Which is the bigger threat to wildlife: Radioactivity or humans? Wildlife ecologist Jim Beasley has gone into the contaminated zones around Chernobyl and Fukushima to learn the answer, and his findings are both sobering and inspiring.

Most of us feel scared about speaking in public, and in response, we either rehearse incessantly — or we stop doing it altogether. Neuroscientist Anwesha Banerjee has this suggestion: Why not get used to it?

One way to set up a child for success: Take some time every day to really see them for who they are, not for who you want them to be, says psychiatrist Daniel J. Siegel and social worker Tina Payne Bryson.

It doesn’t take 21 days to wire in a habit, says psychologist BJ Fogg. Sometimes, all you need is a shot of positive feeling and emotion, a dose of celebration. Celebrating is a great way to reinforce small changes — and pave the way for big successes.

From geese flying through the sky in formation to schools of fish swimming in the ocean, the world’s creatures show an efficiency that is the envy of physicists, architects and designers. Writer Gary Ferguson explains the inspiration that we humans can draw from how energy flows in the natural world.

You’ve probably seen people’s eyes glaze over when you were talking about a complex topic, and you’ve done the same thing yourself. But that doesn’t mean some things are just too confusing to convey. Physicist Dominic Walliman tells you how to share what you know in a way that will land with others.

This post is part of TED’s “Gift Guide: Books for all kinds of readers”.