As noted in the article, if people were buying popular science books five or ten years ago, they were largely about evolutionary biology (and all the "religion versus science"-type arguments those books seem to entail). Recently, however—and, in my opinion, due in large part to physics projects like the Large Hadron Collider—popular science books about astrophysics, quantum mechanics, and parallel universes have seen unparalleled demand (pun totally intended). Books about evolution, biochemistry, and other scientific disciplines are selling, too, but it's the physics behind the structure, origin, and fate of the universe that seem to be intriguing The Reading Public these days.
I've been into popular physics since at least the late '90s, reading and re-reading Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell, A Briefer History of Time), Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot, The Demon-Haunted World, Billions and Billions), and Brian Greene (The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of the Cosmos), so while this trend may be new to a lot of people, it isn't for me (although I am, again, surprised and delighted). I will say I'm glad that more people are reading Asimov and Hawking, even if it doesn't balance out the number of people reading Stephenie Meyer and The Situation.
What I'm interested to know is: is this new and/or surprising to you, bros and she-bros? Do you regularly read popular science, and, if not, do you think you'll start doing so? Will you pick up a copy of The Grand Design or Why Evolution is True in the coming weeks or months? If so, why? If not, why not?
Bonus question: if a train leaves Boston at 5:00 pm traveling in a straight line toward Tallahassee at 90 MPH, and another train leaves Tallahassee at 7:00 pm traveling in a straight line toward Boston at 120 MPH, how long will it be before I fall asleep?