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Bad Ideas? - An Arresting History of Our Inventions by Robert Winston
  

Bad Ideas? - An Arresting History of Our Inventions

The Real World   

RRP £20.00

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Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 27 May 2010.

A history of our technological progress spanning hundreds of years. Winston makes the most complicated of ideas easy to understand and shows that sometimes some advances are not always the best idea. Enjoyable, inspiring and fascinating.

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Synopsis

Bad Ideas? - An Arresting History of Our Inventions by Robert Winston

We are born with the instinct to create and invent. Indeed our ability to do so is what separates we humans from the rest of the animal world. The moment man first converted a stone to a useful tool set him on a relentless path toward greater power over his environment. But have our creative ideas always produced desirable results in line with their original good intention? Have they really served us well? Bad Ideas? traces the fascinating history of our attempts at self-improvement but also questions their value. The dubious consequences of the development of weaponry, for example, is self-evident. But what of apparently more innocuous inventions such as farming, writing or medicine? All started off for the greater good but have since produced unforeseen fallout that continues to this day. What are their undesirable side-effects, when did they emerge and where will they take us in the future? Written against a huge historical canvas, we join Robert Winston on a thrilling journey from our earliest days to the present. We learn about the history of modern science, engineering, IT and much more. We meet the individuals who played a key role in their development, and share quirky anecdotes about their lives and brainwaves. Inspiring, unusual, and at times controversial, Bad Ideas? assesses the past and also looks forward to the opportunities and ethical challenges of the future. In so doing it celebrates man's extraordinary capacity for achievement whilst warning us that his good intentions can sometimes end up as thoroughly bad ideas.

Reviews

Robert Winston's Bad Ideas: An Arresting History of Our Inventions is a provocative inversion of traditional histories of scientific ingenuity ... by the end I realised that what Winston's own powerful and well-paced narration had opened my eyes to was the importance of the non-scientific being better informed. Stuffed with unusual gems, his history goes some way to achieving that; it also delivers a sober warning to scientists too eager to achieve glittering prizes. -- Christina Hardyment The Times 20100306 With erudition and impeccable logic he traces the emergence of inventions through history and shows how they have developed, sometimes into monsters that threaten the survival of our species. His arguments are well presented and easily followed, while his conclusions are often as controversial as the inventions themselves. The Good Book Guide


About the Author

Robert Winston

Robert Winston is one of the country’s best-known scientists. As Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College, University of London, and Director of NHS Research and Development and Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Hammersmith Hospital, he has made advances in fertility medicine and been a leading voice in the debate on genetic engineering. His television series, including Your Life in Their Hands, Making Babies, The Human Body and Superhuman and have made him a household name across Britain. He became a life peer in 1995.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th February 2010

Author

Robert Winston

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Author's Website

www.robertwinston.org.uk/

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Publisher

Bantam Press an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd

Format

Hardback
432 pages

Categories

The Real World

Popular science

ISBN

9780593060278

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