For those of us without the grey matter, patience or Nature subscription to get our science news from primary sources, popular science books are an intellectual lifeline.
As a very average zoology graduate from Liverpool University, I was clicked back onto the wonder of science by Wonderful Life: Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, Stephen Jay Gould's book about the fossils of the Burgess Shale. My shelves now groan with the weight of popular science books and good-looking well-written books like these are absolutely vital in the cultural fight to prove that scientists are not the Einstein-alikes or evil world destroying megalomaniacs so beloved of Hollywood's clichéd screenwrtiting groupthink.
One of science writers on my radar (through my membership of the writers' colony Litopia) is the prolific Brian Clegg. He has done his bit to spread the pop-sci word through his site Popular Science. This site has done the biological thing and reproduced,its offspring being a discussion forum for popular science books, which is here. It's new, it's worthy and I hope Beagle Project supporters will get stuck in. For those of us looking through the bars, good popular science books are a must.