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The Idea of the Brain


Matthew Cobb



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01 May 2020
We've been trying to make sense of the link between our minds and our bodies since the very dawn of civilisation. Now the pace is hotting up.

Join the biologist and historian Matthew Cobb (Life's Greatest Secret) to explore the weird theories, blasphemous experiments and terrifying operating theatres that got us here, to the cusp of revelation.

Written with ambition and verve and rooted in a solid scientific explanation of the issues, The Idea of the Brain spans the centuries to reveal how the lives and works of a parade of philosophers, surgeons, mystics and neuroscientists have shaped the way we understand ourselves at the most profound level. From primitive dissections to the latest complex computational models of brain function, Cobb charts the course of this continuing quest, and prepares us for the astonishing discoveries to come.
By:   Matthew Cobb
Imprint:   Profile
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Main
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 162mm,  Spine: 42mm
Weight:   870g
ISBN:   9781781255896
ISBN 10:   178125589X
Pages:   480
Publication Date:   01 May 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Matthew Cobb is Professor of Zoology at the University of Manchester where his research focuses on the sense of smell, insect behaviour, and the history of science. In 2008, he won the Zoological Society of London award for Communicating Science. His previous books include Life's Greatest Secret:The Race to Discover the Genetic Code, which was shortlisted for the the Royal Society Winton Book Prize, and the acclaimed histories The Resistance: The French Fight against the Nazis and Eleven Days in August: The Liberation of Paris in 1944. He is also the award-winning translator of books on the history of molecular biology, on Darwin's ideas and on the nature of life.

Reviews for The Idea of the Brain: A History: SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2020

Praise for Life's Greatest Secret: Matthew Cobb is a respected scientist and historian, and he has combined both disciplines to spectacular effect in this compelling, authoritative and insightful account of how life works at the deepest level. It's a bloody brilliant book -- Brian Cox Rich, thrilling and thorough, this is the definitive history of arguably the greatest of all scientific revolutions -- Adam Rutherford, author of * Creation * Life's Greatest Secret is the logical sequel to Jim Watson's The Double Helix. While Watson and Crick deserve their plaudits for discovering the structure of DNA, that was only part of the story. Beginning to understand how that helix works - how its DNA code is turned into bodies and behaviors - took another 15 years of amazing work by an army of dedicated men and women. These are the unknown heroes of modern genetics, and their tale is the subject of Cobb's fascinating book. -- Jerry Coyne, author of * Why Evolution is True * Most people think the race to sequence the human genome culminated at the 2000 White House Mission Accomplished announcement. In Matthew Cobb's Life's Greatest Secret, we learn that it was just one chapter of a far more interesting and continuing story. -- Eric Topol author of * The Patient Will See You Now * Writing with flair, charisma and authority, this is Cobb's magnum opus. But more important than that, this is humankind's magnum opus. This is the story of a great human endeavour - a global adventure spanning decades - which unravelled how life really works. No area of science is more fundamental or more important; read about it and be filled with wonder. -- Daniel M. Davis, author of * The Compatibility Gene * Cobb reveals the astonishing drama of the moment genetics and information technology collided, shaping the modern world and modern thought. -- Paul Mason, Channel 4 News

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