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50 Great Myths of Human Evolution uses common misconceptions to explore basic theory and research in human evolution and strengthen critical thinking skills for lay readers and students. Examines intriguing–yet widely misunderstood–topics, from general ideas about evolution and human origins to the evolution of modern humans and recent trends in the field Describes what fossils, archaeology, and genetics can tell us about human origins Demonstrates the ways in which science adapts and changes over time to incorporate new evidence and better explanations Includes myths such as “Humans lived at the same time as dinosaurs;” “Lucy was so small because she was a child;” “Our ancestors have always made fire;” and “There is a strong relationship between brain size and intelligence” Comprised of stand-alone essays that are perfect for casual reading, as well as footnotes and references that allow readers to delve more deeply into topics Author: John H. Relethford ISBN:9780470673928
The official book behind the Academy Award-winning film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley Alan Turing was the mathematician whose cipher-cracking transformed the Second World War. Taken on by British Intelligence in 1938, as a shy young Cambridge don, he combined brilliant logic with a flair for engineering. In 1940 his machines were breaking the Enigma-enciphered messages of Nazi Germany’s air force. He then headed the penetration of the super-secure U-boat communications. But his vision went far beyond this achievement. Before the war he had invented the concept of the universal machine, and in 1945 he turned this into the first design for a digital computer. Turing’s far-sighted plans for the digital era forged ahead into a vision for Artificial Intelligence. However, in 1952 his homosexuality rendered him a criminal and he was subjected to humiliating treatment. In 1954, aged 41, Alan Turing took his own life. Author:Andrew Hodges ISBN:9781784700089
‘Written with perceptive sympathy for the wounded healer, it is necessary reading for both doctors and patients.’ Hilary Mantel ‘Crucial and timely.’ Atul Gawande ‘A furious dispatch from the front line of the hospital system.’ The Times, ‘Book of the Week’ ‘Fascinating and troubling. Read it and weep.’ Susie Orbach ‘Haunting, beautiful and urgent.’ Johann Hari ‘At the heart of this book is the problem of how emotional resilience can be identified in prospective doctors and strengthened in practising doctors. We are fallible human beings, not omniscient gods.’ Henry Marsh, Sunday Times Doctors are the people we turn to when we fall ill. They are the people we trust with our lives, and with the lives of those we love. Yet who can doctors turn to at moments of stress, or when their own working lives break down? What does it take to confront death, disease, distress and suffering every day? To work in a healthcare system that is stretched to breaking point? To carry the responsibility of making decisions that can irrevocably change someone’s life – or possibly end it? And how do doctors cope with their own questions and fears, when they are expected to have all the answers? Caroline Elton is a psychologist who specialises in helping doctors. For over twenty years she has listened as doctors have unburdened themselves of the pressures of their jobs: the obstetrician whose own fertility treatment failed; the trainee oncologist who found herself unable to treat patients suffering from the disease that killed her father; the brilliant neurosurgeon struggling to progress her career in an environment that was hostile to women. Drawing on extraordinary case studies and decades of work supporting clinicians, Also Human presents a provocative, perceptive and deeply humane examination of the modern medical profession. Author: Caroline Elton ISBN:9781785150906
From the bestselling author of The Art of the Start and Enchantment, a no-nonsense guide to becoming a social media superstar. By now it’s clear that whether you’re promoting a business, a product, or yourself, social media is near the top of what will determine your success or failure. And there are countless pundits, authors, and consultants eager to advise you. But there’s no one quite like Guy Kawasaki, the legendary former chief evangelist for Apple and one of the pioneers of business blogging, tweeting, facebooking, tumbling, and much, much more. Now Guy has teamed up with his Canva colleague Peg Fitzpatrick to offer The Art of Social Media – the one essential guide you need to get the most bang for your time, effort, and money. With more than 100 practical tips, tricks, and insights, Guy and Peg present a ground-up strategy to produce a focused, thorough, and compelling presence on the most popular social-media platforms. They guide you through the steps of building your foundation, amassing your digital assets, going to market, optimizing your profile, attracting more followers, and effectively integrating social media and blogging. For beginners overwhelmed by too many choices, as well as seasoned professionals eager to improve their game, The Art of Social Media is full of tactics that have been proven to work in the real world. Author: Guy Kawasaki ISBN:9780241199473
The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist. What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson. But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day. While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe. Author: Neil De Grasse Tyson ISBN:9780393609394
‘I couldn’t put down this thriller . . . the perfect book to read by the fire this winter.’ Bill Gates, ‘5 books I loved in 2018’ WINNER OF THE FINANCIAL TIMES/MCKINSEY BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2018 The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end, despite pressure from its charismatic CEO and threats by her lawyers. In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work. In Bad Blood, John Carreyrou tells the riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley. Now to be adapted into a film, with Jennifer Lawrence to star. ‘Chilling . . . Reads like a West Coast version of All the President’s Men.’ New York Times Book Review Author: John Carreyrou ISBN:9781509868087
For most of human history, death was a common, ever-present possibility. It didn’t matter whether you were five or fifty – every day was a roll of the dice. But now, as medical advances push the boundaries of survival further each year, we have become increasingly detached from the reality of being mortal. So here is a book about the modern experience of mortality – about what it’s like to get old and die, how medicine has changed this and how it hasn’t, where our ideas about death have gone wrong. With his trademark mix of perceptiveness and sensitivity, Atul Gawande outlines a story that crosses the globe, as he examines his experiences as a surgeon and those of his patients and family, and learns to accept the limits of what he can do. Never before has aging been such an important topic. The systems that we have put in place to manage our mortality are manifestly failing; but, as Gawande reveals, it doesn’t have to be this way. The ultimate goal, after all, is not a good death, but a good life – all the way to the very end. Published in partnership with the Wellcome Collection, a free visitor destination that explores the connections between medicine, life and art. Author: Atul Gawande ISBN:9781846685828
The struggle to perform well is universal: each one of us faces fatigue, limited resources, and imperfect abilities in whatever we do. But nowhere is this drive to do better more important than in medicine, where lives are on the line with every decision. In his new book, Atul Gawande explores how doctors strive to close the gap between best intentions and best performance in the face of obstacles that sometimes seem insurmountable. Gawande’s gripping stories of diligence, ingenuity, and what it means to do right by people take us to battlefield surgical tents in Iraq, to labor and delivery rooms in Boston, to a polio outbreak in India, and to malpractice courtrooms around the country. He discusses the ethical dilemmas of doctors participation in lethal injections, examines the influence of money on modern medicine, and recounts the astoundingly contentious history of hand washing. And as in all his writing, Gawande gives us an inside look at his own life as a practicing surgeon, offering a searingly honest firsthand account of work in a field where mistakes are both unavoidable and unthinkable. At once unflinching and compassionate, Better is an exhilarating journey narrated by arguably the best nonfiction doctor-writer around (Salon). Gawande’s investigation into medical professionals and how they progress from merely good to great provides rare insight into the elements of success, illuminating every area of human endeavor Author: Atul Gawande ISBN:9781861976574
This is an important book. It provides a comprehensive and cogent exposition of the intersection between law, medicine and genetics at a critical time in Kenya’s history – a time when we are focused on interpreting and implementing the expansive provisions within the Constitution of Kenya 2010; a time when we are committed to operationalizing relevant legislation such as the Human Tissues Act Revised Edition 2012, the Biosafety Act 2009 and the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act 2006. Clearly, those who want to be better acquainted with the nexus between human rights, bioethics, medical research and genetic manipulation will find great value in this work. Author:Marion Mutugi , Isaac Lenaola ISBN:9789966315786
“This man could plainly do for mathematics what Brian Cox has done for physics” — Sunday Times What goes on inside the mind of a rock-star mathematician? Where does inspiration come from? With a storyteller’s gift, Cédric Villani takes us on a mesmerising journey as he wrestles with a new theorem that will win him the most coveted prize in mathematics. Along the way he encounters obstacles and setbacks, losses of faith and even brushes with madness. His story is one of courage and partnership, doubt and anxiety, elation and despair. We discover how it feels to be obsessed by a theorem during your child’s cello practise and throughout your dreams, why appreciating maths is a bit like watching an episode of Columbo, and how sometimes inspiration only comes from locking yourself away in a dark room to think. Blending science with history, biography with myth, Villani conjures up an inimitable cast of characters including the omnipresent Einstein, mad genius Kurt Godel, and Villani’s personal hero, John Nash. Birth of a Theorem combines passion and imagination to take us on a fantastical adventure through the beautiful, mysterious world of mathematics. Maths has never seemed so magical or so exciting. Author: Cedric Villani ISBN:9780099581970
It’s everywhere: from the laws of citizenship to the detection of doping in sport, from the books of the Old Testament and the acts of Macbeth to the mudbloods of Harry Potter and the vampires of Twilight. Blood fills our imagination, just as fully as it fills our veins. In this provocative exploration of the medical and social history of blood, from ancient times to today, award-winning novelist Lawrence Hill considers blood’s scientific, cultural, psychological and political aspects. He charts how our understanding of blood has developed over the centuries, sharing a close-up view of William Harvey’s bloody dissection table at which the seventeenth-century physician shocked his peers, using a live dog to prove that blood circulates. But blood isn’t just about the body, and Hill also reveals how ideas about blood purity have spawned rules on who gets to belong to a family, who enjoys the rights of citizenship and what defines a person’s identity. As Hill powerfully and lyrically conveys, blood counts in virtually every aspect of our being that matters. Author: Lawrence Hill ISBN:9781780745466
‘Charming, compelling and packed with information. I learned more about biology from this short book than I did from years of science lessons. A weird and wonderful read’ PETER FRANKOPAN We like to think of ourselves as exceptional beings, but is there really anything special about us that sets us apart from other animals? Humans are the slightest of twigs on a single family tree that encompasses four billion years, a lot of twists and turns, and a billion species. All of those organisms are rooted in a single origin, with a common code that underwrites our existence. This paradox – that our biology is indistinct from all life, yet we consider ourselves to be special – lies at the heart of who we are. In this original and entertaining tour of life on Earth, Adam Rutherford explores how many of the things once considered to be exclusively human are not: we are not the only species that communicates, makes tools, utilises fire, or has sex for reasons other than to make new versions of ourselves. Evolution has, however, allowed us to develop our culture to a level of complexity that outstrips any other observed in nature. THE BOOK OF HUMANS tells the story of how we became the creatures we are today, bestowed with the unique ability to investigate what makes us who we are. Illuminated by the latest scientific discoveries, it is a thrilling compendium of what unequivocally fixes us as animals, and reveals how we are extraordinary among them. Author: Adam Rutherford ISBN:9780297609407
A pioneer of artificial intelligence shows how the study of causality revolutionized science and the world ‘Correlation does not imply causation.’ This mantra was invoked by scientists for decades in order to avoid taking positions as to whether one thing caused another, such as smoking and cancer and carbon dioxide and global warming. But today, that taboo is dead. The causal revolution, sparked by world-renowned computer scientist Judea Pearl and his colleagues, has cut through a century of confusion and placed cause and effect on a firm scientific basis. Now, Pearl and science journalist Dana Mackenzie explain causal thinking to general readers for the first time, showing how it allows us to explore the world that is and the worlds that could have been. It is the essence of human and artificial intelligence. And just as Pearl’s discoveries have enabled machines to think better, The Book of Why explains how we can think better. Author:Judea Pearl ISBN:9780241242636
Meet the ninety year old doctor, who, with the aid of a few simple exercises, is still practising medicine. His is just one of the incredible stories brain expert Norman Doidge tells as he reveals our brain’s remarkable ability to repair itself through the power of positive thought. In The Brain That Changes Itself Doidge introduces us to the fascinating stories at the cutting edge of the brain science and the emerging discipline of ‘neuroplasticity’ . We meet the stroke victim who unable to feed or dress himself learned to move and talk again, the woman with a rare brain condition that left her feeling as though she was perpetually falling but who through a series of exercises rewired her brain to overcome this and the maverick scientists over turning centuries of assumptions about the brain and it’s capacity for renewal. Doidge shows how their incredible work is helping the blind to see, the deaf to hear and causing Nobel laureates to rethink our model of the brain. This remarkable book will leave you with a sense of wonder at the capabilities of the human brain and the power to change which lies within all of us. Author: Norman Doidge ISBN:9780141038872
In gripping accounts of true cases, surgeon Atul Gawande explores the power and the limits of medicine, offering an unflinching view from the scalpel’s edge. Complications lays bare a science not in its idealized form but as it actually is–uncertain, perplexing, and profoundly human. Complications is a 2002 National Book Award Finalist for Nonfiction. Author: Atul Gawande ISBN:9781846681325
* The story of cosmic evolution, science and civilisation * Spacecraft missions to nearby planets * The Library of ancient Alexandria * The human brain * Egyptian hieroglyphics * The origin of life * The death of the sun * The evolution of galaxies * The origins of matter, suns and worlds The story of fifteen billion years of cosmic evolution transforming matter and life into consciousness, of how science and civilisation grew up together, and of the forces and individuals who helped shape modern science. A story told with Carl Sagan’s remarkable ability to make scientific ideas both comprehensible and exciting. Author: Carl Sagan ISBN:9780349107035
In this fascinating and compelling book—a must-read for anyone who owns a computer—Misha Glenny exposes our governments’ multi-billion-dollar war against an ever-morphing, super smart new breed of criminal: the hacker. The benefits of living in a digital, globalized society are enormous; so too are the dangers. We bank online, shop online, date, learn, work, and live online, but have the institutions that keep us safe on the streets learned to protect us from the deadly “new mafia” of cybercriminals? To answer this question, Glenny offers a vivid examination of the rise of the criminal hacking website DarkMarket and its ultimate fall. Along the way, he presents alarming and illuminating stories about both the shadowy individuals behind its scenes and the organizations tasked with bringing them to justice. Author: Misha Glenny ISBN:9781847921277
Beyond the familiar online world that most of us inhabit – a world of Google, Hotmail, Facebook and Amazon – lies a vast and often hidden network of sites, communities and cultures where freedom is pushed to its limits, and where people can be anyone, or do anything, they want. A world that is as creative and complex as it is dangerous and disturbing. A world that is much closer than you think. The dark net is an underworld that stretches from popular social media sites to the most secretive corners of the encrypted web. It is a world that frequently appears in newspaper headlines, but one that is little understood, and rarely explored. The Dark Net is a revelatory examination of the internet today, and of its most innovative and dangerous subcultures: trolls and pornographers, drug dealers and hackers, political extremists and computer scientists, Bitcoin programmers and self-harmers, libertarians and vigilantes. Based on extensive first-hand experience, exclusive interviews and shocking documentary evidence, The Dark Net offers a startling glimpse of human nature under the conditions of freedom and anonymity, and shines a light on an enigmatic and ever-changing world. Author: Jamie Bartlett ISBN:9780099592020
E=mc2. Just about everyone has at least heard of Albert Einstein’s formulation of 1905, which came into the world as something of an afterthought. But far fewer can explain his insightful linkage of energy to mass. David Bodanis offers an easily grasped gloss on the equation. Mass, he writes, “is simply the ultimate type of condensed or concentrated energy,” whereas energy “is what billows out as an alternate form of mass under the right circumstances.” Just what those circumstances are occupies much of Bodanis’s book, which pays homage to Einstein and, just as important, to predecessors such as Maxwell, Faraday, and Lavoisier, who are not as well known as Einstein today. Balancing writerly energy and scholarly weight, Bodanis offers a primer in modern physics and cosmology, explaining that the universe today is an expression of mass that will, in some vastly distant future, one day slide back to the energy side of the equation, replacing the “dominion of matter” with “a great stillness”–a vision that is at once lovely and profoundly frightening. Without sliding into easy psychobiography, Bodanis explores other circumstances as well; namely, Einstein’s background and character, which combined with a sterling intelligence to afford him an idiosyncratic view of the way things work–a view that would change the world. –Gregory McNamee Author: David Bidanis ISBN:9781509822188
The Universe came into being 13.8 billion years ago. At this point, all of existence could be summed up as an endless soup of particles frothing at temperatures many times hotter than the Sun. It was chaos. Fortunately, as the Universe expanded, everything began to cool and the particles stabilised. It was around this time, as disorder gave way to order, that the elements were born. Fast forward to June 2016 and the periodic table of elements was finally completed with the discovery and addition of four new elements. At last we could identify all the ingredients necessary to make a world. But it doesn’t stop there. Human ingenuity knows no bounds; we have even begun to invent our own elements and have created an entire science devoted to their study: chemistry. When it comes to chemistry, Tim James knows his stuff. In Elemental he tells the story of the periodic table from its ancient Greek roots, when you could count the number of elements humans were aware of on one hand, to the modern alchemists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, who have used nuclear chemistry and physics to generate new elements and complete the periodic table. In addition to this, James answers questions such as: What is the chemical symbol for a human? What would happen if all of the elements were mixed together? How many bananas can you stand next to before you die of radiation sickness? Which liquid can teleport through walls? Why is the medieval dream of transmuting lead into gold now a reality? Author: Tim James ISBN:9781472140944
Winner of the Guardian First Book Award 2011 Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Non-fiction 2011 Shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize Shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize Now, as cancer becomes an ever more universal experience, the need to understand it, and its treatment, has never been more compelling. In this groundbreaking and award-winning account Siddhartha Mukherjee tells the fascinating story of our relationship with this disease. From brutal early surgical treatments, to Sidney Farber’s hugely risky discovery of chemotherapy, to the author’s treatment of his own patients, he reveals how far we have come in solving one of science’s great mysteries and offers a fascinating glimpse of our future progress. Author:Siddhartha Mukherjee ISBN:9780007250929
A major biography of Michael Faraday (1791–1867), one of the giants of 19th century science and discoverer of electricity who was at the centre of an extraordinary scientific renaissance in London. Faraday’s life was truly inspirational. Son of a Yorkshire blacksmith who moved to London in 1789, he was a self-made, self-educated man whose public life was underpinned by his devotion to a minor Christian sect (the Sandemanians) and to his wife. He was also a fine writer and brilliant lecturer. This book is a passionate exploration of his life, work and times (he was a pioneering scientific all-rounder who also experimented with electromagnetism, techniques for preserving meat and fish, optical glass, the safety lamp, and the identification of iodine as a new element). It will also tell the story of the dawn of the modern scientific age and interweave Faraday’s life with the groundbreaking work of the Royal Institution and other early scientists like Humphrey Davey, Charles Babbage, John Herschel and Mary Somerville. Author: James Hamilton ISBN:9780007329342
In For the Love of Physics, beloved MIT professor Walter Lewin, whose riveting physics lectures made him a YouTube super-star, takes readers on a remarkably fun, inventive, and often wacky journey that brings the joys of physics to life. “For the Love of Physics captures Walter Lewin’s extraordinary intellect, passion for physics, and brilliance as a teacher”—Bill Gates. For more than thirty years as a renowned professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lewin’s lectures made physics not only accessible but fun, whether putting his head in the path of a wrecking ball, supercharging himself with three hundred thousand volts of electricity, or demonstrating why the sky is blue and clouds are white. In For the Love of Physics, Lewin takes readers on a marvelous journey, opening our eyes as never before to the wonders of physics and its amazing ability to reveal the beauty and power embedded in our world. Could it be true that we are shorter standing up than lying down? Why can we snorkel no deeper than about one foot below the surface? Why are the colors of a rainbow always in the same order, can we stretch a hand out and touch one? Using superbly clear and simple explanations of phenomena we’ve always wondered about, such as what the big bang would have sounded like had anyone existed to hear it, Lewin surprises and delights with physics-based answers to even the most elusive questions. Whether showing us that a flea is strong enough to pull a heavy book across a table, or describing the coolest, weirdest facts about the tiniest bits of matter, Lewin always entertains as he edifies. “For me,” Lewin writes, “physics is a way of seeing—the spectacular and the mundane, the immense and the minute—as a beautiful, thrillingly interwoven whole.” For the Love of Physics is a rare gem that will change the way readers see the world. Author: Walter Lewin ISBN:9781451607130
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. Author: Luke Dormehl ISBN:9780753541708
Long at the margins of global affairs and at the edge of our mental map of the world, the Arctic has found its way to the center of the issues which will challenge and define our world in the twenty-first century: energy security and the struggle for natural resources, climate change and its uncertain speed and consequences, the return of great power competition, the remaking of global trade patterns…In The Future History of the Arctic, geopolitics expert Charles Emmerson weaves together the history of the region with reportage and reflection, revealing a vast and complex area of the globe, loaded with opportunity and rich in challenges. He defines the forces which have shaped the Arctic’s history and introduces the players in politics, business, science and society who are struggling to mold its future. The Arctic is coming of age. This engrossing book tells the story of how that is happening and how it might happen—through the stories of those who live there, those who study it, and those who will determine its destiny. Author: Charles Emmerson ISBN:9781586486365
We are on the cusp of a revolution. Mobile phones, computers and iPods are commonplace in hundreds of millions of households worldwide, influencing how we think and shaping how we interact. In the future, smart machines will compete with clever people for employment and even human affection. We are shifting to a world where knowledge will be automated and people will be rewarded instead as conceptual and creative thinkers. Hence being able to think and act in ways that machines cannot will become vital. Ideas are the currency of this new economy and curiosity and imagination are among the key raw materials. But what happens to the rigour of our thinking in a world where we never really sit still or completely switch off? What are some of the unexpected consequences of digital information on the 100 billion cells and quadrillion connections inside our brains? Future Minds illustrates how to maximise the potential of digital technology and minimise its greatest downside, addressing the future of thinking and how we can ensure that we unleash the extraordinary potential of the human mind. In this absorbing new book, discover all about: the sex life of ideas; the rise of the screenager; generations, gender and geography; delving deep inside your head; how to clear a blocked brain; why clever people make dumb mistakes; why we are so afraid of doing nothing; what we can do to reclaim our brains. Author: Richard Watson ISBN:9781857885491
Selected as a Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Economist, Independent, Observer and Mail on Sunday THE NEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK ‘Dramatic and precise… [A] thrilling and comprehensive account of what seems certain to be the most radical, controversial and, to borrow from the subtitle, intimate science of our time… He is a natural storyteller… A page-turner… Read this book and steel yourself for what comes next’ Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times The Gene is the story of one of the most powerful and dangerous ideas in our history, from bestselling, prize-winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee. Spanning the globe and several centuries, The Gene is the story of the quest to decipher the master-code that makes and defines humans, that governs our form and function. This is an epic, moving history of a scientific idea coming to life, by the author of The Emperor of All Maladies. But woven through The Gene, like a red line, is also an intimate history – the story of Mukherjee’s own family and its recurring pattern of mental illness, reminding us that genetics is vitally relevant to everyday lives. These concerns reverberate even more urgently today as we learn to “read” and “write” the human genome – unleashing the potential to change the fates and identities of our children. The story of the gene begins in an obscure Augustinian abbey in Moravia in 1856 where a monk stumbles on the idea of a ‘unit of heredity’. It intersects with Darwin’s theory of evolution, and collides with the horrors of Nazi eugenics in the 1940s. The gene transforms post-war biology. It reorganizes our understanding of sexuality, temperament, choice and free will. This is a story driven by human ingenuity and obsessive minds – from Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel to Francis Crick, James Watson and Rosalind Franklin, and the thousands of scientists still working to understand the code of codes. Majestic in its ambition, and unflinching in its honesty, The Gene gives us a definitive account of the fundamental unit of heredity – and a vision of both humanity’s past and future. Author:Siddhartha Mukherjee ISBN:9780099584575
When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the nature of reality? Why are the laws of nature so finely tuned as to allow for the existence of beings like ourselves? And, finally, is the apparent “grand design” of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation? The most fundamental questions about the origins of the universe and of life itself, once the province of philosophy, now occupy the territory where scientists, philosophers, and theologians meet—if only to disagree. In their new book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about the mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by both brilliance and simplicity. In The Grand Design they explain that according to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence or history, but rather that every possible history of the universe exists simultaneously. When applied to the universe as a whole, this idea calls into question the very notion of cause and effect. But the “top-down” approach to cosmology that Hawking and Mlodinow describe would say that the fact that the past takes no definite form means that we create history by observing it, rather than that history creates us. The authors further explain that we ourselves are the product of quantum fluctuations in the very early universe, and show how quantum theory predicts the “multiverse”—the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. Along the way Hawking and Mlodinow question the conventional concept of reality, posing a “model-dependent” theory of reality as the best we can hope to find. And they conclude with a riveting assessment of M-theory, an explanation of the laws governing us and our universe that is currently the only viable candidate for a complete “theory of everything.” If confirmed, they write, it will be the unified theory that Einstein was looking for, and the ultimate triumph of human reason. A succinct, startling, and lavishly illustrated guide to discoveries that are altering our understanding and threatening some of our most cherished belief systems, The Grand Design is a book that will inform—and provoke—like no other. Author: Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow ISBN:9780553819229
Charles Darwin’s masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, shook society to its core on publication in 1859. Darwin was only too aware of the storm his theory of evolution would provoke but he would surely have raised an incredulous eyebrow at the controversy still raging a century and a half later. Evolution is accepted as scientific fact by all reputable scientists and indeed theologians, yet millions of people continue to question its veracity. In The Greatest Show on Earth Richard Dawkins takes on creationists, including followers of ‘Intelligent Design’ and all those who question the fact of evolution through natural selection. Like a detective arriving on the scene of a crime, he sifts through fascinating layers of scientific facts and disciplines to build a cast-iron case: from the living examples of natural selection in birds and insects; the ‘time clocks’ of trees and radioactive dating that calibrate a timescale for evolution; the fossil record and the traces of our earliest ancestors; to confirmation from molecular biology and genetics. All of this, and much more, bears witness to the truth of evolution. The Greatest Show on Earth comes at a critical time: systematic opposition to the fact of evolution is now flourishing as never before, especially in America. In Britain and elsewhere in the world, teachers witness insidious attempts to undermine the status of science in their classrooms. Richard Dawkins provides unequivocal evidence that boldly and comprehensively rebuts such nonsense. At the same time he shares with us his palpable love of the natural world and the essential role that science plays in its interpretation. Written with elegance, wit and passion, it is hard-hitting, absorbing and totally convincing. Author: Richard Dawkins ISBN:9780552775243
As told by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Hit Refresh is the story of corporate change and reinvention as well as the story of Nadella’s personal journey, one that is taking place today inside a storied technology company, and one that is coming in all of our lives as intelligent machines become more ambient and more ubiquitous. It’s about how people, organizations and societies can and must hit refresh—transform—in their persistent quest for new energy, new ideas, relevance and renewal. At the core, it’s about us humans and our unique qualities, like empathy, which will become ever more valuable in a world where the torrent of technology will disrupt like never before. As much a humanist as a technologist, Nadella defines his mission and that of the company he leads as empowering every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Author: Satya Nadella ISBN:9780008247669
The bestselling landmark account of the first emergence of the Ebola virus. A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic “hot” virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their “crashes” into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction. Author: Richard Preston ISBN:9780552143035
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. Ellenberg chases mathematical threads through a vast range of time and space, from the everyday to the cosmic, encountering, among other things, baseball, Reaganomics, daring lottery schemes, Voltaire, the replicability crisis in psychology, Italian Renaissance painting, artificial languages, the development of non-Euclidean geometry, the coming obesity apocalypse, Antonin Scalia’s views on crime and punishment, the psychology of slime molds, what Facebook can and can’t figure out about you, and the existence of God. Ellenberg pulls from history as well as from the latest theoretical developments to provide those not trained in math with the knowledge they need. Math, as Ellenberg says, is “an atomic-powered prosthesis that you attach to your common sense, vastly multiplying its reach and strength.” With the tools of mathematics in hand, you can understand the world in a deeper, more meaningful way. How Not to Be Wrong will show you how. Author: Jordan Ellenberg ISBN:9780718196042
As read by James Corden, Fearne Cotton, Jim Chapman and Dougie Poytner. ‘We have a responsibility, every one of us’ David Attenborough Around 12.7 million tonnes of plastic are entering the ocean every year, killing over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals. By 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish by weight. Plastic pollution is the environmental scourge of our age, but how can YOU make a difference? This accessible guide, written by the campaigner at the forefront of the anti-plastic movement, will help you make the small changes that make a big difference, from buying a reusable coffee cup to running a clean-up at your local park or beach. Tips on giving up plastic include: · Washing your clothes within a wash bag to catch plastic microfibers (the cause of 30% of plastic pollution in the ocean) · Replacing your regular shampoo with bar shampoo · How to lobby your supermarket to remove unnecessary packaging · How to throw a plastic-free birthday party · How to convince others to join you in giving up plastic Plastic is not going away without a fight. We need a movement made up of billions of individual acts, bringing people together from all backgrounds and all cultures, the ripples of which will be felt from the smallest village to the tallest skyscrapers. This is a call to arms – to join forces across the world and to end our dependence on plastic. #BreakFreeFromPlastic Plastic is not going away without a fight. We need a movement made up of billions of individual acts, bringing people together from all backgrounds and all cultures, the ripples of which will be felt from the smallest village to the tallest skyscrapers. ‘Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world’ Theresa May ‘As Head of Oceans at Greenpeace, Will is on the front line of humanity’s global fight against plastic. This timely book not only explains how we got into this mess, but most importantly offers an optimistic and proactive approach as to how we can get out of it’. – Richard Walker, Managing Director at Iceland Author: Will McCallum ISBN:9780241363218
Get ready to make history… better. What would you do if you had a time machine that took you hundreds or thousands of years into the past… and then broke? How would you survive? Could you rebuild civilization faster than it took us the first time? And how hard would it be to domesticate a giant wombat? In How to Invent Everything, bestselling author and time-travel enthusiast Ryan North answers all these questions so you don’t have to. This guide contains all the science, engineering, mathematics, art, music, philosophy, facts, and figures required for even the most clueless stranded time traveler to build a civilization from the ground up. It will be one in which humanity matured quickly and efficiently, instead of spending 200,000 years stumbling around in the dark without language, not knowing that tying a rock to a string would unlock navigating the entire world, and thinking disease was caused by weird smells. Both fascinating and hilarious, How To Invent Everything is a deeply researched history of the key technologies that made each stage of human civilization possible (from writing and farming to buttons and birth control), but it’s as entertaining as a good time-travel novel. It’s a perfect read for fans of Randall Munroe’s What If? and Thing Explainer, zombie apocalypse survivors, web comic lovers and wannabe time travellers everywhere. Author: Ryan North ISBN:9780753552568
I, WOZ offers readers a unique glimpse into the offbeat and brilliant but ethical mind that conceived the Macintosh. After 25 years avoiding the public eye, Steve Wozniak reveals the full story of the Apple computer, from its conception to his views on the iconic cult status it has achieved today. In June 1975 Steve’s curiosity and determination inspired him to build a computer, the first Apple. Six months later, he sold the machine, and for the self-professed ‘engineer’s engineer’, success was imminent. But this story is full of life lessons, critical decisions, huge triumphs and big mistakes. Steve speaks also of his childhood, phone hacking pranks, working at Hewlett-Packard, the life-changing plane crash and teaching. Author: Steve Wozniak ISBN:9780755314089
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