The most recommended books about methodology

Who picked these books? Meet our 58 experts.

58 authors created a book list connected to methodology, and here are their favorite methodology books.
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Book cover of The Cancer Code

Brandon LaGreca Author Of Cancer, Stress & Mindset: Focusing the Mind to Empower Healing and Resilience

From my list on to read after a cancer diagnosis.

Who am I?

I was 32 when diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. As a clinician, and now cancer survivor, I’ve become increasingly focused on empowering cancer patients through and beyond remission. Nearly two decades of clinical practice have taught me that an informed and committed patient makes better decisions about their care, harmoniously interfaces with their healthcare team, and stays focused on living a healthy lifestyle. I’ve read countless books about cancer, but this list outlines the essentials that I recommend to patients beginning their healing journey.

Brandon's book list on to read after a cancer diagnosis

Brandon LaGreca Why did Brandon love this book?

After a cancer diagnosis, it is natural to wonder what causes cancer. Our understanding of cancer etiology continues to evolve as the science of genetics deepens. The Cancer Code reviews this research in laymen’s terms such that each reader can construct a narrative about what factors may have contributed to their illness. A successful cancer patient is an informed cancer patient, navigating the system with an appreciation for why some standard of care therapies are more effective than others. This book allowed me to look under the hood of cancer in a way that guided my decisions before and after remission.

By Jason Fung,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cancer Code as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Author of the international bestsellers The Diabetes Code and The Obesity Code Dr. Jason Fung returns with an eye-opening biography of cancer in which he offers a radical new paradigm for understanding cancer-and issues a call to action for reducing risk moving forward.

Our understanding of cancer is slowly undergoing a revolution, allowing for the development of more effective treatments. For the first time ever, the death rate from cancer is showing a steady decline . . . but the "War on Cancer" has hardly been won.

In The Cancer Code, Dr. Jason Fung offers a revolutionary new understanding of…


Book cover of Big Dead Place: Inside the Strange and Menacing World of Antarctica

Ashley Shelby Author Of South Pole Station

From my list on the coldest place on earth.

Who am I?

I’m a Minnesotan, so I thought I was a cold-weather badass, but it wasn’t until my younger sister winter-overed at South Pole Station in the early 2000s that I realized that Minnesota is a balmy paradise compared with the ice chip at the bottom of the earth. Her adventures at 90 South inspired my interest in Antarctica, the history of how humans interact with extreme and dangerous natural environments, and the social dynamics of a community trying to survive in the most remote location on the planet. That interest grew so intense that I ended up spending four years researching and then writing a novel set on the seventh continent—South Pole Station.

Ashley's book list on the coldest place on earth

Ashley Shelby Why did Ashley love this book?

There is no book that better captures the unique human culture present at modern Antarctic research stations than the late Nicholas Johnson’s Big Dead Place, a frank, funny as hell, and at times savage chronicle of a year working support at McMurdo Station. Like my sister, who winter-overed at South Pole Station, Johnson worked in the galley, but it was the bureaucratic nonsense, present even at the farthest reaches of human civilization, that caught his incomparable eye for absurdity.

As I wrote South Pole Station, Johnson’s wry, searingly intelligent voice was always in my mind. To me, he is the epitome of the non-scientist drawn to the world’s most unforgiving workplace: a wry, brilliant journeyman whose humor had a razor-sharp edge but who cared deeply for the work he did and the people with whom he did it. This is my favorite book about Antarctica.

By Nicholas Johnson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Big Dead Place as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Johnson’s savagely funny [book] is a grunt’s-eye view of fear and loathing, arrogance and insanity in a dysfunctional, dystopian closed community. It’s like M*A*S*H on ice, a bleak, black comedy.”—The Times of London


Book cover of The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History

Jeremy Adamson Author Of Minding the Machines: Building and Leading Data Science and Analytics Teams

From Jeremy's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Consultant Instructor Strategist Futurist Optimist

Jeremy's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Jeremy Adamson Why did Jeremy love this book?

Popular social science books, at least the ones I have the chops to attempt, are either bromides that abrogate personal responsibility or childishly scandalous. Zipping back too far takes you to phrenology and social Darwinism. 

This is a unique attempt to explain social ills based on animalistic compulsions that draws on other work in history, psychology, zoology, and sociology. It’s as eclectic and cross-disciplinary as the author, who hopped from music publishing to public relations to writing.

By Howard Bloom,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Lucifer Principle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Lucifer Principle is a revolutionary work that explores the intricate relationships among genetics, human behavior, and culture to put forth the thesis that “evil” is a by-product of nature’s strategies for creation and that it is woven into our most basic biological fabric.

In a sweeping narrative that moves lucidly among sophisticated scientific disciplines and covers the entire span of the earth’s, as well as mankind’s, history, Howard Bloom challenges some of our most popular scientific assumptions. Drawing on evidence from studies of the most primitive organisms to those on ants, apes, and humankind, the author makes a persuasive…


Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World

By Sharman Apt Russell,

Book cover of Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World

Sharman Apt Russell Author Of Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Explorer Runner Mother

Sharman's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Citizen Scientist begins with this extraordinary statement by the Keeper of Entomology at the London Museum of Natural History, “Study any obscure insect for a week and you will then know more than anyone else on the planet.”

As the author chases the obscure Western red-bellied tiger beetle across New Mexico, where she lives, she explores a dozen other citizen science programs with lyrical prose, humor, and a profound sense of connection to place. Diary of a Citizen Scientist celebrates a renewed optimism in the mysteries of the world and a renewed faith in how ordinary people can contribute to science and environmental activism.

Diary of a Citizen Scientist: Chasing Tiger Beetles and Other New Ways of Engaging the World

By Sharman Apt Russell,

What is this book about?

A critically acclaimed nature writer explores the citizen scientist movement through the lens of entomological field research in the American Southwest.

Award-winning nature writer Sharman Apt Russell felt pressed by the current environmental crisis to pick up her pen yet again. Encouraged by the phenomenon of citizen science, she decided to turn her attention to the Western red-bellied tiger beetle, an insect found widely around the world and near her home in the Gila River Valley of New Mexico.

In a lyrical, often humorous voice, Russell shares her journey across a wild, rural landscape tracking this little-known species, an insect…


Book cover of The Scientific Method: An Evolution of Thinking from Darwin to Dewey

Richard Farr Author Of You Are Here: A User's Guide to the Universe

From my list on how science actually works… or doesn’t.

Who am I?

I was once an academic philosopher, but I found it too glamorous and well-paid so I became a novelist and private intellectual mentor instead. I wrote You Are Here because I love what science knows, but an interest in how science knows drew me into the philosophy of science, where a puzzle lurks. Scientists claim that the essence of their craft is captured in a 17th Century formula, “the scientific method”... and in a 20th Century litmus test, “falsifiability.” Philosophers claim that these two ideas are (a) both nonsense and (b) in any case mutually contradictory. So what’s going on? 

Richard's book list on how science actually works… or doesn’t

Richard Farr Why did Richard love this book?

Where and why did the modern idea of “the scientific method” show up? The somewhat disturbing answer is that it emerged from highly rhetorical attempts—mainly in one U.S. pop sci magazine in the early twentieth century—to distance wonderful “science” (in its modern sense, which was invented in the 1870s) from anything merely humanistic. The details of this hidden history leave you with the vertiginous sense that the very words we use in this areascience, rational, evidence, know—constitute a kind of fog of evidence-free non-rational assumptions.

By Henry M. Cowles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Scientific Method as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The surprising history of the scientific method-from an evolutionary account of thinking to a simple set of steps-and the rise of psychology in the nineteenth century.

The idea of a single scientific method, shared across specialties and teachable to ten-year-olds, is just over a hundred years old. For centuries prior, science had meant a kind of knowledge, made from facts gathered through direct observation or deduced from first principles. But during the nineteenth century, science came to mean something else: a way of thinking.

The Scientific Method tells the story of how this approach took hold in laboratories, the field,…


Book cover of The Design of Experiments in Neuroscience

Geoff Cumming Author Of Introduction to the New Statistics: Estimation, Open Science, and Beyond

From my list on open science better research with better statistics.

Who am I?

I gradually shifted my statistics teaching from significance testing—traditional, but bamboozling—to estimation (confidence intervals). I became passionate about advocating this shift. I called estimation ‘the new statistics’ because, although not new, relying on it would, for many researchers, be very new. It’s more informative, makes sense, and is a pleasure to teach and use. I ‘retired’ to write Understanding the New Statistics (2012). That was influential, so I started writing an intro version. Open Science arrived and I realised estimation is exactly what Open Science needs. Robert Calin-Jageman joined me, we developed my draft to include Open Science, and published Introduction to the New Statistics (2017). Enjoy!

Geoff's book list on open science better research with better statistics

Geoff Cumming Why did Geoff love this book?

Another research design textbook, this one more specifically about neuroscience. My co-author, neuroscientist Robert Calin-Jageman, highly recommends it. This third edition has clear and up-to-date discussions of issues such as p hacking and publication bias that emphasise the need for Open Science. There’s a focus on effect sizes and confidence intervals, as in the new statistics. The book also describes strategies needed to enhance the rigor and reproducibility of neuroscience research.

By Mary E. Harrington,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Design of Experiments in Neuroscience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Using engaging prose, Mary E. Harrington introduces neuroscience students to the principles of scientific research including selecting a topic, designing an experiment, analyzing data, and presenting research. This new third edition updates and clarifies the book's wealth of examples while maintaining the clear and effective practical advice of the previous editions. New and expanded topics in this edition include techniques such as optogenetics and conditional transgenes as well as a discussion of rigor and reproducibility in neuroscience research. Extended coverage of descriptive and inferential statistics arms readers with the analytical tools needed to interpret data. Throughout, practical guidelines are provided…


Book cover of Scientific Elite: Nobel Laureates in the United States

K. Brad Wray Author Of Kuhn's Intellectual Path: Charting The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

From my list on science studies.

Who am I?

In Denmark, I teach at the Center for Videnskabsstudier. “Videnskabsstudier” is often translated as Science Studies. It thus connotes a rather broad field, which includes philosophical, historical, and sociological studies of science. And the notion of “videnskab”, which is frequently translated as science is interpreted rather broadly, to include, in addition to the natural science, the social sciences, and the humanities, indeed, basically any field one might study at a university. In fact, my own research intersects with and is influenced by research in all these fields.

K.'s book list on science studies

K. Brad Wray Why did K. love this book?

Zuckerman provides a comprehensive study of the American scientists who won Nobel prizes between 1907 and 1972.

The book provides a window into the personalities of the people doing Nobel prize-winning research, as well as the sort of environments in which they were socialized and educated. Nobel laureates have tended to study and work with other Laureates or future Laureates. She also discusses the impact that winning a Nobel prize has on scientists, and the effects of the prize are not wholly positive.

The book also demonstrates the potential power of sociological analyses. Zuckerman creatively combines interview data with quantitative analyses. I think Zuckerman’s books are a fantastic example of how to conduct empirical research in sociology and the social sciences more generally.

By Harriet Zuckerman (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Scientific Elite as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Scientific Elite is about Nobel prize winners and the well-defined stratification system in twentieth-century science. It tracks the careers of all American laureates who won prizes from 1907 until 1972, examining the complex interplay of merit and privilege at each stage of their scientific lives and the creation of the ultra-elite in science.

The study draws on biographical and bibliographical data on laureates who did their prize-winning research in the United States, and on detailed interviews with forty-one of the fifty-six laureates living in the United States at the time the study was done. Zuckerman finds laureates being successively advantaged…


Book cover of Abominable Science! Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids

Benjamin Radford Author Of Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction and Folklore

From my list on (real-life) monsters.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by monsters. Growing up I saw television shows and read books about famous ones like Bigfoot and Nessie, and always wanted to search for them and discover the truth. That led me to a degree in psychology to learn about human cognition and perception, and a career in folklore to understand how legends and rumors spread. But I also wanted field experience, and spent time at Loch Ness, in Canadian woods said to house Sasquatch, to the Amazon, Sahara, and the jungles of Central America looking for the chupacabra. Along the way became an author, writing books including Tracking the Chupacabra, Lake Monster Mysteries, Big—If True, and Investigating Ghosts

Benjamin's book list on (real-life) monsters

Benjamin Radford Why did Benjamin love this book?

Like Jay Smith’s book, Loxton and Prothero dig deep into the world’s most famous monsters, and help separate fact from fiction.

Everyone has seen the famous 1967 film clip of a Bigfoot—but do you know the story behind it?  From sea serpents to the Loch Ness monster and modern-day dinosaur reports, Abominable Science applies science and critical thinking to the mysteries. Even better, the book includes a very useful discussion on the field of cryptozoology—the search for hidden (and possibly mythical) creatures.

I have personally investigated many of these monsters—including in the field—and learned a lot from this book. Though they take a scientific and skeptical approach, they advocate for taking the topic seriously and doing good research. A fascinating and indispensable book for any monster lover. 

By Daniel Loxton, Donald R. Prothero,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Abominable Science! Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Throughout our history, humans have been captivated by mythic beasts and legendary creatures. Tales of Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness monster are part of our collective experience. Now comes a book from two dedicated investigators that explores and elucidates the fascinating world of cryptozoology. Daniel Loxton and Donald R. Prothero have written an entertaining, educational, and definitive text on cryptids, presenting the arguments both for and against their existence and systematically challenging the pseudoscience that perpetuates their myths. After examining the nature of science and pseudoscience and their relation to cryptozoology, Loxton and Prothero take on Bigfoot; the…


Book cover of Making the Social World: The Structure of Human Civilization

Geoff Mulgan Author Of Big Mind: How Collective Intelligence Can Change Our World

From my list on how societies think.

Who am I?

I’ve worked top-down with dozens of governments worldwide and bottom-up with many campaigns, start-ups, and social enterprises. I realised that the connecting thread is how to mobilise shared intelligence to address the big challenges like cutting carbon emissions or reducing inequality, and how to avoid the collective stupidity we all see around us. We waste so much of the insight and creativity that sits in peoples’ heads. I thought we were missing both good theory and enough practical methods to make the most of technologies – from the Internet to generative AI – that could help us. I hope that my book – and the work I do – provides some of the answers.

Geoff's book list on how societies think

Geoff Mulgan Why did Geoff love this book?

This is a philosopher's take on many similar issues, exploring how our social world is made through imagination and fictions which we then choose, collectively to believe in. 

He is a very clear and crisp writer which helps.  He looks at the constructed reality of money, property, governments, marriages, stock markets, and cocktail parties and the paradox that these only exist because we think they exist, yet they then have an objective existence.

By John Searle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Making the Social World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The renowned philosopher John Searle reveals the fundamental nature of social reality. What kinds of things are money, property, governments, nations, marriages, cocktail parties, and football games? Searle explains the key role played by language in the creation, constitution, and maintenance of social reality.
We make statements about social facts that are completely objective, for example: Barack Obama is President of the United States, the piece of paper in my hand is a twenty-dollar bill, I got married in London, etc. And yet these facts only exist because we think they exist. How is it possible that we can have…


Book cover of Research Methods in Psychology: Evaluating a World of Information

Geoff Cumming Author Of Introduction to the New Statistics: Estimation, Open Science, and Beyond

From my list on open science better research with better statistics.

Who am I?

I gradually shifted my statistics teaching from significance testing—traditional, but bamboozling—to estimation (confidence intervals). I became passionate about advocating this shift. I called estimation ‘the new statistics’ because, although not new, relying on it would, for many researchers, be very new. It’s more informative, makes sense, and is a pleasure to teach and use. I ‘retired’ to write Understanding the New Statistics (2012). That was influential, so I started writing an intro version. Open Science arrived and I realised estimation is exactly what Open Science needs. Robert Calin-Jageman joined me, we developed my draft to include Open Science, and published Introduction to the New Statistics (2017). Enjoy!

Geoff's book list on open science better research with better statistics

Geoff Cumming Why did Geoff love this book?

Yes, this is a textbook but, if you are seeking a research design and methods text for psychology or a related discipline, this is easily my top choice. There are lots of references to topical stories to keep everything relevant for students. There’s a truckload of valuable stuff online to support both teachers and learners. This fourth edition is right up-to-the-moment, Chapter 3 especially so, as it explains three types of scientific claims, and four types of validity that researchers should aim to achieve. That may sound forbidding, but Morling’s examples and explanations are pleasingly accessible.  

By Beth Morling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Research Methods in Psychology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Featuring an emphasis on future consumers of psychological research and examples drawn from popular media, Research Methods in Psychology: Evaluating a World of Information develops students' critical-thinking skills as they evaluate information in their everyday lives. The Fourth Edition of this best-selling text takes learning to a new level for both consumers and producers by offering new content, interactive learning, and online assessment to help them master the concepts.


Book cover of Zoobiquity: The Astonishing Connection Between Human and Animal Health

Lixing Sun Author Of The Liars of Nature and the Nature of Liars: Cheating and Deception in the Living World

From my list on science in behavior and evolution.

Who am I?

I am a biologist specialized in animal behavior and evolution. I write science nonfictions about behavior, evolution, and human nature for the general, intelligent audience. An avid reader myself, I “consume” at least a hundred books a year (mostly nonfictions but occasionally fictions when I have some leisure time) with a wide range of topics including science, nature, technology, psychology, economics, social justice, philosophy, and history. My favorite science books are those with new ideas and insights, an impeccable scientific rigor, and a strong, accessible, and concise writing style

Lixing's book list on science in behavior and evolution

Lixing Sun Why did Lixing love this book?

Diseases are frequently handled as though they are just "out of the condition" and considered as such.

This frequently results in a superficial understanding of the underlying causes of the disorders. In an effort to explore the problem from an evolutionary standpoint, Zoobiquity takes readers to many diseases occurring in both animals and humans, showing their shared roots.

It's an eye-opener for readers who aren't familiar with evolutionary medicine with a clear implication for how we can tackle human diseases more effectively.

By Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, Kathryn Bowers,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Zoobiquity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A revelatory depiction of what animals can teach us about the human body and mind, exploring how animal and human commonality can be used to diagnose, treat, and heal patients of all species.

"Full of fascinating stories.” —Atul Gawande, M.D.

Do animals overeat? Get breast cancer? Have fainting spells? Inspired by an eye-opening consultation at the Los Angeles Zoo, which revealed that a monkey experienced the same symptoms of heart failure as human patients, cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz embarked upon a project that would reshape how she practiced medicine.

Beginning with the above questions, she began informally researching every affliction that…