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Engineering, Math and Physical Science Libraries at Cornell University

Banned Books Week

This week is Banned Books Week, which the American Library Association describes as ” an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community –- librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types –- in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.”


New books are added each year – and some are repeats that never seem to not make the list (Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird anyone?!)

While most of the banned books are novels, science books have been challenged in the past, including Galileo’s Dialogue Concerning Two Chief World Systems, Darwin’s Origin of Species and a particular chemistry book from 1960 titled The Golden Book of Chemistry which was banned for being “too accurate” for children wanting to set up their own chemistry labs at home!

For more banned titles in the sciences, see Mann Library’s post from a couple years ago with a slideshow of banned titles.

What is your favorite challenged book?  Do any of them top the most recent banned books lists?

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