Theoretical physics is supposed to be about pure, crisp ideas. But physics is done by humans, and human society brings messiness to any endeavor.

That reality means that every aspect of physics is marked by the social constraints of who is allowed to do physics in harmony with their identity and who is not. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a theoretical physicist at the University of New Hampshire, tackles the implications of that reality in her new book, “The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred” (Bold Type Books, 2021). (Read an excerpt from “The Disordered Cosmos.”)