] The Map & The Territory, by Alan Greenspan
  71. 02-14-2015 Will You Be Alive 10 Years From Now?
  72. 03-14-2015 [4pm at Kepler's Books] The Improbability Principle
  73. 04-11-2015 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Intuition Pumps, by Daniel Dennett
  74. 05-09-2015 [4pm at Kepler's Books] How We Learn, by Benedict Carey
  75. 06-13-2015 [4pm at Kepler's Books] A Skeptics Guide to the Mind, by Robert A. Burton
  76. 07-11-2015 [3pm at Le Boulanger, followed by 6th anniversary dinner] Explaining the Computational Mind. 
  77. 08-08-2015 Entanglement, by Amir D. Aczel
  78. 09-12-2015 [4pm at Kepler's books] Quantum Computing Since Democritus, by Scott Aaronson. ... more
  79. 10-10-2015 [4pm at Kepler's books] The Island of Knowledge -- The Limits of Science and the Search for Meaning, by Marcelo Gleiser.
  80. 11-14-2015 [4pm at Kepler's books] Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, by Mary Roach.
  81. 12-12-2015 Social: Why Our Brains are Wired to Connect, by Matthew D. Leiberman, Ph.D..
  82. 01-09-2016 [3pm at Le Boulanger] Nothing: Surprising Insights Everywhere from Zero to Oblivion, by Jeremy Webb.
  83. 02-13-2016 [4pm at Kepler's Books] How-Nature-Works-Self-Organized Criticality, by Per Bak.
  84. 03-12-2016 [4pm at Kepler's Books] The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle Over General Relativity, by Prof. Pedro Ferreira.
  85. 04-09-2016 The Science of Interstellar, by Kip Thorne.
  86. 05-15-2016 The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex, by Murray Gell-Mann.
  87. 06-11-2016 Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, by Erik Brynjolfsson, and Andrew McAfee.
  88. 07-09-2016 [4pm at Kepler's Books] What Philosophy Can Do, by Gary Gutting.
  89. 08-13-2016 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Climbing Mount Improbable, by Richard Dawkins.
  90. 09-10-2016 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Spooky Action at a Distance, by George Musser.
  91. 10-08-2016 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Symmetry: A Journey into the Patterns of Nature, by Marcus du Sautoy.
  92. 11-12-2016 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Kenneth Cukier.
  93. 12-10-2016 Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie or Die, by Eric Siegel.
  94. 01-14-2017 Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gwande.
  95. 02-11-2017 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Evolution of the Social Contract, by Brian Skyrms.
  96. 03-11-2017 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics, by Richard H. Thaler.
  97. 04-08-2017 [4pm at Kepler's Books] A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down, by Robert Laughlin.
  98. 05-13-2017 Dinner on the Deck Now: The Physics of Time, by Richard A. Muller, author of Physics for Future Presidents.
  99. 06-10-2017 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Void: The Strange Physics of Nothing (Foundational Questions in Science), by James Owen.
  100. 07-15-2017 DATE CHANGE! and [4pm at Kepler's Books] The Big Picture: on the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe Itself, by Sean Carroll.
  101. 08-12-2017 Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe, by Roger Penrose.
  102. 09-09-2017 [4pm at Kepler's Books with celebratory dinner] How Not to be Wrong The Power of Mathematical Thinking, by Jordan Ellenberg.
  103. 10-14-2017 [4pm at Kepler's Books] How the Mind Works, by Steve Pinker.
  104. 11-11-2017 [4pm at Kepler's Books] The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone, by Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach.
  105. 12-09-2017 [3pm at Le Boulanger] Brainwashed: the Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience, by Sally Satel, Scott O. Lilienfeld.
  106. 01-13-2018 [3pm at Le Boulanger with Dinner on the Deck] Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas Pikkety.
  107. 02-10-2018 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Cyberspies: The Secret History of Surveillance, Hacking, and Digital Espionage, by Gordon Corera.
  108. 03-10-2018 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Language: The Cultural Tool, by Daniel L. Everett.
  109. 04-14-2018 [4pm at Kepler's Books] The Gene: An Intimate History, by Siddhartha Mukherjee.
  110. 05-12-2018 [4pm at Kepler's Books] I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and Grander View of Life, by Ed Yong.
  111. 06-09-2018 [3pm at Le Boulanger] Artificial Intelligence: What Everyone Needs to Know, by Jerry Kaplan.
  112. 07-14-2018 [3pm at Le Boulanger with Dinner on the Deck] Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future, by Johan Norberg.
  113. 08-11-2018 [4pm at Kepler's Books] The Retreat of Western Liberalism, by Edward Luce.
  114. 09-15-2018 change and [4pm 4pm at Kepler's Books] Life Unfolding: How the Human Body Creates Itself, by Jamie A. Davies.
  115. 10-13-2018 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Superintelligence, by Nick Bostrom.
  116. 11-10-2018 [4pm at Kepler's Books] A Crack in Creation, by Jennifer Doudna and Samuel Sternberg.
  117. 12-08-2018 [3pm at Le Boulanger with Dinner on the Deck] Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, by Max Tegmark.
  118. 01-12-2019 [3pm at Le Boulanger with Dinner on the Deck] The Great Unknown: Seven Journeys to the Frontiers of Science, by Marcus Du Sautoy.
  119. 02-09-2019 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, by Martin Ford.
  120. 03-09-2019 [4pm at Kepler's Books] Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, by Neil deGrasse Tyson.
  121. 04-13-2019 [4pm at Kepler's Books] The Order of Time, by Carlo Rovelli.
  122. 05-11-2019 [4pm at Kepler's Books with celebratory dinner at Black Pepper] The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting up a Generation for Failure, by Jonathon Haight & George Lukianoff
  123. 06-08-2019 [3pm at Le Boulanger with Dinner on the Deck] Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World--and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, by Hans Rosling
  124. 07-13-2019 [2pm at Le Boulanger] Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari
  125. 08-10-2019 [4pm at Kepler's Books] What Is Real?: The Unfinished Quest For the Meaning of Quantum Physics by Adam Becker
  126. 09-07-2019 [Date change and 4pm at Kepler's Books] Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain, by Antonio Damasio
  127. 10-12-2019 [4pm at Kepler's Books] The Future of Humanity: Terraforming Mars, Interstellar Travel, Immortality, and Our Destiny Beyond Earth, by Michio Kaku
  128. 11-16-2019 [Date change and 4pm at Kepler's Books] Brief Answers to the Big Questions, by Stephen Hawking
  129. 12-14-2019 [2pm at Le Boulanger with Dinner on the Deck] A Bee in a Cathedral: and 99 other Scientific Analogies, by Joel Levy
  130. 01-11-2020 [2pm at Le Boulanger with Dinner on the Deck] Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker
  131. 02-08-2020 [4pm at Kepler's Books] The Consciousness Instinct, by Michael Gazzaniga
  132. 03-28-2020 [4pm Date change and held via Zoom * because of COVID-19] The Shape of Inner Space: String Theory and the Geometry of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions, by Shing-Tung Yau
  133. 04-11-2020 [4pm held via Zoom * because of COVID-19] A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived, by Adam Rutherford and Siddhartha Mukherjee
  134. 05-09-2020 [4pm by Zoom] Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life, by Naasim Taleb
  135. 06-13-2020 [4pm by Zoom] The Math of Life and Death: 7 Mathematical Principles That Shape Our Lives, by Kit Yates
  136. 07-11-2020 [4pm by Zoom] Mathematics: A Very Short Introduction, by Timothy Gowers
  137. 08-15-2020 [4pm by Zoom] Permanent Record, by Edward Snowden
  138. 09-12-2020 [4pm by Zoom] What the Future Looks Like: Scientists Predict the Next Great Discoveries―and Reveal How Today’s Breakthroughs Are Already Shaping Our World, by Jim Al-Khalili (Editor)
  139. 10-10-2020 [4pm by Zoom] Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past, by David Reich
  140. 11-14-2020 [4pm by Zoom] Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime, by Sean Carroll
  141. 12-12-2020 [4pm by Zoom] How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, by Michael Pollan
  142. 01-09-2021 [4pm by Zoom] The Doomsday Calculation: How an Equation That Predicts the Future is Transforming Everything We Know About Life and the Universe, by William Poundstone
  143. 02-13-2021 [4pm by Zoom] Good Economics for Hard Times, by Banerjee and Duflo
  144. 03-13-2021 [4pm by Zoom] Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe, by Stephen Strogatz
  145. 04-10-2021 [4pm by Zoom] Lifespan: Why we Age -- and Why We Don’t Have To, by David A. Sinclair, Ph.D.
  146. 05-08-2021 [4pm by Zoom] Fundamentals: Ten keys to Reality, by Frank Wilczek
  147. 06-19-2021 [date change and 4pm by Zoom] Arrival of the Fittest: How Nature Innovates, by Andreas Wagner
  148. 07-10-2021 [4pm by Zoom] The Tyranny of Merit-- What’s Become of the Common Good, by Michael J. Sandal
  149. 08-14-2021 [4pm by Zoom] Livewired--The Inside Story of the Ever Changing Brain, by David Eagleman
  150. 09-11-2021 [4pm by Zoom] Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy, by Robert H. Frank
  151. 10-09-2021 [4pm by Zoom] Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life, by Zena Hitz
  152. 11-13-2021 [4pm by Zoom] The Seven Pillars of Statistical Wisdom, by Stephen M. Stigler
  153. 12-11-2021 [4pm by Zoom] Explaining Humans, by Camilla Pang
  154. 01-08-2022 [4pm by Zoom] Until the End of Time, by Brian Greene
  155. 02-12-2022 [4pm by Zoom] Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World, by Carol Bergstrom and Jevin West
  156. 03-12-2022 [4pm by Zoom] At the Edge of Time: Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe’s First Seconds, by Dan Hooper
  157. 04-09-2022 [4pm by Zoom] Successful Aging: a Neuroscientist Explores The Power and Potential of Our Lives, by Daniel J Levitin
  158. 05-14-2022 [4pm by Zoom] Human Cultures through the Scientific Lens: Essays in Evolutionary Cognitive Anthropology, by Pascal Boyer PDF
  159. 06-11-2022 [4pm by Zoom] The Science and Technology of Growing Young: An Insider's Guide to the Breakthroughs that Will Dramatically Extend Our Lifespan ... and What You Can Do Right Now, by Sergey Young
  160. 07-16-2022 [date change and 4pm by Zoom] The Myth of Artificial Intelligence: Why Computers Can’t Think the Way We Do, by Eric J. Larson
  161. 08-13-2022 [4pm by Zoom] Think Again, by Adam Grant
  162. 09-10-2022 [4pm by Zoom] Science Fictions: Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth, by Stuart Richie
  163. 10-08-2022 [4pm by Zoom] System Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong and How We Can Reboot, by Rob Reich
  164. 11-12-2022 [4pm by Zoom] A Thousand Brains A New Theory of Intelligence, by Jeff Hawkins and Richard Dawkins.
  165. 12-10-2022 [2pm by Zoom] Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain, by Shankar Vedantam and Bill Mesler
  166. 01-14-2023 [4pm by Zoom] Being You: A New Science of Consciousness, by Anil Seth
  167. 02-11-2023 [4pm by Zoom] What Is Life?: Five Great Ideas in Biology, by Paul Nurse
  168. 03-11-2023 [4pm by Zoom] Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment, by Daniel Kahneman
  169. 04-08-2023 [4pm by Zoom] A Series of Fortunate Events: Chance and the Making of the Planet, Life, and You, by Sean B. Carroll (the biologist, not the physicist Carroll)
  170. 05-13-2023 [4pm by Zoom] Existential Physics: A Scientist's Guide to Life's Biggest Questions, by Sabine Hossenfelder.
  171. 06-10-2023 [4pm by Zoom] The Biggest Ideas in the Universe, by Sean Carroll.
  172. 07-15-2023 [date change and 4pm by Zoom] Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, by Steven Pinker.
  173. 08-12-2023 [4pm by Zoom] Lessons in Stoicism: What Ancient Philosophers Teach Us about How to Live, by John Sellars.
  174. 09-09-2023 [4pm by Zoom] The End of the World is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization, by Peter Zeihan.
  175. 10-14-2023 [4pm by Zoom] Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn't, and Why It Matters, by Steven E. Koonin.
  176. 11-11-2023 [4pm by Zoom] The Blank Slate, by Stephen Pinker.
  177. 12-16-2023 [date change and 4pm by Zoom] A Brief History of Equality, by Thomas Piketty.
  178. 01-13-2024 [4pm by Zoom] What We Owe the Future, by MacAskill.
  179. 02-10-2024 [4pm by Zoom] Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters, by Steve Pinker.
  180. 03-09-2024 [4pm by Zoom] The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find our Place in the Universe, by Jeremy Lent.
  181. 04-13-2024 [4pm by Zoom] An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us, by Ed Yong.
  182. 05-11-2024 [4pm by Zoom] How The World Really Works: The Science Behind How We Got Here and Where We Are Going, by Vaclav Smil.
  183. 06-08-2024 [4pm by Zoom] Size: How It Explains the World, by Vaclav Smil.
  184. 07-13-2024 [4pm by Zoom] The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect, by Judea Pearl and Dana Mackenzie.
  185. 08-10-2024 NOTE: [4pm by Zoom?] Third Millennium Thinking: Creating Sense in a World of Nonsense, by Saul Perlmutter, John Campbell, et al.
  186. 09-14-2024 NOTE: [4pm by Zoom?] Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problems of Philosophy, by David J. Chalmers.
  187. 10-12-2024 NOTE: [4pm by Zoom?] On the Origin of Time: Stephen Hawking’s Final Theory, by Thomas Hertog.
  188. 11-09-2024 NOTE: [4pm by Zoom?] A Field Guide to Lies, by Daniel J. Levitin.
  189. 12-14-2024 NOTE: [4pm by Zoom?] I’ve Been Thinking, by Daniel Dennett.
  190. 01-11-2025 NOTE: [4pm by Zoom?] Determined: A Science of Life without Free Will, by Robert M. Sapolsky
  191. 02-08-2025 NOTE: [4pm by Zoom?] A Brief History of Intelligence: Evolution, AI, and the Five Breakthroughs That Made Our Brains, by Max Bennett.
  192. 03-08-2025 NOTE: [4pm by Zoom?] Quanta and Fields: The Biggest Ideas in the Universe, by Sean Carroll.
  193. 04-12-2025 NOTE: [4pm by Zoom?] The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, by Walter Isaacson.

* Zoom meeting details sent via the email list.

An expanded book list has a brief description of some of the books. This bookshelf has the candidates for our next round of reading.

Big Ideas Reading Group photo