Emeritus Professor Anwar Mall, University of Cape Town

In an age of accelerated scientific progress it has become imperative to bring news of science to the public . Whilst we are fed daily by the media with news of amazing scientific achievements, such as the recent composite picture of a black hole 55 million light years away, a considerable opposition to scientific activity in many quarters remains . The writer Ian McEwan praised the parallel stream of literature in the popular science genre that makes science accessible to all . Richard Dawkins questions the absence of any nomination of popular science writers for the Nobel Prize in literature . This course will cover five books that deal with topical issues in the areas of psychology, neuroscience, gene editing, the energy implications of life to be sustained and black holes.



  1. Introduction and overview of course: The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt
  2. What the neurosciences say about free will: Who’s in Charge? by Michael S . Gazzaniga
  3. Energy implications for life to be sustained: A Crack in Creation by Jennifer Doudna and Samuel Sternberg
  4. Gene editing: The Vital Question by Nick Lane
  5. Black holes: Black Holes by John Taylor


Recommended reading 

Haidt, Jonathan. 2012. The Righteous Mind. Penguin books

Gazzaniga, Michael S.  2011. Who’s in charge? Harper Collins

Doudna, Jennifer and Samuel Sternberg. 2017.  A crack in creation. Penguin.

Lane, Nick. 2015. The Vital Question. Profile Books Ltd. 

Taylor, John. 1973. Black Holes. Souvenir Press.



Date: 13–17 January 
Time: 3.00 pm
COURSE FEES Full R590 Staff & Students R295
Venue: Classroom 2B Kramer Law Building UCT