When an economist using weather records and formulas can outdo expert wine-tasters at picking vintages, something has changed. That something, according to econometrician and Yale law professor Ian Ayres, is the increasing use of statistics tools to crunch massive databases for decision making. In Super Crunchers (Bantam, $25), Ayres discusses the way super crunchers are replacing intuitive experts in business and other areas and describes the limitations of number crunching.
Biotech may pull in an outsized share of new-venture funding, but relatively few people know much about the field. Not so long ago, that included Moira A. Gunn, despite her being a technology journalist and host of radio show Tech Nation. The well-informed Welcome to Biotech Nation (Amacom, $24.95) describes how Gunn went from ignorant to insider and takes a look at the business of biotechnology today and in the future.