Richard Muller's Physics for Future Presidents and its sequel Energy for Future Presidents are both really good books, even if you're not planning to be president. Each one explains the key scientific ideas behind a pressing everyday issue in a way designed to help people make informed decisions. They're everything good science popularization should be.
After discovering how many kids in my daughter's school aren't vaccinated because their parents have bought into fashionable yuppie angst about autism, I'd really like a book called Public Health for Future Presidents (see also this tweet), but more than that, I'd like someone to write a book called Politics for Current Physicists. I'd like someone to do the reverse of what Muller did and tell scientists how politics in specific, and public discourse in general, actually work.
I've said in many talks that the only things that will get us through the next century are more science and more courage. I've realized recently that being right and being brave aren't enough: you have to be persuasive as well. All too often, I think scientists fail to have influence because they just don't understand how. If someone would like to help fix that, I'd be the first to buy a copy.comments powered by Disqus