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Valentine's Day resources for science lovers

A brief guide of science resources related to Valentine's Day.


Botany of Desire (cream color cover)
1st ed. New York : Random House, c2001.
Green Library » Stacks » QK46.5 .H85 P66 2001
"Focusing on the human relationship with plants, Michael Pollan uses botany to explore four basic human desires, sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control, through portraits of four plants that embody them, the apple, tulip, marijuana, and potato." Also in Paperback and DVD.
Chemistry of Fragrances
2nd ed. Cambridge, UK : RSC Pub., c2006.
Science Library (Li and Ma) » Stacks » TP983 .C535 2006
"Ever wondered how perfumes are developed? Or why different scents appeal to different people? This book offers answers to these questions, providing a fascinating insight into the perfume industry, from the conception of an idea to the finished product. It discusses the technical, artistic and commercial challenges of the perfume industry in an informative and engaging style, with contributions from leading experts in the field."
Chocolate : history, culture, and heritage
Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley, c2009.
Green Library » Stacks » TX767 .C5 C46365 2009
"Chocolate. We all love it, but how much do we really know about it? In addition to pleasing palates since ancient times, chocolate has played an integral role in culture, society, religion, medicine, and economic development across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe. "
Chocolate Science and Technology
Second edition.
Stanford Libraries » Online resource » eResource
"This second edition provides information on recent advances in the science and technology of chocolate manufacture and the entire international cocoa industry. It provides detailed review on a wide range of topics including cocoa production, cocoa and chocolate manufacturing operations, sensory perception of chocolate quality, flavour release and perception, sugar replacement and alternative sweetening solutions in chocolate production, industrial manufacture of sugar-free chocolates as well as the nutrition and health benefits of cocoa and chocolate consumption."
Evolution's Rainbow
Tenth Anniversary Edition /
Science Library (Li and Ma) » Stacks » QH541.15 .B56 R68 2013
"In this innovative celebration of diversity and affirmation of individuality in animals and humans, Roughgarden challenges accepted wisdom about gender identity and sexual orientation. A distinguished evolutionary biologist, she leads the reader through a fascinating discussion of diversity in gender and sexuality among fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals, including primates. This book explains how this diversity develops from the action of genes and hormones and how people come to differ from each other in all aspects of body and behavior."
Happy Brain
First edition.
Marine Biology Library (Miller) » Popular science » QP376 .B87217 2018
"The pursuit of happiness is one of the most common and enduring quests of human life. It's what drives us to get a job, fall in love, watch stand-up comedy, go to therapy, have questionable obsessions, and come home at the end of the day. But where does happiness come from, and why do we need it so much? Is lasting, permanent happiness possible-or should it be? And what does any of this have to do with the brain? In this delightful sequel to Idiot Brain, Dean Burnett explores these questions from a neuroscientific perspective." (publisher's description)
"Using MRI technology, neuroscientist Gregory Berns' research offers surprising results on how dogs empathize with human emotions, how they love us, and why dogs and humans share one of the most remarkable friendships in the animal kingdom." 
Impulse : why we do what we do without knowing why we do it
First Harvard University Press edition.
Science Library (Li and Ma) » Stacks » BF575 .I46 L49 2013
"...Explores all the mystifying things people do despite knowing better, from blurting out indiscretions to falling for totally incompatible romantic partners. Informed by the latest research in neuropsychology, this eye-opening account explains why snap decisions so often govern -- and occasionally enrich--our lives."
"Rosenthal broadens the traditional scope of mate choice research to encompass not just animal behavior and behavioral ecology but also neurobiology, the social sciences, and other areas. Focusing on mate choice mechanisms, rather than the traits they target, Mate Choice offers a groundbreaking perspective on the proximate and ultimate forces determining the evolutionary fate of species and populations."
"Pheromones and other kinds of chemical communication underlie the behavior of all animals. This book offers a thorough exploration of the evolutionary and behavioral contexts of chemical communication along with a detailed introduction to the molecular and neural basis of signal perception through olfaction. At a time of ever increasing specialization, Wyatt offers a unique synthesis, integrating examples across the animal kingdom. A final chapter critically considers human pheromones and the importance of olfaction to human biology. Its breadth of coverage and readability make the book an unrivaled resource for students and researchers in a range of fields from chemistry, genetics, genomics, molecular biology and neuroscience to ecology, evolution and behavior."
A perfect red : empire, espionage, and the quest for the color of desire
1st ed. New York : HarperCollins, ©2005.
Green Library » Stacks » TP925 .C63 G74 2005
"Desperate to find their own sources of the elusive dye, the English, French, Dutch, and other Europeans tried to crack the enigma of cochineal. Did it come from a worm, a berry, a seed? Could it be stolen from Mexico and transplanted to their own colonies? Pirates, explorers, alchemists, scientists, and spies -- all joined the chase for cochineal, a chase that lasted more than three centuries. A Perfect Red tells their stories -- true-life tales of mystery, empire, and adventure, in pursuit of the most desirable color on earth."
Secret language of color
New York : Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers : Distributed by Workman Pub., c2013.
Business Library » Stacks » QC495.3 .E25 2013
"There is not a single moment of our day or aspect of our existence that is not influenced by colour. From science (the electromagnetic spectrum, quantum mechanics and light absorption, light scattering, how humans see colour and how vision evolved and colour blindness) to nature (the sky, rainbows, minerals and gems, animal pigmentation and how animals use colour to find food and mates or to protect themselves) to culture (colour as a signifier, colour and navigation, religion and ritual, design and personal identity)."
Uncorked : the science of champagne
Revised edition. Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2013]
Science Library (Li and Ma) » Stacks » TP555 .L54 2013
"Uncorked quenches our curiosity about the inner workings of one of the world's most prized beverages. Esteemed for its freshness, vitality, and sensuality, champagne is a wine of great complexity. Mysteries aplenty gush forth with the popping of that cork. Just what is that fizz? Can you judge champagne quality by how big the bubbles are, how long they last, or how they behave before they fade? And why does serving champagne in a long-stemmed flute prolong its chill and effervescence? Through lively prose and a wealth of state-of-the-art photos, this revised edition of Uncorked unlocks the door to what champagne is all about." (publisher's description)
Vanity Vitality and Virilty
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2004.
Science Library (Li and Ma) » Stacks » QD75.22 .E47 2004
"While this book will not advise you what to do if you want to improve your looks, your health, your peace of mind, or your sex life, it does explain the science behind many of the products that claim to be able to do just that. It looks at a range of products and ingredients that impinge on our everyday life and explains in plain language how 30 commonly encountered chemicals work, and how and why we use them."
"A specialist in animal behavior compares the courtship rituals and mating behaviors of animals to their human equivalents, revealing the many and often surprising ways we are both similar to and different from other species. What makes an individual attractive to the opposite sex? Does size matter? Why do we tend to "keep score" in our relationships? From perfume and cosmetics to online dating and therapy, our ultimate goal is to successfully connect with someone. So why is romance such an effort for humans, while animals seem to have little trouble getting it right? Wild Connection is full of fascinating and suggestive observations about animal behavior. Fun to read as well as educational, this unique take on the perennial human quest to find the ideal mate shows that we have much to learn from our cousins in the wild."

Compound Interest Infographics

The Chemistry of Roses

Credit: Valentine’s Day Special: The Chemistry of Roses. Compound Interest, 2017. (accessed February 12, 2020)

Aroma Compounds in Flowers

Credit: The Chemical Compounds Behind the Smell of Flowers. Compound Interest, 2015. (accessed February 12, 2020)