David Christian is a distinguished professor in history at Macquarie University in Australia and the co-founder, with Bill Gates, of The Big History Project, which has built a free online syllabus on the history of the universe and is taught in schools all over the world. He is also co-creator of Macquarie University Big History School, which provides online courses in big history for primary and high school students. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Oxford. He has delivered keynotes at conferences around the world including at the Davos World Economic Forum, and his TED Talk on the history of the Universe has been viewed over 7 million times.
A remarkable book that puts us self-important humans in our proper place in the cosmos, yet also explains why the story of human culture and knowledge - what Christian calls collective learning - matters for understanding our present world and shaping its future -- Merry Wiesner-Hanks, President of the World History Association Origin Story is a majestic distillation of our current understanding of the birth of the universe, of the solar system, of the oceans, of mountains and minerals, of all life on earth and of the driving dynamics of human culture and achievement. All of this in just over 300 pages of captivating prose that weaves together innumerable insights from the sciences, arts and humanities. With fascinating ideas on every page and the page turning energy of a good thriller, this is a landmark work that comes at a time when it has never been more important for humanity to have a clearer, more informed understanding of our place on earth and of the earth's place in the cosmos. A spellbinding synthesis -- Ken Robinson * educator and bestselling author of The Element and You, Your Child and School * In Origin Story, David Christian has found a spectacular way to use history to put order in the entire set of our knowledge about the world. This is a wonderful achievement -- Carlo Rovelli * author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and The Order of Time * I have long been a fan of David Christian. In Origin Story, he elegantly weaves evidence and insights from many scientific and historical disciplines into a single, accessible historical narrative -- Bill Gates Christian tells this story very well, providing, in effect, a short course in modern science. This is a brief history of the universe, and an excellent one * Wall Street Journal * [Origin Story is] long-haul science with wit and oomph * Nature * Rather like the Big Bang, the book is awe-inspiring. The processes it describes are all familiar, but I'd never seen them explained with such clarity and verve ... Superb -- Gerard Degroot * The Times * A journey through billions of years that nails home the point: Life is a miracle ... [A] remarkably cogent and compelling history of everything * Washington Post * If you read one book this year, make it this one -- Fareed Zakaria, CNN