For centuries humanity has engaged in a virtual exploration of space through astronomical observation, aided by astounding scientific and technological advances. In more than sixty years since the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957, more than 6,000 functioning satellites have been launched into Earth's orbit and beyond - some to the farthest reaches of the Solar System - and more than 540 people have travelled into space.
Unprecedented in its chronological and geographical scope, this book charts the history of space exploration from the first gunpowder rockets through the Moon landings, and into a future of space tourism. Numerous sidebars focus on the key individuals and inventions that brought us closer to the farthest reaches of the universe.
Filled with astonishing images from the Smithsonian, NASA archives and other international collections, this is the first in-depth, fully illustrated survey of this universal human journey.
In this fascinating foray into the millennia-long relationship between science and military power, acclaimed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and writer Avis Lang examine how the methods and tools of astrophysics have been enlisted in the service of war.
"The overlap is strong, and it's a two- way street," say the authors, because the astrophysicists and military planners care about many of the same things: multi- spectral detection, ranging, tracking, imaging, high ground, nuclear fusion, and access to space. Tyson and Lang call it a "curiously complicit" alliance.
Spanning early celestial navigation to satellite-enabled warfare, Accessory to War is a richly researched and provocative examination of the intersection of science, technology, industry, and power that will introduce Tyson's millions of fans to yet another dimension of how the universe has shaped our lives and our world.
This annual gem (produced each year since 1991) continues to take the Australian stargazer on a wondrous journey of the night sky. This critically acclaimed work, produced by three well known experts in the field, takes a unique approach to explaining and identifying the Sun, Moon, planets and constellations; it is simply the best publication of its type in the world.
Bees are the darlings of the insect world. It is a great joy to see these tenacious insects hard at work, peacefully buzzing from flower to flower on warm and sunny days. Many people recognise the worth of bees, as well as that they face many threats. But very few know about the diversity and importance of our native bee species. There are an estimated 2000 to 3000 bee species in Australia, yet we know very little about the vast majority of these and there are many that are yet to be described.
Bees of Australia introduces some of our incredible native bees, many of which, if you look closely, can be found in your own garden. Open this book wherever you like or read it from cover to cover. The combination of photography and contributions from many of Australia's leading bee researchers allows anyone to become enthralled by our native bees. Don't be surprised if you find yourself looking closer at every flower that you pass in search of our wonderful native bees.
Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two years to live. In later life he could communicate only by using a few facial muscles, but he continued to advance his field and serve as a revered voice on social and humanitarian issues.
Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe's greatest mysteries but also believed science could be used to fix problems here on Earth. Now, as we face immense challenges on our planet - from climate change to the development of artificial intelligence - he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us.
Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this wide-ranging, passionately argued final book from one of the greatest minds in history.
Featuring a foreword by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar playing Stephen Hawking, an introduction by Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne, and an afterword from Hawking's daughter, Lucy, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a brilliant last message to the world.
Science tells us a good deal about who we are, where we come from, the nature of the universe, how our brains work, and much, much more. Unfortunately, most people are largely unaware of this treasure trove of information. As a result, we are more prone to do things like aim nuclear weapons at each other, inflate the meaning of cultural differences, lay waste to the land, poison and deplete the oceans, fill the sky with carbon, and generally make poor judgments that cause needless trouble.
This book seeks to remedy this situation by providing scientific answers to the most basic yet important questions about existence. Following the standard six-question list used by journalists researching a news story, critical-thinking advocate Guy P. Harrison turns to science to answer the who, what, why, when, where and how of life on Earth.
How old is our planet? Where did it come from and where is it located in the universe? What is everything made of? When did life begin? Who are we as a species and what connections do we share with other life forms? Why is human culture continuously plagued by war, disease, and crime? Harrison not only offers science's best current answers to these crucial questions but shows how all of this information fits together. Going well beyond the simplistic factoids readily available on any smartphone, he reveals the wider implications and deeper meanings inherent in the scientific worldview.
Both entertaining and informative, this exciting tour of the cosmos and human nature will leave readers with an accurate, up-to-date view of realities small and large, near and far.
Human civilization is on the verge of spreading beyond Earth. More than a possibility, it is becoming a necessity - whether our hand is forced by climate change and resource depletion or whether future catastrophes compel us to abandon Earth, one day we will make our homes among the stars.
World-renowned physicist and futurist Michio Kaku explores in rich, accessible detail how humanity might gradually develop a sustainable civilization in outer space. With his trademark storytelling verve, Kaku shows us how science fiction is becoming reality- mind-boggling developments in robotics, nanotechnology, and biotechnology could enable us to build habitable cities on Mars; nearby stars might be reached by microscopic spaceships sailing through space on laser beams; and technology might one day allow us to transcend our physical bodies entirely.
With irrepressible enthusiasm and wonder, Dr. Kaku takes readers on a fascinating journey to a future in which humanity could finally fulfil its long-awaited destiny among the stars - and perhaps even achieve immortality.
What makes us remember? Why do we forget? And what, exactly, is a memory?
Diving for Seahorses answers these questions and more, offering an illuminating look at one of our most fascinating faculties: our memory. Sisters Hilde and Ylva Ostby - one an acclaimed writer the other a neuropsychologist-skilfully interweave history, research and personal stories in this fascinating exploration of the evolving science of memory from its Renaissance beginnings to the present day. They interview top neuroscientists, famous novelists, taxi drivers and quizmasters to help explain how memory works, why it sometimes fails and what we can do to improve it.
Filled with cutting-edge research and compelling case studies, the result is a gripping-and unforgettable-adventure through human memory.
`UNFORGETTABLE - so many fascinating people, stories and brilliant techniques. I'll never trust a memory again.' - Robyn Williams, presenter of The Science Show `Gorgeously researched and written. Be prepared to emerge with a different sense of your life's memories.' - David Eagleman, neuroscientist and New York Times bestselling author of The Brain
It is hard to overstate just how unusual Europe was towards the end of the age of the dinosaurs. It was a dynamic island arc whose individual landmasses were made up of diverse geological types, including ancient continental fragments, raised segments of oceanic crust, and land newly minted by volcanic activity. Yet even at this early stage Europe was exerting a disproportionate influence on the world.
About 100 million years ago, the interaction of three continents - Asia, North America and Africa - formed the tropical island archipelago that would become the Europe of today, a place of exceptional diversity, rapid change and high energy.
Europe- A Natural History is full of surprises. Over the millennia Europe has received countless immigrant species and transformed them. It is where the first coral reefs formed. It was once home to some of the world?s largest elephants. And it played a vital role in the evolution of our own species.
When the first modern humans arrived in Europe 40,000 years ago, they began to exert an astonishing influence on the continent?s flora and fauna, and now, Europeans lead the way in wildlife restoration - there are more wolves in Europe today than in the USA. This enthralling ecological history is more than the story of Europe and the Europeans, it will change our understanding of life itself.
In his international bestseller, The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben opened readers' eyes to the wonders and amazing processes at work in the forest. Now this new, breathtakingly illustrated edition brings those wonders to life like never before.
With compelling selections from the original book and eighty six stunning photographs of trees from around the world, this gorgeous volume distills the essence of Peter Wohlleben's message to show trees in all their glory and diversity. Through rich language highlighting the interconnectedness of forest ecosystems, the book offers fascinating insights about the fungal communication highway known as the 'wood wide web,' the difficult life lessons learned in tree school, the hard-working natural clean-up crews that recycle dying trees, and much more.
Beautiful images provide the perfect complement to Wohlleben's words, with striking close-ups of bark and seeds, panoramas of vast expanses of green, and a unique look at what is believed to be the oldest tree on the planet.
This is the road from climate change to primate change.
If you think you are you, think again.
Primate Change is a wide-ranging, polemical look at how and why the human body has changed since humankind first got up on two feet. Spanning the entirety of human history - from primate to transhuman - Vybarr Cregan-Reid's book investigates where we came from, who we are today and how modern technology will change us beyond recognition.
In the last two hundred years, humans have made such a tremendous impact on the world that our geological epoch is about to be declared the 'Anthropocene', or the Age of Man. But while we have been busy changing the shape of the world we inhabit, the ways of living that we have been building have, as if under the cover of darkness, been transforming our bodies and altering the expression of our DNA, too.
Primate Change beautifully unscrambles the complex architecture of our modern human bodies, built over millions of years and only starting to give up on us now.
'Our bodies are in a shock. Modern living is as bracing to the human body as jumping through a hole in the ice. Our bodies do not know what century they were born into and they are defending and deforming themselves in response'.
Do plants have intelligence? Do they have memory? Are they better problem solvers than people? The Revolutionary Genius of Plants - a fascinating, paradigm-shifting work that upends everything you thought you knew about plants - makes a compelling scientific case that these and other astonishing ideas are all true.
Plants make up eighty percent of the weight of all living things on earth, and yet it is easy to forget that these innocuous, beautiful organisms are responsible for not only the air that lets us survive, but for many of our modern comforts: our medicine, food supply, even our fossil fuels.
On the forefront of uncovering the essential truths about plants, world-renowned scientist Stefano Mancuso reveals the surprisingly sophisticated ability of plants to innovate, to remember, and to learn, offering us creative solutions to the most vexing technological and ecological problems that face us today. Despite not having brains or central nervous systems, plants perceive their surroundings with an even greater sensitivity than animals. They efficiently explore and react promptly to potentially damaging external events thanks to their cooperative, shared systems; without any central command centers, they are able to remember prior catastrophic events and to actively adapt to new ones.
Every page of The Revolutionary Genius of Plants bubbles over with Stefano Mancuso's infectious love for plants and for the eye-opening research that makes it more and more clear how remarkable our fellow inhabitants on this planet really are. In his hands, complicated science is wonderfully accessible, and he has loaded the book with gorgeous photographs that make for an unforgettable reading experience. The Revolutionary Genius of Plants opens the doors to a new understanding of life on earth.
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Why is a rainbow curved? Why aren't left-handers extinct? How is a sunflower like a synchronised swimmer? Why is 'e' a magic number?
The answer to these questions is contained within one simple word: MATHS. Because maths is all about patterns, and our universe is extraordinarily patterned.
With enthusiasm, humour and heart, Eddie Woo shows how card tricks, conspiracy theories, teacups, killer butterflies, music, lightning and so much more illuminate the spellbinding world of maths that surrounds us.
"I never thought I'd read a maths book cover to cover, let alone sing its praises. Eddie Woo makes maths fun, accessible and relevant. Now we can all benefit from his extraordinary skill as a teacher." - Jenny Brockie, journalist and TV host
"Not just a great teacher, Woo's Wonderful World of Maths
shows Eddie to be a storyteller too. Is there anything the Woo cannot do?" - Adam Spencer, Ambassador for Mathematics, University of Sydney
You can't present the history of art without pictures; equally equations are central to any history of mathematics.
Spanning 4,000 years of civilisation, The Story of Mathematics describes twenty -four great equations that have shaped science and society - from the elementary (1+1=2) to the sophisticated (the Black -Scholes formula) and from the famous (E=mc2) to the arcane (Hamilton's quaternion equations). This is a tale of genius, drama and beauty brought vividly to life in a compelli ng narrative by Dana Mackenzie and at the same time he tells us why these equations have something timeless to say about the universe.
Have you got what it takes to be an astronaut?
Part puzzle book, part guide, The Astronaut Selection Test Book: Do You Have What it Takes? invites readers of all ages to attempt the European Space Agency's rigorous astronaut selection and training program. The book comprises 100 real astronaut tests and training exercises for readers to try at home, and outlines the full ESA selection process for the first time.
Fascinating, surprising, and ranging in difficulty from easy to fiendishly hard, the tests include visual memory and perception puzzles, concentration tests, maths and mental arithmetic problems, psychological quizzes, teamwork and leadership exercises, survival skills, physical and medical exams, foreign language aptitude tests (ESA astronauts must learn Russian) and more.
The book, which will be richly illustrated, draws on Tim Peake's first-hand experiences of applying to ESA to be an astronaut in 2008, when he was selected with just 5 other astronauts from over 8000 applications. A wide range of ESA astronaut trainers have also contributed to the book. An exclusive competition will accompany publication, with details to be announced later this summer.
It's one of the most important and fascinating questions human beings can ponder, and astrobiology is the emerging field of science that tries to answer it.
Astronomer Rhodri Evans gives an expert overview of our current state of knowledge, looking at how life started on Earth, considering other places in the Solar System that might harbour life, then discussing possible Earth-like 'exoplanets' orbiting stars further out into our galaxy - and what future missions and studies will tell us about extraterrestrial life there.
Along the way the book answers some key questions: How can we answer Fermi's paradox ('Where is everybody?')? Is water essential for life, or just a best bet for finding it? And how will we know when we find alien life, if it doesn't follow the same principles as Earth life?
A concise history of spaceflight, from military rocketry through Sputnik, Apollo, robots in space, space culture, and human spaceflight today.
Spaceflight is one of the greatest human achievements of the twentieth century. The Soviets launched Sputnik, the first satellite, in 1957; less than twelve years later, the American Apollo astronauts landed on the Moon. In this volume of the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Michael Neufeld offers a concise history of spaceflight, mapping the full spectrum of activities that humans have developed in space.
Neufeld explains that “the space program” should not be equated only with human spaceflight. Since the 1960s, unmanned military and commercial spacecraft have been orbiting near the Earth, and robotic deep-space explorers have sent back stunning images of faraway planets. Neufeld begins with the origins of space ideas and the discovery that rocketry could be used for spaceflight. He then discusses the Soviet-U.S. Cold War space race and reminds us that NASA resisted adding female astronauts even after the Soviets sent the first female cosmonaut into orbit. He analyzes the two rationales for the Apollo program: prestige and scientific discovery (this last something of an afterthought). He describes the internationalization and privatization of human spaceflight after the Cold War, the cultural influence of space science fiction, including Star Trek and Star Wars, space tourism for the ultra-rich, and the popular desire to go into space.
Whether we become a multiplanet species, as some predict, or continue to call Earth home, this book offers a useful primer.
A source of light in the dark of night and our ever-changing cosmic companion, the Moon has fascinated humankind since we first gazed into the sky.
In this extensively illustrated and illuminating volume, art historian Alexandra Loske and astronomer Robert Massey present a rich and curious history. From its violent birth through to the exhilarating story of the Space Race and current exploration efforts, discover the many faces of the Moon and how they have shaped humanity's existence.
A revised and updated edition of the successful book, now featuring the most recent discoveries, technologies, and images.
Since the original edition of The Space Book was published in 2013, much has happened in the world of space exploration. This revised and updated edition, with a new introduction from author Jim Bell, brings the popular Milestones book up to date. It includes the most exciting and newsworthy breakthroughs, from the groundbreaking discovery of the Trappist-1 system to the technologies of the future. Take a full-color, chronological tour of the cosmos through completely new entries and spectacular images that cover developments in radio astronomy, NASA's mission to Jupiter, the new Earth-like exoplanets, the world's first interstellar solar sail mission, and more. Many existing entries have been updated with the results of completed and current missions, as well as illuminating recent photography.
'An extraordinary compilation of all that matters, ever mattered, or ever will matter in the universe.' -Neil deGrasse Tyson
A landmark account of the race to save the planet, by one of the world's foremost experts on climate science.
At the current rate of carbon pollution, we are we are likely to see the first wave of global catastrophes as a result of CO2 levels within the next twenty to twenty-five years. As a result, a group of scientists from around the world, backed by billionaires, oligarchs and dictators, are attempting to find other, more drastic solutions. The science of manipulating the earth's climate (and nature itself) is known as 'geoengineering', and is looked to, by many, as the only way to save our planet. Current schemes include the creation of artificial sulphate clouds to cool the temperatures of regions; the dispersal of millions of tons of seawater into the atmosphere via aeroplane; and the sending of thousands of light-reflecting mirrors into space. All would, scientists claim, immediately lower the earth's temperature, and slow (or stop) our current trajectory. But each also presents incalculable and possibly catastrophic risks.
Dominion is the first exploration of the race to save the planet - providing an authoritative examination of the history, science and mechanics of the various geoengineering schemes, their possible implications, and the extraordinary cast of characters - scientists, entrepreneurs, despots, ecologists, politicians - involved. It also points to what might save us from destruction- a new era of cooperation, and possibly the next stage in our evolution as a species.
Instructive, explosive and more urgent now than ever before, Dominion is an essential guide to our present and future, from one of the great scientific minds and communicators of this century.
Pebble hunting is a pleasant and health-giving hobby, whether pursued on a beach, the lake-side, or the river-bank, and all but those who are nearing the last stages of decrepitude can enjoy it.
First published in 1973, and recently rediscovered, this is a spirited guide to the simple pleasure of pebble spotting. Ellis is a charming, knowledgeable, and witty guide to everything you didn't know you wanted to know about pebbles.
He ruminates on what a pebble actually is, before showing us how they are formed, advising on the best pebble-spotting grounds in the UK, helping to identify individual stones, and giving tips on the necessary kit.
This edition will feature fresh illustrations and a new introduction by Robert Macfarlane. Nature-lovers won't want to leave home without a copy firmly tucked into their coat pocket.
In recent years, a catastrophic global bleaching event devastated many of the world's precious coral reefs. Working on the front lines of ruin, today's coral scientists are struggling to save these important coral reef ecosystems from the imminent threats of rapidly warming, acidifying, and polluted oceans. Coral Whisperers captures a critical moment in the history of coral reef science. Gleaning insights from over one hundred interviews with leading scientists and conservation managers, Irus Braverman documents a community caught in an existential crisis and alternating between despair and hope. In this important new book, corals emerge not only as signs and measures of environmental catastrophe, but also as catalysts for action.
In North Pole, Michael Bravo explains how visions of the North Pole have been supremely important to the world's cultures and political leaders, from Alexander the Great to neo-Hindu nationalists. Tracing poles and polarity back to their sacred ancient civilizations, this book explores how the idea of a North Pole has given rise to utopias, satires, fantasies, paradoxes and nationalist ideologies, from the Renaissance to the Third Reich.
The Victorian conceit of the polar regions as a vast empty wilderness, and the preserve of white males battling against the elements, was far from the only polar vision. Michael Bravo shows an alternative set of pictures, of a habitable Arctic criss-crossed by densely connected networks of Inuit routes, rich and dense in cultural meanings. In Western and Eastern cultures, theories of a sacred North Pole abound. Visions of paradise and a lost Eden have mingled freely with the imperial visions of Europe and the United States. Forebodings of failure and catastrophe have been companions to tales of conquest and redemption.
Michael Bravo shows that visions of a sacred or living pole can help humanity understand its twenty-first-century predicament, but only by understanding the pole's deeper history.
Millions of hectares of temperate woodland and billions of trees have been cleared from Australia's agricultural landscapes. This has allowed land to be developed for cropping and grazing livestock but has also had significant environmental impacts, including erosion, salinity and loss of native plant and animal species.
Restoring Farm Woodlands for Wildlife focuses on why restoration is important and describes best practice approaches to restore farm woodlands for birds, mammals and reptiles. Based on 19 years of long-term research in temperate agricultural south-eastern Australia, this book addresses practical questions such as what, where and how much to plant, ways to manage plantings and how plantings change over time. It will be a key reference for farmers, natural resource management professionals and policy-makers concerned with revegetation and conservation.
Thailand is one of Asia's leading tourist destinations and a treasure trove for anyone interested in wildlife. This little guide to the birds of Thailand is an excellent introduction for birdwatchers, residents and visitors to the country alike. It covers 252 of the birds that are regularly seen in Thailand as well as a number of endemic species, with more than 250 photographs of the birds. Each photograph is accompanied by clear text explaining key identification points, voice, habitat and behaviour.
Illustrated with clear colour photography and brief but authoritative descriptions the Pocket Photo Guides highlight the species of birds and animals from each region that the traveller is most likely to see, as well as those that are genuinely endemic (only to be seen in that country or region) or special rarities. The genuine pocket size allow the books to be carried around on trips and excursions and will take up minimal rucksack and suitcase space.
This edition of the best-selling field guide from the RSPB is compact, informative and beautifully illustrated, and features 215 of the most common birds found in Britain.
Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia is a complete guide to Australia's rich and varied herpetofauna, including frogs, crocodiles, turtles, tortoises, lizards and snakes. For each of the 1218 species there is a description of its appearance, distribution and habits. Each species is accompanied by a distribution map and, in many cases, one of the book's more than 1000 colour photographs of living animals.
The book also includes 130 simple-to-use dichotomous keys, accompanied by hundreds of explanatory drawings, that in most cases allow a specimen in hand to be identified. In addition, it has a comprehensive list of scientific references for those wishing to conduct more in-depth research, an extensive glossary, and basic guides to the collection, preservation and captive care of specimens.
This classic work was originally published in 1975. The updated seventh edition contains a new Appendix that discusses recent changes and lists over 80 new or resurrected species and genera that have been added to the Australian frog and reptile fauna since the 2014 edition.
Plants of the Victorian High Country allows walkers with little botanical knowledge to identify plants they are likely to encounter along the popular tracks of Victoria's High Country.
This Second Edition has been revised and expanded to describe 133 plants from the montane, sub-alpine and alpine zones, categorising them into five easily distinguished groups: herbs, daisy herbs, low woody shrubs, tall shrubs and trees, and eucalypts. The guide features a glossary of botanical terms, straightforward identification keys, clear photos of the leaves, flowers and stems of the plant, and includes notes on Aboriginal plant usage.
If you are a nature lover planning to walk in the Victorian High Country, this book is an essential addition to your backpack.
This easy-to-use identification guide to the 280 species of frog most commonly seen in Australia is perfect for resident and visitor alike. High quality photographs from Australia's top nature photographers are accompanied by detailed species descriptions, which include nomenclature, size, distribution, habits and habitat. The user-friendly introduction covers the geography and climate of Australia, types of habitat, and details of orders and families. Also included is an all-important checklist of all of the frogs of Australia encompassing, for each species, its common and scientific name, and its global IUCN status as at 2015.
This comprehensive field guide to the birds of Western Australia includes detailed descriptive text, distribution maps and photographic illustrations of 486 species, covering the vast majority of sedentary birds and regular migratory birds.
Most of the photographs have been taken by Author Simon Nevill himself, showing the birds in their natural habitats. The majority of the information imparted in this guide comes from Simons personal experience over the last forty years of bird watching in Australia, giving the guide a more personal tone.
The legendary biologist Edward O. Wilson offers his most philosophically probing work to date.
Creativity is the unique and defining trait of our species; and its ultimate goal, self-understanding,' begins Edward Wilson's sweeping examination of the humanities and their relationship to the sciences. By studying fields as diverse as paleontology, evolutionary biology and neuroscience, Wilson demonstrates that human creativity began not 10,000 years ago, as we have long assumed, but over 100,000 years ago in the Paleolithic Age.
Chronicling the evolution of creativity from primates to humans, Wilson shows how the humanities, in large part spurred on by the invention of language, have played a previously unexamined role in defining our species. Exploring a surprising range of creative endeavors - the instinct to create gardens; the use of metaphors and irony in speech; or the power of music and song - Wilson proposes a transformational 'Third Enlightenment' in which the blending of science and the humanities will enable us to gain a deeper understanding of the human condition, and how it ultimately originated.
In this fascinating scientific tour of household objects, The One Show's resident scientist Marty Jopson explains the answers to all of these, and many more, baffling questions about the chemistry and physics of the stuff we use every day.
Always entertaining and with no special prior scientific knowledge required, this is the perfect book for anyone curious about the science that surrounds us.
Inspiring life stories from BBC Radio 4's hit series The Life Scientific 'In showing non-scientists why science offers so many paths to discovery it has no equal' Gillian Reynolds, Telegraph Based on Jim Al-Khalili's ground-breaking interviews, The Life Scientific: Explorers takes science out of its box and introduces us to the men and women who make it happen.
The explorers featured in this volume include: Michele Dougherty, the mathematician who persuaded the Cassini mission to Saturn to make a diversion; Richard Fortey on his love of trilobites; Monica Grady, Meteorite Lady; neurosurgeon Henry Marsh on slicing through our thoughts; the Director of the British Antarctic Survey, Jane Francis; Jocelyn Bell Burnell describing how she missed out on a Nobel Prize; Brian Cox on quantum mechanics; and Nobel Prize winner John Sulston on why he thought it would be a good idea to sequence the human genome.
Recent polls suggest that fewer than 40 percent of Americans believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution, despite it being one of science’s best-established findings. Parents still refuse to vaccinate their children for fear it causes autism, though this link has been consistently disproved. And about 40 percent of Americans believe that the threat of global warming is exaggerated, including many political leaders.
In this era of fake news and alternative facts, there is more bunk than ever. But why do people believe in it? And what causes them to embrace such pseudoscientific beliefs and practices? In this fully revised second edition, noted skeptic Massimo Pigliucci sets out to separate the fact from the fantasy in an entertaining exploration of the nature of science, the borderlands of fringe science, and - borrowing a famous phrase from philosopher Jeremy Bentham - the nonsense on stilts. Presenting case studies on a number of controversial topics, Pigliucci cuts through the ambiguity surrounding science to look more closely at how science is conducted, how it is disseminated, how it is interpreted, and what it means to our society. The result is in many ways a “taxonomy of bunk” that explores the intersection of science and culture at large.
No one - neither the public intellectuals in the culture wars between defenders and detractors of science nor the believers of pseudoscience themselves - is spared Pigliucci’s incisive analysis in this timely reminder of the need to maintain a line between expertise and assumption. Broad in scope and implication, Nonsense on Stilts is a captivating guide for the intelligent citizen who wishes to make up her own mind while navigating the perilous debates that will shape the future of our planet.
James Bryant Conant was a towering figure. He was at the center of the mammoth threats and challenges of the twentieth century. As a young eminent chemist, he supervised the production of poison gas in World War I. As a controversial president of Harvard University, he was a champion of meritocracy and open admissions. As an advisor to FDR, he led the interventionist cause for US entrance in World War II. During that war, Conant oversaw the development of the atomic bomb and argued that it be used against the industrial city of Hiroshima in Japan. Later, he urged the Atomic Energy Commission to reject the hydrogen bomb and devoted the rest of his life to campaigning for international control of atomic weapons. As Eisenhower's high commissioner to Germany, he helped to plan German recovery and was an architect of the United States' Cold War policy.
Now New York Times bestselling author Jennet Conant recreates the cataclysmic events of the twentieth century as her grandfather James experienced them. She describes the guilt, fears, and sometimes regret of those who invented and deployed the bombs and the personal toll it took. Man of the Hour is based on hundreds of documents and diaries, interviews with Manhattan Projects scientists, Harvard colleagues, and Conant's friends and family, including her father, James B. Conant's son. This is a most serious work, well written and evocative of an era when the American foreign establishment exuded gravitas...
The conflict thesis - the idea that an inevitable and irreconcilable conflict exists between science and religion - has long been part of the popular imagination. In The Warfare between Science and Religion, Jeff Hardin, Ronald L. Numbers, and Ronald A. Binzley have assembled a group of distinguished historians who explore the origin of the thesis, its reception, the responses it drew from various faith traditions, and its continued prominence in public discourse.
Several essays in the book examine the personal circumstances and theological idiosyncrasies of important intellectuals, including John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White, who through their polemical writings championed the conflict thesis relentlessly. Other essays consider what the thesis meant to different religious communities, including evangelicals, liberal Protestants, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Finally, essays both historical and sociological explore the place of the conflict thesis in popular culture and intellectual discourse today.
Based on original research and written in an accessible style, the essays in The Warfare between Science and Religion take an interdisciplinary approach to question the historical relationship between science and religion. This volume, which brings much-needed perspective to an often bitter controversy, will appeal to scholars and students of the histories of science and religion, sociology, and philosophy.
Contributors: Thomas H. Aechtner, Ronald A. Binzley, John Hedley Brooke, Elaine Howard Ecklund, Noah Efron, John H. Evans, Maurice A. Finocchiaro, Frederick Gregory, Bradley J. Gundlach, Monte Harrell Hampton, Jeff Hardin, Peter Harrison, Bernard Lightman, David N. Livingstone, David Mislin, Efthymios Nicolaidis, Mark A. Noll, Ronald L. Numbers, Lawrence M. Principe, Jon H. Roberts, Christopher P. Scheitle, M. Alper Yalcinkaya.
Alfred Wegener aimed to create a revolution in science which would rank with those of Nicolaus Copernicus and Charles Darwin. After completing his doctoral studies in astronomy at the University of Berlin, Wegener found himself drawn not to observatory science but to rugged fieldwork, which allowed him to cross into a variety of disciplines. The author of the theory of continental drift-the direct ancestor of the modern theory of plate tectonics and one of the key scientific concepts of the past century-Wegener also made major contributions to geology, geophysics, astronomy, geodesy, atmospheric physics, meteorology, and glaciology. Remarkably, he completed this pathbreaking work while grappling variously with financial difficulty, war, economic depression, scientific isolation, illness, and injury. He ultimately died of overexertion on a journey to probe the Greenland icecap and calculate its rate of drift.
This landmark biography-the only complete account of the scientist's fascinating life and work-is the culmination of more than twenty years of intensive research. In Alfred Wegener, Mott T. Greene places Wegener's upbringing and theoretical advances in earth science in the context of his brilliantly eclectic career, bringing Wegener to life by analyzing his published scientific work, delving into all of his surviving letters and journals, and tracing both his passionate commitment to science and his thrilling experiences as a polar explorer, a military officer during World War I, and a world-record-setting balloonist.
In the course of writing this book, Greene traveled to every place that Alfred Wegener lived and worked-to Berlin, rural Brandenburg, Marburg, Hamburg, and Heidelberg in Germany; to Innsbruck and Graz in Austria; and onto the Greenland icecap. He also pored over archives in Copenhagen, Munich, Marburg, Graz, and Bremerhaven, where the majority of Wegener's surviving papers are found.
Written with great immediacy and descriptive power, Alfred Wegener is a powerful portrait of the scientist who pioneered the modern concept of unified Earth science. The book should be of interest not only to earth scientists, students of polar travel and exploration, and historians but to all readers who are fascinated by the great minds of science.
Epigenetics upends natural selection and genetic mutation as the sole engines of evolution. Darwinian evolution is based on the genetic code of an individual being changed by mutation, causing the genome passed to the offspring to differ from that of the parent. But some morphological changes have taken place so radically and so pervasively that they cannot be explained by modern evolutionary theory.
A far simpler explanation for this phenomenon is epigenetics, which can create radical physical and physiological changes in subsequent generations by the simple addition of a single small molecule and without genetic mutation. One commonly studied alteration is the addition of very short chains of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen to particular nucleotides in DNA, typically silencing gene activity - somewhat as if someone canceled your delivery of bricks while you were in the process of building a house. Heritable epigenetics takes place when methyl molecules change the functioning of both DNA and tiny bits of RNA. Sometimes the presence of methylation or tiny freeloaders causes a protein not to be made. Or it might cause a new protein to be made that would not otherwise occur. Other times, it might cause a regulator gene-essentially the General Contractor coordinating all of the cells of the busy construction project-to walk off the job entirely, and huge changes take place far beyond what any single mutation could facilitate. Such changes affecting an individual can then be passed to the next generation: the methyl molecules are not physically passed on to the next generation, but the propensity for them to attach in the same places in the next generation are!
Lamarck's Revenge explains how physical and behavioral changes can be passed on even though there has been no mutation that has been "inherited" from the progenitor. Among species, epigenetics can create morphological and physiological changes faster than could be explained by "Darwinian" natural selection and mutation. Not only has epigenetics played a key role in the history of our species - and indeed, of the world as a whole - it is crucial to understanding and predicting future human evolution.
The blueprint for our individuality lies in the 1% of DNA that differs between people. Our intellectual capacity, our introversion or extraversion, our vulnerability to mental illness, even whether we are a morning person - all of these aspects of our personality are profoundly shaped by our inherited DNA differences. In Blueprint, Robert Plomin, a pioneer in the field of behavioural genetics, draws on a lifetime's worth of research to make the case that DNA is the most important factor shaping who we are. Our families, schools and the environment around us are important, but they are not as influential as our genes. This is why, he argues, teachers and parents should accept children for who they are, rather than trying to mould them in certain directions. Even the environments we choose and the signal events that impact our lives, from divorce to addiction, are influenced by our genetic predispositions. Now, thanks to the DNA revolution, it is becoming possible to predict who we will become, at birth, from our DNA alone. As Plomin shows us, these developments have sweeping implications for how we think about parenting, education, and social mobility.
A game-changing book by a leader in the field, Blueprint shows how the DNA present in the single cell with which we all begin our lives can impact our behaviour as adults.
Journalist Rachel Love Nuwer plunges the reader into the underground of global wildlife trafficking, a topic she has been investigating for nearly a decade. Our insatiable demand for animals - for jewellery, pets, medicine, meat, trophies, and fur - is driving a worldwide poaching epidemic, threatening the continued existence of countless species. Illegal wildlife trade now ranks among the largest contraband industries in the world, yet compared to drug, arms, or human trafficking, the wildlife crisis has received scant attention and support, leaving it up to passionate individuals fighting on the ground to try to ensure that elephants, tigers, rhinos, and more are still around for future generations.
Poached takes readers to the front lines of the trade- to killing fields in Africa, traditional-medicine black markets in China, and wild-meat restaurants in Vietnam. Through exhaustive first-hand reporting that took her to ten countries, Nuwer explores the forces currently driving demand for animals and their parts; the toll that demand is extracting on species across the planet; and the conservationists, rangers, and activists who are working to stop the impending extinctions - people who believe this is a battle that can be won, that our animals are not beyond salvation.
Explore the beauty and diversity of the animal world through more than 300 captivating images from across time and from every corner of the globe Animal: Exploring the Zoological World is a visually stunning and broad-ranging survey that explores and celebrates humankind's ongoing fascination with animals. Since our very first moments on Earth, we have been compelled to make images of the curious beasts around us - whether as sources of food, danger, wonder, power, scientific significance or companionship. This carefully curated selection of images, chosen by an international panel of experts, delves into our shared past to tell the story of animal life.
From the first cave paintings, extraordinary medieval bestiaries and exquisite scientific illustration, to iconic paintings, contemporary artworks and the incredible technological advancements that will shape our futures together, the huge range of works reflects the beauty and variety of animals themselves - including butterflies, hummingbirds, bats, frogs, tigers, dogs, jellyfish, spiders and elephants, to name a few.
Arranged in a curated and thought-provoking sequence, this engaging compilation includes iconic works by some of the great names in zoology, such as Conrad Gesner, Charles Darwin and John James Audubon, as well as celebrated artists and photographers, indigenous cultures and lesser-known figures who have made important contributions to the study and representation of animals throughout history.
Our understanding of the `tree of life', with powerful implications for human genetics, human health and our own human nature, has recently completely changed. This book is about a new method of telling the story of life on earth - through molecular phylogenetics. It involves a fairly simple method - the reading of the deep history of life by looking at the variation in protein molecules found in living organisms. For instance, we now know that roughly eight per cent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection.
In The Tangled Tree, acclaimed science writer David Quammen chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them - such as Carl Woese, the most important little-known biologist of the twentieth century; Lynn Margulis, the notorious maverick whose wild ideas about `mosaic' creatures proved to be true; and Tsutomu Wantanabe, who discovered that the scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a direct result of horizontal gene transfer, bringing the deep study of genome histories to bear on a global crisis in public health.
Quammen explains how molecular studies of evolution have brought startling recognitions about the tangled tree of life - including where we humans fit into it. Thanks to new technologies, we now have the ability to alter even our genetic composition - through sideways insertions, as nature has long been doing. The Tangled Tree is a brilliant exploration of our transformed understanding of evolution and of life's history itself.
A new, beautifully illustrated edition of David Attenborough's groundbreaking Life on Earth. David Attenborough's meeting with gorillas was one of the most unforgettable moments for millions of television viewers. With Life on Earth, Attenborough created a book and TV series that became a benchmark of quality, influencing a generation of nature lovers.
David Attenborough's internationally acclaimed book of the series was a worldwide bestseller. Told through an examination of animal and plant life - with occasional juxtapositions of extinct fossil forms to reveal the origin of living creatures - Life on Earth is an astonishing celebration of the evolution of life on Earth, with a cast of characters drawn from the whole range of organisms that have ever lived on this planet. Attenborough's perceptive, dynamic approach to the evolution of millions of species of living organisms that populate the planet takes the reader on an unforgettable journey of discovery from the very first spark of life to the blue and green wonder we know today.
Now, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the book's first publication, David Attenborough has revised Life on Earth, updating and adding to the original text and choosing beautiful, completely new photography. This special anniversary edition provides a fitting tribute to an enduring wildlife classic. It will enthral the generation who saw it when first published and will bring it alive for a whole new generation
Around 250,000 people have had their genomes sequenced and scientists expect that number to rise to one billion by 2025. Steven J. Heine argues that the first thing we will do on receiving our DNA test results is to misinterpret them completely.
In DNA Is Not Destiny, Heine shares his research to not only show what your genes can tell you about your health, intelligence, ethnic identity and family but also highlight the psychological biases that make us so vulnerable to the media hype. Heine's fresh, surprising conclusions about the promise, and limits, of genetic engineering and DNA testing upend conventional thinking and reveal a simple, profound truth: your genes create life-but they do not control it.
Few people realize how sophisticated and intelligent bats are. Merlin Tuttle knows, and he has stopped at nothing to find and protect them on every continent they inhabit. Sharing highlights from a lifetime of adventure and discovery, Tuttle takes us to the frontiers of bat research to show that frog-eating bats can identify frogs by their calls, that some bats have social sophistication similar to that of higher primates, and that bats have remarkable memories. Bats also provide enormous benefits by eating crop pests, pollinating plants, and carrying seeds needed for reforestation. They save farmers billions of dollars annually and are essential to a healthy planet. Tuttle's account forever changes the way we see these poorly understood yet fascinating creatures.
Have you ever wondered what beats beneath an animal's skin? Well, you wouldn't be the first one. The study of comparative anatomy has led to some of the most striking images ever created. For two and a half thousand years, the animal body has been picked apart to drive arguments in natural philosophy, to reinforce dogma, to remind us of death, to horrify, educate, and enthral.
This book recounts the intertwined intellectual and artistic journeys of comparative anatomy from antiquity to the present day. Rather than offering an exhaustive listing, it focuses on the distinctive artistic flavors of five great phases of anatomical endeavour. Horses opened like books, the leer of a shark's eye, the humming loom of the brain-all life is here, dissected, and depicted.
Lyrically written and accompanied by captivating illustrations from history's animal anatomists, this is the ideal read for designers, art lovers and scientists alike.
Congratulations! You're the proud owner of the most complex information processing device in the known universe. The human brain comes equipped with all sorts of useful design features, but also many bugs and weaknesses. Problem is you don't get an owner's manual. You have to just plug and play.
As a result, most of us never properly understand how our brains work and what they're truly capable of. We fail get the best out of them, ignore some of their most useful features and struggle to overcome their design faults.
Featuring witty essays, enlightening infographics and fascinating 'try this at home' experiments, New Scientist take you on a journey through intelligence, memory, creativity, the unconscious and beyond. From the strange ways to distort what we think of as 'reality' to the brain hacks that can improve memory, The Brain: A User's Guide will help you understand your brain and show you how to use it to its full potential.
Metabolism, behaviour, sleep, mood swings, the immune system, fighting, fleeing, puberty and sex: these are just a few of the things our bodies control with hormones. Armed with a healthy dose of wit and curiosity, medical journalist Randi Hutter Epstein takes us on a journey through the unusual history of these potent chemicals from a basement filled with jarred nineteenth-century brains to a twenty-first-century hormone clinic in Los Angeles.
Brimming with fascinating anecdotes, illuminating new medical research and humorous details, Aroused introduces the leading scientists who made life-changing discoveries about the hormone imbalances that ail us, as well as the charlatans who used those discoveries to peddle false remedies.
A fascinating look at the world's most numerous inhabitants, illustrated with stunning images from the American Museum of Natural History's Rare Book Collection.
To date, we have discovered and described or named around 1.1 million insect species, and thousands of new species are added to the ranks every year. It is estimated that there are around five million insect species on Earth, making them the most diverse lineage of all life by far. This magnificent volume from the American Museum of Natural History tells their incredible story. Noted entomologist Michael S. Engel explores insects' evolution and diversity; metamorphosis; pests, parasites, and plagues; society and language; camouflage; and pollination-as well as tales of discovery by intrepid entomologists. More than 180 illustrations from the Rare Book Collection at the Museum's Research Library reveal the extraordinary world of insects down to their tiniest, most astonishing details, from butterflies' iridescent wings to beetles' vibrant colors.
Few animals elicit such a profoundly honest response of horror, fear and fright as the bedbug. Uninvited, bedbugs invade your privacy; they enter your bed, leave their marks and take away your bodily fluid - blood. From fossils to ancient Greek theatre, modern horror fiction and the bitter battles of recent scientific research, Bedbug investigates the animal's natural history and examines how ordinary people, travellers, artists and scientists have experienced and confronted bedbugs over the centuries.
Klaus Reinhardt explores how the fear of bedbugs has been institutionalized, leading not only to the development of pest control and research laboratories but to bedbugs becoming the Other, used to represent personal enemies, denigrate social classes and characterize capitalist villains. With a mix of amusing, repulsive and illuminating illustrations, Bedbug informs, entertains and even pledges for tolerance for a surprising and profoundly misunderstood insect.
One of the hardest questions that mathematics teachers have to answer is Why? Schoolroom sums are crucial in learning the awesome power of mathematics, but they are often a world away from how the knowledge is applied and where it came from. Inside Mathematics: Algebra to Calculus is there to fill that gap.
To some the term algebra is a baffling torment that has no meaning; to others it is perhaps the most powerful tool in mathematics. The word algebra comes from the Arabic language because this unifying force of math arose in Baghdad 1,200 years ago. It takes the numbers out of calculations and and in so doing allows us to investigate mathematical ideas like never before. Thanks to a lazy morning spent in bed by Rene Descartes, algebra can turn lines, surfaces, and shapes of all kinds into equations. Isaac Newton used it quantify natural processes using an infinite number of tiny values to find the answers. He was very proud of The Calculus and it became the focus of the biggest dispute in scientific history.
Inside Mathematics: Algebra to Calculus introduces the amazing people who figured out how equations work and how they can be used to investigate nature. Written to engage, entertain and enthuse young people, it show readers how ideas of long-dead geniuses ended up in their homework assignment: Algebra unlocks the laws of physics, such as Galileo's Law of Fall, which was the first hint at how gravity works-and how all motion can be measured and predicted. Calculus goes even further, by opening up math to the fluctuations of nature, from the actions of sound and heat to the motions of asteroids-and even warps in the fabric of space and time.
This classic electrical engineering text by a prominent educator is consistently praised not only for its wealth of information but also for a level of detail seldom found in other contemporary books. Frequently cited as a valuable reference for instructors and professionals, the treatment is enhanced throughout with extremely useful examples and problems.
This new edition of a classic textbook develops complex analysis from the established theory of real analysis by emphasising the differences that arise as a result of the richer geometry of the complex plane. Key features of the authors' approach are to use simple topological ideas to translate visual intuition to rigorous proof, and, in this edition, to address the conceptual conflicts between pure and applied approaches head-on. Beyond the material of the clarified and corrected original edition, there are three new chapters: Chapter 15, on infinitesimals in real and complex analysis; Chapter 16, on homology versions of Cauchy's theorem and Cauchy's residue theorem, linking back to geometric intuition; and Chapter 17, outlines some more advanced directions in which complex analysis has developed, and continues to evolve into the future. With numerous worked examples and exercises, clear and direct proofs, and a view to the future of the subject, this is an invaluable companion for any modern complex analysis course.
Blending history and fantasy, science and art, the story of how dinosaurs were discovered and reimagined comes to life through splendid illustrations in this hand - some slipcased volume.
Stegosaurus, triceratops, brontosaurus, diplodocus, allosaurus, iguanodon, tyrannosaurus rex... these exotic prehistoric creatures continue to fascinate more than 200 million years after they last roamed the earth. Indisputably the stuff of fantasy and legend, dinosaurs are also imposing and decidedly real remnants of a bygone antediluvian period. Their skeletons have been reconstituted, reconstructed, and interpreted by scientists and artists since the first fossils were uncovered near Canyon City, Colorado in 1877, sparking the Bone Wars. In 1907, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History mounted Dippy the diplodocus, which sparked dinomania, igniting the imagination of popular culture and Hollywood. From the Morrison Formation to Montana's Hell Creek, and from Mongolia's Gobi desert to Argentina's Patagonia, new discoveries and excavations have uncovered a lost kingdom that has inspired myriad homages.
This volume enriches our understanding of dinosaurs through rich visual iconography - from paintings, drawings, and sketches, to new photography, film stills, reconstructed skeletons, and archival documents-along with detailed descriptions and anecdotes from great nineteenth-century explorers, artists, writers and filmmakers such as Benjamin W. Hawkins, Charles R. Knight, Zdenek Burian, Jules Verne, and Steven Spielberg.