Announcing Our 2021-2022 Science Catalog

Letter from the editor:

Thank you for picking up the Columbia University Press science catalog and for supporting our mission to share scientific knowledge. As we live through a second  year of this pandemic, I’ve found a lot of comfort and meaning in publishing books that inspire and delight general readers, help educate students, and advance specialized knowledge. I’m grateful for our dedicated authors, peer reviewers, and other supporters who’ve faced great hurdles to doing this important work. Please allow me to highlight some of what they’ve accomplished.


It is, of course, an honor to publish a new memoir by Columbia neuroscientist Eric Kandel. There Is Life After the Nobel Prize reveals his further contributions to science after receiving the Nobel Prize. 

Also in neuroscience, we have Stephanie D. Preston’s The Altruistic Urge, which argues that evolution gave us, and other caregiving mam- mals, a built-in need to help the vulnerable. She offers a new model for understanding situations that trigger that urge-or don’t.

For pain sufferers and others looking for a better understanding of what physically hurts us, The Brain and Pain by Columbia expert Richard Ambron offers sorely needed scientific explanations of how the brain processes pain and of research-backed remedies, including both meditation and med- ication.

Also in the life sciences, it’s a joy to publish on the subjects of nature, natural history, and paleontology. Chimpanzee Memoirs collects stories and insights from a group of researchers whose careers have grown in parallel with the founding of primatology as a field, including Jane Goodall and Frans de Waal, as well as a newer generation of scientists from around the world who study the lives of chimpanzees.

Looking back in time just a little-a few hundred million years or so-we’re excited to present a new book on trilobites from one of the foremost private collectors in the world. Travels with Trilobites is a journey through some of the best fossil-hunting locations, fossil shows, natural history museums, and more. And it’s filled with hundreds of exclusive color photos, some of which show species that have never been seen before by the public.

Lastly, for enthusiasts of all career stages who want to become paleontologists when they grow up, Roy Plotnick’s Explorers of Deep Time is an indispensable portrait of this extraordinary field and its wide range of practitioners and career paths.

In the earth sciences, we’re pleased to publish three new titles in our Earth Institute Sustainability Primers series: Climate Change Science, Sustainable Food Production, and Managing Environmental Conflict. Also increasingly relevant is Gonzalo Lizarralde’s Unnatural Disasters, which reveals which kinds of responses to climate change actually work, which don’t, and how the lives of real people are affected.

Thank you for reading.

Miranda Martin, editor, Physical and Life Sciences

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