Bill Gates shared his favorite books on science, all non-fiction titles. Though his recommendations include an explanatory reading and three non-technical textbooks, Gates emphasized their accessibility and how these deep dives have helped him gain a basic understanding of science.
Gates also recommended more recent books on science and climate, including Eula Biss' On Immunity, which critically analyzes the medical establishment, and Elizabeth Kolbert's Under a White Sky, which examines human impact on climate change.
Physical Geology: Exploring the Earth, by James S. Monroe, Reed Wicander and Richard Hazlett examines what lies above and below it. A college-level read adorned with cute captions, the majority of the book is devoted to concepts such as various types of rocks, plate tectonics, glaciers, and erosion.
Planet Earth, by John Renton, helps the reader see the world differently, writes Gates. Planet Earth accompanies a series of video lessons titled Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology and, like every other title mentioned in this article, is available to rent or purchase.
Weather for Dummies, by John D. Cox, is a book full of illustrations and home experiments that helped Gates understand how climate change affects the weather. The atmosphere: An Introduction to Meteorology, by Frederick K. Lutgens, Edward Tarbuck and Redina Herman, first published in 1979 and now in its 14th edition, according to Gates this book is a meteorological classic covering everything from fire to rain.
The Atmosphere is a non-technical read on all things meteorology. It deals with what causes the earth's surface to warm and cool, and draws a link between the atmosphere and climate change. "After decades of maniacally focusing on software, I finally had the time to deepen my knowledge in physics, chemistry, biology and other sciences, which would help me in my work on health, education and change climate," wrote Bill Gates on his blog.
Gates has released a list of his four favorite climate titles, culled from the pile of books he read when he began to fight climate change through the foundation he co-chairs with his ex-wife, Melinda French Gates. Gates also founded Breakthrough Energy, a firm that supports startups and other businesses with a goal of net zero emissions.