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Will Mozart Make My Baby Smart?

Andrew Whitehouse, UWA Publishing, $27.99

Few areas attract myths like pregnancy and early child-rearing. From being able to tell the sex of a child to techniques to boost fertility or claims about what it takes to produce model offspring, everyone has heard a rumour. Professor Andrew Whitehouse of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research tackles 13 beliefs, such as the effect of mobile phones on sperm, the behavioural impact of sugar and the idea that pregnant women can’t focus.

The Curious Country

Leigh Dayton (ed), ANU Press, $40.00

With a foreword by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, The Curious Country is a response to a survey Chubb commissioned about the science questions Australians wished to see explained. Health and climate issues topped the list, followed by the latest space research. Leading Australian scientists provide chapters on the backgrounds to these issues with references to relevant peer-reviewed papers. The Curious Country is also available online for free via ANU press.

The Dynamics of Disaster

Susan W. Kieffer, Norton, $32.95

We make the mistake, geologist Prof Susan Kieffer argues, of treating natural disasters as outliers. In fact they will always be part of our lives as long as we choose to build our cities on...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.