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Emil V. Nilsson, PhD, is a science popularizer, working at the museum Biotopia in Uppsala. He’s blogging for Swedish science magazine Forskning och framsteg and was a jury member in the Swedish book price Augustpriset in the non-fiction category 2010.

If you tolerate this then your children will be next

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth KolbertIn 1844, the last remaining living pair of great auks – the "penguins of the north", as they have been called – were killed by three local fishermen on the small skerry Eldey, off the coast of Iceland. The skins were sold to collectors. Some two hundred years earlier, no one could have foreseen their extinction. In fact, the very existence of the extinction of species was heavily debated at the time.

On the origin of the non-fictional masterpiece


The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth GilbertI don't get it. For some time now I’ve been working on a non-fiction book on the discoveries behind Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace’s theory of evolution.

The Natural History of Zombies

How to Make a Zombie by Frank SwainZombies have eaten their way into our brains. From the halloween party at your neighbour's to the plots of major Hollywood features, they've become part of our culture.

Everybody dies of something

Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live by Marlene ZukI recently wrote a blog post criticizing how evolution was used in very peculiar way. In an opinion piece, two Swedish academics claimed that we should eat the kind of diet that our bodies “were adapted to” – said to be the time when our distant relatives were hunters and gatherers.

Will Storr, The Heretics – adventures with the enemies of science

Will Storr The Heretics – adventures with the enemies of scienceMost of us with a scientific background consider ourselves to be rational, critical thinkers. Then again, most of us like to be flattered.

Neil Shubin – The Universe Within

The story of life and the universe can be mesmerizing. In his book The Universe Within Neil Shubin illustrates the history of the universe – all 13.7 billion years of it – by means of the much shorter history of scientific discovery of it. As parameters for a work of popular science go, they don't come much bigger. But Shubin succeeds brilliantly in meshing the shorter narrative with the great one: how 13.7 billion years of history have formed and fine-tuned ourselves and all living things.

The Universe Within by Neil ShubinYour Inner Fish by Neil Shubin

For the love of dinosaurs

My Beloved Brontosaurus - Brian SwitekMany of us remember a childhood obsession with dinosaurs. Sooner or later, most of us grow out of it – but some never do. Something for which the rest of us should be grateful, because amazing discoveries have been made for the love of dinosaurs.

Mr. Zimmer’s gut feeling

Carl Zimmer - Microcosm How well do you know yourself? Did you know that your body contains ten times more bacterial cells than its own cells? We are used to having the story of life told to us from a human perspective.