Note: I have been studying, and been so busy, I have had no time to update the blog. I'm very sorry for this, and I'll try my best not to forget this blog (and you all readers!). Please bear with me, and try to refrain from hateful comments ;).
Note 2: I'm experimenting with fonts. Do you like Trebuchet more than Georgia?
Update: This discussion has gone far beyond the original post... be sure to check the comments.
Most of the books on science in the market (besides textbooks of different levels) fall roughly into two types: Those dealing with life care and health, and those dealing with important but esoteric issues in science and it's philosophy. But if you search some non-science bookshelf, there are thousands of books on Astrology, Vaastu and whatnot: the stuff generally dubbed pseudoscience. But those books sell: and for a reason. They are well-written, easy to understand, and apply to the lives of common citizens.
Look into an astrology book, and you'll see many references to stars and planets. A glance at a Reiki, Feng-Shui, or any such book has numerous references to "energy flow". This misleads the reader into thinking that what she is reading is science, or related to it. Why? Haven't people learnt real science in schools? Why can't they tell the "energy" of physics and the "energy" of Feng-Shui apart?
The problem, most would contend, lies in the education system. Whatever science we learn at school from dull, drab textbooks is often forgotten by everyone except a few nerds who aren't good at anything else. We need to "rev" up the texts, and make the courses a lot more interesting, practical. That certainly is true: the education system (here) does need an overhaul. But that isn't the whole problem. If I were asked now about the biology I learnt in school, I wouldn't be able to answer even a few easy questions. It's not my fault: the textbooks may have been interesting; they weren't so to me. Then, how do you make people interested in science?
The first question, of course, is why people ought to be interested in science. Because science is much more closely related to their lives than the stars, planets, or their karma: science is not just about fundamentals: it is about technology and applications. Every appliance in the house has a technology behind it, and people can learn to use it better only if they know it. Science isn't just concerned with galaxies and atoms: it is concerned with how to make the next toaster better, how to make a buildings resistant to fires, and why you should wear rubber boots when dealing with electricity. The "effects of electricity on our lives" are much greater than those of Saturn: every modern device needs a power plug.
However, there aren't many "common science" books in the libraries. Shelves are filled with astrology, but finding one book on electricity for the common man (as opposed to the schoolkid or the professional) would be a tiresome endevour.
Biology, which is the science closest to us, fortunately does have a number of books for the common person: from health to plant care. Physics is less fortunate: gravity is known, but not it's law; energy is a much-used word, but it's presice meaning and limitations are not well-known. Chemistry is even worse-off, although it has applications from cleaning to cooking.
I am not talking about the fundamentals of science, or even the philosophy. For the curious, there are some books in why science works. For the very curious, there is a myriad of books on science: from DNA to Cosmology, from Quantum consciousness to Evolution. These are interesting in their own because they deal with real mysteries, stuff that can fascinate everyone who has wondered about our origins or asked "why?" But these give the impression that science is an esoteric endevour. Why do so many people choose to believe in ghosts, karma and "chi"? Because there is a lack of scientific temper, and awareness of real science. This is what I think books on "common science" can provide.