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AsapSCIENCE: Answers to the World's Weirdest Questions, Most Persistent Rumors, and Unexplained Phenomena

AsapSCIENCE: Answers to the World's Weirdest Questions, Most Persistent Rumors, and Unexplained Phenomena

Mitchell Moffit ,  Greg Brown

$32.99

From the creators of the wildly popular YouTube channel AsapSCIENCE comes a book about the science that people actually want to learn, presented in a quirky and accessible way. And in the spirit of science, no subject is taboo. 

Why do we get hungover? Which actually came first, the chicken or the egg? Is binge-watching TV bad for you? Now, for the first time, Mitchell Moffit and Greg Brown, the geniuses behind AsapSCIENCE and AsapTHOUGHT, answer these questions by explaining the true science of how things work in this fascinating and hilarious book. 

Applying the fun, illustrated format of their addictive videos to topics ranging from brain freeze to hiccups to the science of the snooze button, Asapscience is the book that answers the questions you were too afraid to ask in science class.

Whether you're a total science newbie or the next Albert Einstein, this guide is sure to educate and entertain... ASAP!
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Yuval Noah Harari

$24.99

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Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens? In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we're going. Sapiens is a thrilling account of humankind's extraordinary history - from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age - and our journey from insignificant apes to rulers of the world.
The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance and Empower the Mind

The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance and Empower the Mind

Michio Kaku

$22.99

Recording memories, mind reading, videotaping our dreams, mind control, avatars, and telekinesis - no longer are these feats of the mind solely the province of overheated science fiction. As Michio Kaku reveals, not only are they possible, but with the latest advances in brain science and recent astonishing breakthroughs in technology, they already exist. In The Future of the Mind, the New York Times-bestselling author takes us on a stunning, provocative and exhilarating tour of the top laboratories around the world to meet the scientists who are already revolutionising the way we think about the brain - and ourselves.
Sex by Numbers: What Statistics Can Tell Us About Sexual Behaviour

Sex by Numbers: What Statistics Can Tell Us About Sexual Behaviour

David Spiegelhalter

$27.99

Whatever society we live in, and however open-minded we like to think we are, when it comes to our sex lives we all like to keep a few secrets. But this makes the jobs of sexologists - professionals who study sexual behaviour - pretty difficult. Luckily, David Spiegelhalter, Professor of Risk at Cambridge University, is here to unravel the web of exaggerations, misdirections and downright lies that surround sex in modern society. Drawing on the Natsal survey, the widest survey of sexual behaviour since the Kinsey Report, he answers crucial questions such as what are we all doing? How often? And how has it changed? Accompanying a major Wellcome exhibition on the same subject, Sex by Numbers is an informed and entertaining look at the most enduring of human obsessions, from one-night stands to the seven-year itch.
Alex Through the Looking Glass: How Life Reflects Numbers, and Numbers Reflect Life

Alex Through the Looking Glass: How Life Reflects Numbers, and Numbers Reflect Life

Alex Bellos

$19.99

From triangles, rotations and power laws, to fractals, cones and curves, bestselling author Alex Bellos takes you on a journey of mathematical discovery with his signature wit, engaging stories and limitless enthusiasm.

As he narrates a series of eye-opening encounters with lively personalities all over the world, Alex demonstrates how numbers have come to be our friends, are fascinating and extremely accessible, and how they have changed our world. He turns even the dreaded calculus into an easy-to-grasp mathematical exposition, and sifts through over 30,000 survey submissions to reveal the world's favourite number.

In Germany, he meets the engineer who designed the first roller-coaster loop, whilst in India he joins the world's highly numerate community at the International Congress of Mathematicians. He explores the wonders behind the Game of Life program, and explains mathematical logic, growth and negative numbers. Stateside, he hangs out with a private detective in Oregon and meets the mathematician who looks for universes from his garage in Illinois.

Read this captivating book, and you won't realise that you're learning about complex concepts.  Alex will get you hooked on maths as he delves deep into humankind's turbulent relationship with numbers, and proves just how much fun we can have with them.
Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers

Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers

Ian Stewart

$29.99

Ian Stewart explores the astonishing properties of numbers from 1 to 10 to zero and infinity, including one figure that, if you wrote it out, would span the universe. He looks at every kind of number you can think of - real, imaginary, rational, irrational, positive and negative - along with several you might have thought you couldn't think of. He explains the insights of the ancient mathematicians, shows how numbers have evolved through the ages, and reveals the way numerical theory enables everyday life.

Under Professor Stewart's guidance you will discover the mathematics of codes, sudoko, Rubik's cube, music, primes and pi. You may be surprised to find you live in eleven-dimensional space, that of the twenty-three people on a football pitch two are more likely than not to share the same birthday, and that forty-two is a very interesting number.

Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers will delight everyone who loves numbers - including those who currently think they don't.
A Brief History of Mathematical Thought: Key Concepts and Where They Come from

A Brief History of Mathematical Thought: Key Concepts and Where They Come from

Luke Heaton

$19.99

Mathematics is a product of human culture which has developed along with our attempts to comprehend the world around us. In A Brief History of Mathematical Thought, Luke Heaton explores how the language of mathematics has evolved over time, enabling new technologies and shaping the way people think.

From stone-age rituals to algebra, calculus, and the concept of computation, Heaton shows the enormous influence of mathematics on science, philosophy and the broader human story. The book traces the fascinating history of mathematical practice, focusing on the impact of key conceptual innovations. Its structure of thirteen chapters split between four sections is dictated by a combination of historical and thematic considerations.

In the first section, Heaton illuminates the fundamental concept of number. He begins with a speculative and rhetorical account of prehistoric rituals, before describing the practice of mathematics in Ancient Egypt, Babylon and Greece. He then examines the relationship between counting and the continuum of measurement, and explains how the rise of algebra has dramatically transformed our world. 

In the second section, he explores the origins of calculus and the conceptual shift that accompanied the birth of non-Euclidean geometries. In the third section, he examines the concept of the infinite and the fundamentals of formal logic.

Finally, in section four, he considers the limits of formal proof, and the critical role of mathematics in our ongoing attempts to comprehend the world around us.

The story of mathematics is fascinating in its own right, but Heaton does more than simply outline a history of mathematical ideas. More importantly, he shows clearly how the history and philosophy of maths provides an invaluable perspective on human nature.
The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems... and Create More

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems... and Create More

Luke Dormehl

$19.99

What if everything in life could be reduced to a simple formula? What if numbers were able to tell us which partners we were best matched with - not just in terms of attractiveness, but for a long-term committed marriage? Or if they could say which films would be the biggest hits at the box office, and what changes could be made to those films to make them even more successful? Or even who out of us is likely to commit certain crimes, and when?

This may sound like the world of science-fiction, but in fact it is just the tip of the iceberg in a world that is increasingly ruled by complex algorithms and neural networks. In The Formula, Luke Dormehl takes you inside the world of numbers, asking how we came to believe in the all-conquering power of algorithms; introducing the mathematicians, artificial intelligence experts and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who are shaping this brave new world, and ultimately asking how we survive in an era where numbers can sometimes seem to create as many problems as they solve.
Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum

Leonard Susskind

$19.99

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In The Theoretical Minimum, world-class physicist Leonard Susskind provided a brilliant first course in classical mechanics, offering readers not an oversimplified introduction but the real thing - everything you need to start doing physics, and nothing more. Now he returns with the next challenge that every aspiring physics buff must tackle: quantum mechanics. Unlike most popular physics books, Susskind and his co-author Art Friedman teach the maths and equations that are essential to any real understanding of quantum mechanics. Combining crystal-clear explanations, witty and helpful dialogues, and basic exercises, Quantum Mechanics is, to paraphrase Einstein, as simple as possible, but no simpler.
The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission

The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission

Jim Bell

$32.99

The story of the men and women who drove the Voyager spacecraft mission - told by a scientist who was there from the beginning. The Voyager spacecraft are our farthest-flung emissaries - 11.3 billion miles away from the crew who built and still operate them, decades since their launch.  

Voyager 1 left the solar system in 2012; its sister craft, Voyager 2, will do so in 2015. The fantastic journey began in 1977, before the first episode of Cosmos aired. The mission was planned as a grand tour beyond the moon; beyond Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn; and maybe even into interstellar space. The fact that it actually happened makes this humanity's greatest space mission.  

In The Interstellar Age, award-winning planetary scientist Jim Bell reveals what drove and continues to drive the members of this extraordinary team, including Ed Stone, Voyager's chief scientist and the one-time head of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab; Charley Kohlhase, an orbital dynamics engineer who helped to design many of the critical slingshot maneuvers around planets that enabled the  Voyagers  to travel so far; and the geologist whose Earth-bound experience would prove of little help in interpreting the strange new landscapes revealed in the  Voyagers' astoundingly clear images of moons and planets.  

Speeding through space at a mind-bending eleven miles a second, Voyager 1 is now beyond our solar system's planets. It carries with it artifacts of human civilization. By the time Voyager  passes its first star in about 40,000 years, the gold record on the spacecraft, containing various music and images including Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode, will still be playable.
Black Hole: How an Idea Abandoned by Newtonians, Hated by Einstein, and Gambled on by Hawking Became Loved

Black Hole: How an Idea Abandoned by Newtonians, Hated by Einstein, and Gambled on by Hawking Became Loved

Marcia Bartusiak

$39.95

For more than half a century, physicists and astronomers engaged in heated dispute over the possibility of black holes in the universe. The weirdly alien notion of a space-time abyss from which nothing escapes-not even light-seemed to confound all logic. This engrossing book tells the story of the fierce black hole debates and the contributions of Einstein and Hawking and other leading thinkers who completely altered our view of the universe. Renowned science writer Marcia Bartusiak shows how the black hole helped revive Einstein's greatest achievement, the general theory of relativity, after decades during which it had been pushed into the shadows. Not until astronomers discovered such surprising new phenomena as neutron stars and black holes did the once-sedate universe transform into an Einsteinian cosmos, filled with sources of titanic energy that can be understood only in the light of relativity. This book celebrates the hundredth anniversary of general relativity, uncovers how the black hole really got its name, and recounts the scientists' frustrating, exhilarating, and at times humorous battles over the acceptance of one of history's most dazzling ideas.
Astronomy in Minutes: 200 Key Concepts Explained in an Instant

Astronomy in Minutes: 200 Key Concepts Explained in an Instant

Giles Sparrow

$19.99

What happens when a star dies? How many asteroids are in our solar system? Can galaxies collide? What is dark energy? Astronomy in Minutes answers all these questions and more as it condenses 200 key concepts into easily digestible essays.

From Trojan asteroids to stellar black holes, and from superclusters to cosmic microwave background, this book will take you on an essential tour around the universe. Beginning with the specks and constellations that we see in the night sky, and then zooming in on the objects and 'matter' beyond the naked eye, Astronomy in Minutes draws on established theories and recent research. Each essay is accompanied by an image or a clear diagram to help unravel complex ideas.

Beginning with the constellations and finishing with the latest cosmological theories, this is the perfect reference guide to this  fascinating subject.
Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces that Shape the Universe

Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces that Shape the Universe

Martin Rees

$22.99

How did a single genesis event create billions of galaxies, black holes, stars and planets? How did atoms assemble - here on Earth, and perhaps on other worlds - into living beings intricate enough to ponder their origins? This book describes the recent avalanche of discoveries about the universe's fundamental laws, and the deep connections that exist between stars and atoms - the cosmos and the microscopic world. Just six numbers, imprinted in the big bang, determine the essence of our world, and this book devotes one chapter to explaining each.
Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration

Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration

Buzz Aldrin ,  Leonard David

$25.95

Legendary space statesman Buzz Aldrin speaks out as a vital advocate for the continuing quest to push the boundaries of the universe as we know it. As a pioneering astronaut who first set foot on the moon during mankind's first landing of Apollo 11 - and as an aerospace engineer who designed an orbital rendezvous technique critical to future planetary landings - Aldrin has a vision, and in this book he plots out the path he proposes, taking humans to Mars by 2035. Buzz Aldrin has been as far from Earth as any human being, and now he's leading the charge to go much farther, to our next epic destination: Mars. - James Cameron. Any time an Apollo-era astronaut steps forward with ideas for our future in space, it's time to stop what whatever we're doing and pay attention. Buzz Aldrin, one of the first moonwalkers, has no shortage of these ideas. And in Mission to Mars he treats us to how, when, and why we should travel there. - Neil deGrasse Tyson. A masterful array of strategies for exploration by a true space expert and patriot.- Michael Collins, astronaut and command module pilot, Apollo 11.
Plate Tectonics: A Very Short Introduction

Plate Tectonics: A Very Short Introduction

Peter Molnar

$15.95

The 1960s revealed a new and revolutionary idea in geological thought: that the continents drift with respect to one another. After having been dismissed for decades as absurd, the concept gradually became part of geology's basic principles. We now know that the Earth's crust and upper mantle consist of a small number of rigid plates that move, and there are significant boundaries between pairs of plates, usually known as earthquake belts. Plate tectonics now explains much of the structure and phenomena we see today: how oceans form, widen, and disappear; why earthquakes and volcanoes are found in distinct zones which follow plate boundaries; how the great mountain ranges of the world were built. The impact of plate tectonics is studied closely as these processes continue: the Himalaya continues to grow, the Atlantic is widening, and new oceans are forming. In this Very Short Introduction Peter Molnar provides a succinct and authoritative account of the nature and mechanisms of plate tectonics and its impact on our understanding of Earth. 

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area.  These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The Renaissance of Renewable Energy

The Renaissance of Renewable Energy

Gian Andrea Pagnoni ,  Stephen Roche

$38.95

This book provides detailed yet easily understandable information about sustainable energy alternatives in the context of growing public concern about climate change, the impending fuel crisis and environmental degradation. It deals with the history of energy use and the factors that have led to the current interest in energy alternatives and assesses the chance of renewable energy replacing fossil fuels in the future. The authors manage to make a highly complex and often intimidating subject not only accessible but also engaging and entertaining. This book unpacks but never simplifies the science of energy, leavening the more technical passages with anecdotes, metaphors, examples and imagery. By also dealing with the history, politics and economics of energy use, it offers both scientific and non-scientific readers a deeper understanding of the most important issue of our age.
The Earth: From Myths to Knowledge

The Earth: From Myths to Knowledge

Hubert Krivine ,  Alain Krivine

$39.99

Are we entitled to say that the Earth is 4.55 billion years old, and its trajectory an ellipse centered on the Sun, with an average radius of 150 million kilometers? Most educated people today would say yes. Curiously, however, three hundred years after the century of Enlightenment, the fact that these assertions constitute what it is customary to call scientific truths is often perceived, especially by postmodernists, as naive, improper, or even (paradoxically) wrong. Against the fashionable relativist idea that science is no more than a socially constructed doxa, and reality nothing more than what we ourselves bring to it, this straightforward yet highly vigorous book rehabilitates a supposedly outdated, naively realist notion: scientific truth.
Scientific Babel: The Language of Science from the Fall of Latin to the Rise of English

Scientific Babel: The Language of Science from the Fall of Latin to the Rise of English

Michael Gordin

$49.99

Today scientists are a resolutely monoglot community, using exclusively English - but the rise of English was anything but inevitable and only very recent. In a sweeping history, from the Middle Ages through to today, Michael Gordin untangles the web of politics, money, personality and international conflict that led to the English language dominated world of science we now inhabit. He takes us on a journey from the fall of Latin to the rise of English, telling how we lost Dutch, Italian, Swedish and many other languages on the way. The significance of language in the nationalistic realm of science is astounding - just one word mistranslated into German from Russian, triggered an inflammatory contest between Germany and Russia for the credit of having discovered the periodic table. In Michael's hands we see that science isn't the universal quest for truth we thought, but rather the subject of political jockeying, national rivalry, and fierce competition. Intelligent, revealing and full of amazing stories, Scientific Babel shows how the world has remade science just as much as science has transformed the world.
Einstein: His Space and Times

Einstein: His Space and Times

Steven Gimbel

$36.95

The commonly held view of Albert Einstein is of an eccentric genius for whom the pursuit of science was everything. But in actuality, the brilliant innovator whose Theory of Relativity forever reshaped our understanding of time was a man of his times, always politically engaged and driven by strong moral principles. An avowed pacifist, Einstein's mistrust of authority and outspoken social and scientific views earned him death threats from Nazi sympathizers in the years preceding World War II. To him, science provided not only a means for understanding the behavior of the universe, but a foundation for considering the deeper questions of life and a way for the worldwide Jewish community to gain confidence and pride in itself. Steven Gimbel's biography presents Einstein in the context of the world he lived in, offering a fascinating portrait of a remarkable individual who remained actively engaged in international affairs throughout his life. This revealing work not only explains Einstein's theories in understandable terms, it demonstrates how they directly emerged from the realities of his times and helped create the world we live in today.
Birds, Bees and Educated Fleas: An A -Z Guide to the Sexual Predilections of Animals from Aardvarks to Zebras

Birds, Bees and Educated Fleas: An A -Z Guide to the Sexual Predilections of Animals from Aardvarks to Zebras

Bruce Montague

$17.99

Birds, Bees and Educated Fleas is an amusing A - Z of the courtship and mating habits of animals - including Homo sapiens sapiens. From well-hung South American drakes to shy camels arranging secret love trysts, female chameleons whose skin darkens when they're no longer in the mood to giraffes who swing their hips and swish their tails when they're feeling frisky, oysters that can change sex pretty much at will to stud rhinoceroses that can copulate three or four times a day for a week, this is a wide-ranging, light-hearted but well-researched look at the world of animal love and lust. Arranged alphabetically by species, here is the perfect handbook for any peeping Tom or Tomasina who wants to know what goes on in the animal world behind the - metaphorical - bedroom curtains.
The Homing Instinct: The Story and Science of Migration

The Homing Instinct: The Story and Science of Migration

Bernd Heinrich

$22.99

The story and science of how animals find their way home. Home is the place we long for most, when we feel we have travelled too far, for too long. Since boyhood, acclaimed scientist and author Bernd Heinrich has returned every year to a beloved patch of woods in his native western Maine. But while it's the pull of nostalgia that informs our desire to go back, what is it that drives the homing instinct in animals? Heinrich explores the fascinating science behind the mysteries of animal migration: how geese imprint true visual landscape memory over impossible distances; how the subtlest of scent trails are used by many creatures, from fish to insects to amphibians, to pinpoint their home; and how the tiniest of songbirds are equipped for solar and magnetic orienteering over vast distances. Most movingly, Heinrich chronicles the spring return of a pair of sandhill cranes to their pond in the Alaska tundra. With his marvellously evocative prose, Heinrich portrays the psychological state of the newly arrived birds, articulating just what their yearly return truly means, to the birds and to those fortunate enough to witness this transcendently beautiful ritual. The Homing Instinct is an enchanting study of this phenomenon of the natural world, reminding us that to discount our own feelings toward home is to ignore biology itself.
Extreme Animals

Extreme Animals

Dominic Couzens

$35.00

Prepare to be amazed by the most astounding feats in the natural world. Did you know that the mantis shrimp can punch its way through a sheet of glass, that the Bar-tailed Godwit can migrate 11,000km non-stop from Alaska to New Zealand, or that up to 40 million Mexican Free-tailed Bats gather in a single cave in Texas? This title is a must-have for all wildlife enthusiasts and it showcases the extremes of nature, from the biggest and smallest mammals and reptiles to the highest flying birds and insects, from the deepest swimming creatures to those that live in hottest and coldest places, to those that form the biggest gatherings, and so on. Through decades of experience in nature-writing Dominic Couzens has developed a unique style in imparting the wonders of the wildlife to millions of readers in many countries around the world. His engaging text, coupled with images from some of the world's foremost nature photographers, make this book very special indeed. Extreme Animals will be an endless source of wonder and fascinating facts for anyone with an interest in the natural world, and a book that should be on the shelves of any wildlife enthusiast. It is also ideal for the gift market.
The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will be Nature's Salvation

The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will be Nature's Salvation

Fred Pearce

$35.00

Veteran environmental journalist Fred Pearce used to think of invasive species as evil interlopers spoiling pristine 'natural' ecosystems. Most conservationists would agree. But what if traditional ecology is wrong, and true environmentalists should be applauding the invaders? In The New Wild, Pearce goes on a journey to rediscover what conservation should really be about. He explores ecosystems from Pacific islands to the Australian outback to the Thames estuary, digs into the questionable costs of invader species, and reveals the outdated intellectual sources of our ideas about the balance of nature. Keeping out alien species looks increasingly flawed. The new ecologists looking afresh at how species interact in the wild believe we should celebrate the dynamism of alien species and the novel ecosystems they create. In an era of climate change and widespread ecological damage, we must find ways to help nature regenerate. Embracing the 'new wild' is our best chance.
Testosterone: Sex, Power, and the Will to Win

Testosterone: Sex, Power, and the Will to Win

Joe Herbert

$34.95

We inherit mechanisms for survival from our primeval past; none so obviously as those involved in reproduction. The hormone testosterone underlies the organization of activation of masculinity: it changes the body and brain to make a male. It is involved not only in sexuality but in driving aggression, competitiveness, risk-taking - all elements that were needed for successful survival and reproduction in the past.

But these ancient systems are carried forward into a modern world. The ancient world shaped the human brain, but the modern world is shaped by that brain. How does this world, with all its cultural, political, and social variations, deal with and control the primeval role of testosterone, which continues to be essential for the survival of the species? Sex, aggression, winning, losing, gangs, war: the powerful effects of testosterone are entwined with them all. These are the ingredients of human history, so testosterone has played a central role in our story. 

In Testosterone, Joe Herbert explains the nature of this potent hormone, how it operates in mammals in general and in humans in particular, what we know about its role in influencing various aspects of behaviour in men, and what we are beginning to understand of its role in women. From rape to gang warfare among youths, understanding the workings of testosterone is critical to enable us to manage its continuing powerful effects in modern society.
Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy

Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy

Melvin Konner

$33.95

There is a human genetic fluke that is surprisingly common, due to a change in a key pair of chromosomes. In the normal condition the two look the same, but in this disorder one is malformed and shrunken beyond recognition. The result is a shortened life span, higher mortality at all ages, an inability to reproduce, premature hair loss, and brain defects variously resulting in attention deficit, hyperactivity, conduct disorder, hypersexuality, and an enormous excess of both outward and self-directed aggression. It is called maleness.

In Women After All, Melvin Konner traces the arc of evolution to explain the relationships between women and men. With patience and wit he explores the knotty question of whether men are necessary in the biological destiny of the human race. He draws on multiple, colorful examples from the natural world-such as the mating habits of the octopus, black widow, angler fish, and jacana-and argues that maleness in humans is hardly necessary to the survival of the species. In characteristically humorous and engaging prose, Konner sheds light on our biologically different identities, while noting the poignant exceptions that challenge the male/female divide. 

We meet hunter-gatherers such as those in Botswana, whose culture gave women a prominent place, invented the working mother, and respected women's voices around the fire. Recent human history has upset this balance, as a dense world of war fostered extreme male dominance. But our species has been recovering over the past two centuries, and an unstoppable move toward equality is afoot. It will not be the end of men, but it will be the end of male supremacy and a better, wiser world for women and men alike.

Provocative and richly informed, Women After All is bound to be controversial across the sexes.
Biocode: The New Age of Genomics

Biocode: The New Age of Genomics

Dawn Field ,  Neil Davies

$34.95

The living world runs on genomic software - what Dawn Field and Neil Davies call the 'biocode' - the sum of all DNA on Earth. In Biocode, they tell the story of a new age of scientific discovery: the growing global effort to read and map the biocode, and what that might mean for the future.

The structure of DNA was identified in 1953, and the whole human genome was mapped by 2003. Since then the new field of genomics has mushroomed and is now operating on an industrial scale. Genomes can now be sequenced rapidly and increasingly cheaply. The genomes of large numbers of organisms from mammals to microbes, have been mapped. Getting your genome sequenced is becoming affordable for many. You too can check paternity, find out where your ancestors came from, or whether you are at risk of some diseases.  Some check out the pedigree of their pets, while others turn genomes into art. A stray hair is enough to crudely reconstruct the face of the owner.

From reading to constructing: the first steps to creating artificial life have already been taken. Some may find the rapidity of developments, and the potential for misuse, alarming. But they also open up unprecedented possibilities. The ability to read DNA has changed how we view ourselves and understand our place in nature. From the largest oceans, to the insides of our guts, we are able to explore the biosphere as never before, from the genome up. Sequencing technology has made the invisible world of microbes visible, and biodiversity genomics is revealing whole new worlds within us and without.

The findings are transformational: we are all ecosystems now. Already the first efforts at 'barcoding' entire ecological communities and creating 'genomic observatories' have begun. The future, the authors argue, will involve biocoding the entire planet.
Goat

Goat

Joy Hinson

$24.99

Adaptable, resilient, yet often overlooked, the goat - sometimes called the 'poor man's cow' - is found in nearly every part of the world where humans live. But our relationship with this strange yet familiar animal is oddly ambivalent.

In Goat, Joy Hinson explores the reasons behind this unease, from our interaction with the endangered wild goat species of remote mountainous regions to the more familiar farmyard goat. This book traces the history of the animal, moving from their evolution through their domestication and global spread to the role of goats in the modern world. It considers in particular the harm done by the indiscriminate importing of tamed goats, which formed huge feral populations on the Galapagos Islands and Australia, for example. It considers the place of goat products in both the culinary and medical traditions of the world, from the time of Pliny the Elder who recommended pouring goat urine into the ear as a cure for neck pain, to the use of a bezoar stone as an antidote to poison. Goat also explores the connections between goats and wrongdoing and questions whether the goat really deserves its reputation for promiscuity and lasciviousness.

Across the globe goats are part of our culture, art and tradition: from goat festivals in the US to the Christmas Goat in Sweden. An exciting new addition to Reaktion's Animal series, Goat presents readers with this frequently neglected animal's fascinating history, life and role in today's world.
The Human Brain: A Guided Tour

The Human Brain: A Guided Tour

Susan Greenfield

$22.99

Locked away remote from the rest of the body in its own custom-built casing of skull bone, with no intrinsic moving parts, the human brain remains a tantalising mystery. But now, more than ever before, we have the expertise to tackle this mystery - the last 20 years have seen astounding progress in brain research. Susan Greenfield begins by exploring the roles of different regions of the brain. She then switches to the opposite direction and examines how certain functions, such as movement and vision, are accommodated in the brain. She describes how a brain is made from a single fertilized egg, and the fate of the brain is traced through life as we see how it constantly changes as a result of experience to provide the essence of a unique individual.
The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth's Rarest Creatures

The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth's Rarest Creatures

William DeBuys

$42.99

An award-winning author's stirring quest to find and understand an elusive and exceptionally rare species in the heart of Southeast Asia's jungles. In 1992, in a remote mountain range, a team of scientists discovered the remains of an unusual animal with beautiful long horns. It turned out to be a living species new to western science - a saola, the first large land mammal discovered in 50 years. Rare then and rarer now, no westerner had glimpsed a live saola in the wild before Pulitzer Prize finalist and nature writer William deBuys and conservation biologist William Robichaud set off to search for it in the wilds of central Laos. The team endured a punishing trek, up and down whitewater rivers and through mountainous terrain ribboned with the snare lines of armed poachers. In the tradition of Bruce Chatwin, Colin Thubron, and Peter Matthiessen, this is deBuys's look deep into one of the world's most remote places. As in the pursuit of the unicorn, the journey ultimately becomes a quest for the essence of wildness in nature, and an encounter with beauty.
River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

Richard Dawkins

$22.99

The river of Dawkins's title is a river of DNA, flowing through time from the beginning of life on earth to the present - and onwards. Dawkins explains that DNA must be thought of as the most sophisticated information system imaginable: 'Life is just bytes and bytes of information,' he writes. Using this perspective, he describes the mechanisms by which evolution has taken place, gradually but inexorably, over a period of three thousand million years. It is the story of how evolution happens, rather than a narrative of what has actually happened in evolution. He discusses current views on the process of human evolution, including the idea that we all trace back to a comparatively recent African 'Eve', and speculates that the 'information explosion' that was unleashed on Earth when DNA came into being has almost certainly happened in other places in the universe.
The Stressed Sex: Uncovering the Truth About Men, Women, and Mental Health

The Stressed Sex: Uncovering the Truth About Men, Women, and Mental Health

Daniel Freeman ,  Jason Freeman

$22.95

Every day millions of people struggle with psychological and emotional problems. The Stressed Sex sets out to answer a simple, but crucial, question: are rates of psychological disorder different for men and women? The implications - for individuals and society alike - are far-reaching, and to date, this important issue has been largely ignored in all the debates raging about gender differences. Now Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman present a ground-breaking combination of epidemiological analysis and evidence-based science to get to the bottom of what's really going on. They discover which mental health problems are more common in men, and which are seen most often in women. And, in a finding that is sure to provoke lively debate, they reveal that, in any given year, women experience higher rates of psychological disorder than men. Why might this be the case? The Stressed Sex explains current scientific thinking on the possible reasons - and considers what might be done to address the imbalance.
Mouse

Mouse

Georgie Carroll

$24.99

Despite its minuscule size, the mouse has a large presence in earth's animal kingdom and the human imagination. Maligned for millennia, it has been considered one of the human race's greatest adversaries, responsible for problems ranging from disease and plague to holes nibbled in clothing. Yet the mouse is held in divine regard in Hindu and Buddhist traditions and is found across art, myth, literature and folklore.

An accomplished survivor, the house mouse has colonized six of the world's continents and, despite its name, thrives on Subantarctic islands void of human habitation; it has even travelled into space. These remarkable characteristics have made the mouse a heroic figure in culture and fiction: it is the iconic and illustrious symbol of Disney, it is earth's intellectually superior race in Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and the mouse plays one of the most integral roles within modern scientific endeavour as the quintessential laboratory animal.

One of the animal kingdom's smallest mammalian prey, the mouse is a figure through which we can envisage our own vulnerability.Leading a perilous life in an uncompromising predatory world, mice represent courage, perseverance and adaptability and are proof that appearances can be deceiving.  An animal worshipped, slaughtered, loved and loathed, the mouse is a beguiling part of our culture and environment.

Mouse explores in rich detail the stories and history of this enchanting creature, with which we not only share our domestic and urban space, but 99 per cent of our genetic makeup.
General Relativity Without Calculus

General Relativity Without Calculus

Jose Natario

$88.95

General Relativity Without Calculus offers a compact but mathematically correct introduction to the general theory of relativity, assuming only a basic knowledge of high school mathematics and physics. Targeted at first year undergraduates (and advanced high school students) who wish to learn Einstein's theory beyond popular science accounts, it covers the basics of special relativity, Minkowski space-time, non-Euclidean geometry, Newtonian gravity, the Schwarzschild solution, black holes and cosmology. The quick-paced style is balanced by over 75 exercises (including full solutions), allowing readers to test and consolidate their understanding.
How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking

Jordan Ellenberg

$30.30  $27.25

The  Freakonomics  of math - a math-world superstar unveils the hidden beauty and logic of the world and puts its power in our hands The math we learn in school can seem like a dull set of rules, laid down by the ancients and not to be questioned.

In  How Not to Be Wrong,  Jordan Ellenberg shows us how terribly limiting this view is: Math isn't confined to abstract incidents that never occur in real life, but rather touches everything we do - the whole world is shot through with it. Math allows us to see the hidden structures underneath the messy and chaotic surface of our world. It's a science of not being wrong, hammered out by centuries of hard work and argument. Armed with the tools of mathematics, we can see through to the true meaning of information we take for granted: How early should you get to the airport? What does  public opinion  really represent? Why do tall parents have shorter children? Who really won Florida in 2000? And how likely are you, really, to develop cancer? 

How Not to Be Wrong  presents the surprising revelations behind all of these questions and many more, using the mathematician's method of analyzing life and exposing the hard-won insights of the academic community to the layman - minus the jargon.
Risk

Risk

Sue Stockdale ,  Clive Steeper

$15.99

We are all risk takers. In life and in business, human attitudes towards risk are terrifyingly irrational. We hugely over-estimate short-term risks (standing near a cliff edge, or selling to someone who may not be credit worthy) but we under-estimate long-term risks (smoking, or acquiring a large company). This book seeks to understand risk from the human perspective. Why do we decide the things that we do, and how can we do it differently or better? This book should be required reading not just for students of business or economics, but for anyone faced with making important decisions.
What If Einstein Was Wrong: Asking the Big Questions About Physics

What If Einstein Was Wrong: Asking the Big Questions About Physics

Brian Clegg ,  Jim Al-Khalili

$19.99

What if...? are the two words that sow the seeds for human speculation, experimentation, invention, evolution, revolution, and change. In an uncertain age, economists are asking, What if growth stops growing? Scientists, What if light speed gets overtaken? and politicians, What if the third world becomes the first? 'What If Einstein Was Wrong?' challenges a team of scholars to experiment with 50 topical science speculations, at a time when the hunt for the Higgs boson particle is threatening to undermine the foundations of our knowledge. Consider what time travel, warp speed, artificial gravity, or the loss of Schrodingers cat would mean to us, and en route accumulate the knowledge you need to debate the shape that our science might take in the future.
Backyard Bird Sounds

Backyard Bird Sounds

Fred Van Gessel

$24.99

This easy to use package of book and CD features 90 tracks of bird songs and calls of species commonly found in gardens all over Australia. Each audio trrack is numbered to coincide with the guide for quick reference. The book also presents full-colour photographs of the birds, distribution maps and interestig text about their habits, feeding and nesting routines, as well as their calls.
           
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