Where Business Meets Science

Science, technology, and business are intricately linked. Some universities offer degrees in both business and science. Business keeps up with new scientific developments to relay into improved products and solutions. Read on below for nine nonfiction books that report on connections between entrepreneurship in America and how scientific and technological developments become products.

But first, Since 2012, Lake Forest Reads has encouraged Lake Foresters to come together and read one book with the purpose of fostering literacy, a culture of reading, and a sense of community. Lake Forest Library and community partners present a month-long series of events and activities focusing on themes in the novel, culminating in a Meet the Author event.

Join us this October in reading Her Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict. Explore the work and discoveries of a woman on the frontlines of DNA. We encourage you to deepen your experience with the book by attending events and hosting your own book discussions. Find more information about the book and related events at LFReads.org.

They laughed at Galileo: how great inventors proved their critics wrong by Albert Jack Jack combines science with history to explore the technological development of humankind over the last millennium. Germs, wire transfers, and oil were all initially considered ridiculous. And its not just technology Jack reviews. Inventions in food, popular culture, Socrates, kitty litter, rubber, and more are each profiled.

Rosalind franklin: the dark lady of DNA by Brenda Maddox Learn about the woman behind Her Hidden Genius by Maire Benedict in this biography. Meticulously researched, Maddox leads readers through Franklin’s entire life story. Join us on October 10 at Lake Forest Library for a discussion of this title during Nonfiction at Night.

The Space Barons by Christian Davenport – Join Davenport in an adventure following Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos’ twin quests to make space the new frontier for business. Discover the development of both SpaceX and Blue Origin as they start their companies, build, and launch rockets, aim to commercialize space travel, and to put man on Mars.

The master algorithm: how the quest for the ultimate learning machine will remake our world by Pedro Domingos – Everyday, all day, we are continually, and sometimes unknowingly, surrounded by algorithms which use machine learning to give us suggestions it thinks we will like. Machine learning appears in your traffic app, a smart thermostat, yelp, a car’s fuel injection system, pandora, and more. Pick up this book if you are curious about algorithms, how they help us, all about machine learning, and how it has remade the world anew.

Experimentation works: the surprising power of business experiments by Stefan H. Thomke – Discover what a “business experiment” is, why to do them, and how they are deployed and used at many different Fortune 500 companies. Thomke is a Harvard Business Professor, and the book was published by Harvard Business Review Press.

Think like a rocket scientist by Ozan Varol – In this title, discover how to think like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk – without hearing from either. Varol divides the book into three parts – launch, accelerate, achieve. Deconstruct uncertainty and adopt “moonshot thinking”. Then, ask what if questions, flip flop, and test. Finally, learn from both failure and success and continue on into the unknown. For anyone looking for a book on pursuing success in business.

Strange Harvest: the hidden histories of seven natural objects by Edward Posnett – Posnett has achieved an interdisciplinary yet distinctly popular science work in Strange Harvest. Products covered include Eiderdown, Civet Coffee, Sea Silk, and more. Check out this book for the science but stay for the storytelling and the illuminating economic reporting.

The Big Rich by Bryan Burrough – Follow the rise and fall of four heavyweight Texas Oil families over the span of generations. “The Big Four” include Roy Cullen, Clint Murchison, H. L. Hunt, and Sid Richardson. Each were self-made men that built staggering wealth. Burrough then reveals their lasting legacies today.

Pharma: greed, lies, and the poisoning of America by Gerald Posner – Join Posner in reading a history of American pharmaceuticals. Chapter one starts out with a bang with the discovery of a superbug. Posner then retreats into the beginnings of the American pharma industry in the mid-1800s with the launch of Charles Pfizer and Company. Discover “the pill”, development of generics, AIDS, and more. It is a long read but worth it for the patient reader.