Banned Books Week 2016
Banned Book Week was launched in 1982 in order to bring attention to a surge of challenges that schools, bookstores and libraries were getting. The purpose is to highlight the value of free and open access to information and the freedom to read. The American Library Association (ALA) reports that between 2000 and 2009, 5,099 challenges were made. According to the ALA, “A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported. We estimate that for every reported challenge, four or five remain unreported.”
New books are added every year – and some never make it off the list (Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird are two examples). Many of the banned books are novels, but a number of science books have also been challenged.
Here are a few of the many books related to Engineering and Science that have been banned at one time or another:
- Any writing or discussion demonstrating the heliocentric nature of the universe was banned in 17th Century Europe.
- Writings by physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei were banned and he was charged and convicted of heresy by the Inquisition in 1632 for writing, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems.
- Books and teaching materials on Darwinian evolution theory, including The Illustrated Origin of Species by Charles Darwin were banned in schools in Tennessee following the Butler Act of 1925.
- The Menifee School District in California banned Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. It was banned for having definitions that were too explicit.
- The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments, written in 1960 by Robert Brent and illustrated by Harry Lazarus was banned in the United States for being too accurate in its scientific initiative.
- Books and materials on Mendelian genetics have been banned from publication in Soviet-era USSR
If you are interested in exploring Leonardo da Vinci’s engineering works, check out Doing da Vinci. Four builders and engineers attempt to build never-before-constructed inventions! da Vinci’s armored tank, siege ladder, self-propelled carts and even a machine gun are featured on this 2-disc set! Will his creations actually work? Doing da Vinci will show you!
Banned Books Week. 2016. Thunderclap, Inc. Date Accessed: Sept. 2016
Banned Books Week. 2014. Cornell University.
Banned Books in the Sciences. 2016. Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University.
Gelilei, Galileo, translated by Stillman Drake. 2967. Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems, Ptolemaic & Copernican. Berkeley : University of California Press. Main Library QB41 .G1356 1967
Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. 1993. Springfield, Mass : Merriam Webster. Hardin Library for Health Sciences PE 1628 W4M4 1993
Why Diverse Books are Commonly Banned. Sept. 21, 2016 by Maggie Jacoby. Banned Books Week.
Scholz, Matthias Paul. 2007. Advanced NXT : the da Vinci inventions book. Berkeley, CA : Apress : New York : Distributed by Springer-Verlag. Engineering Library TJ211.15 .S36 2007
Letze, Otto, editor. 1997. Leonardo da Vinci : scientist, inventor, artist. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany : Verlag Gerd Hatje : New York, NY : Distribution Art Publishers. Engineering Library N6923.L33 A4 1997
D’Onofrio, Mauro, Burigana, Carlo, editors. 2009. Question of modern cosmology : Galileo’s legacy. Berlin : Springer. Engineering Library QB981 .Q47 2009
Naess, Atle. 2005. Galileo Galilei, when the world stood still. Berlin : New York : Springer. Engineering Library QB36.C2 N2413 2005
Brasier, M.D. 2009. Darwin’s lost world : the hidden history of animal life. Oxford, NY : Oxford University Press. Engineering Library QE653 .B736 2009