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Popular Science

Get up to speed with the most popular developments in science, with everything from the tiniest atom to the farthest flung findings of the universe, and every scientific discovery in between. Our selection of books in this category will keep you up to date.

Nightwalk A Journey to the Heart of Nature

Nightwalk A Journey to the Heart of Nature

Author: Chris Yates Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/04/2012

Chris Yates, one of Britain's most insightful and lyrical writers, raises his gaze from his beloved rivers and ponds and takes us on a mesmerizing tour of the British countryside. Last November, the sudden appearance of a hundred wintering ravens in a wood in Cranborne Chase, where I have lived for twenty-five years without seeing more than a few solitary specimens, reminded me that there is always something ready to flame up again in the landscape, just when it seemed the fire had gone out. In Crystal Wood we accompany Chris Yates on the most magical of journeys into the very heart of the British countryside. His acute observation of the natural world and ability to transcend it exquisitely sets Chris apart from his contemporaries. Time slows down for a deeper intimacy with nature, and through Chris's writing we hear every rustle of a leaf, every call of a bird. He widens the power of our imagination, heightening our senses and revealing beauty in the smallest details.

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Tweeting the Universe Tiny Explanations of Very Big Ideas

Tweeting the Universe Tiny Explanations of Very Big Ideas

Author: Marcus Chown, Govert Schilling Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/11/2011

In 140 pages, two masterly popularisers present 140 explanations of the biggest questions in physics - in the form of 10 or so tweets per page. They set themselves the challenge of boiling down what is essential on each subject into sentences of 140 characters, and the results are both entertaining and brilliantly informative. The reader is not patronized and learns something on every page. If only all science writing could be so precise and so economical. Only science writers of a very high calibre could achieve such compression. Marcus Chown - the finest cosmology writer of our day (Matt Ridley) - has known the Dutch writer Govert Schilling for twenty years. Schilling pioneered this very swift form of explanation in a Dutch newspaper, and suggested to Chown that they collaborate on bringing it to a wider audience.

Why are Orangutans Orange? Science Puzzles in Pictures - with Fascinating Answers

Why are Orangutans Orange? Science Puzzles in Pictures - with Fascinating Answers

Author: New Scientist Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/10/2011

This 'Classic New Scientist Q&As' - now fully illustrated. Illustrated for the first time, with eighty full-colour photographs showing the beauty, complexity and mystery of the world around us, here is the next eagerly awaited volume of science questions and answers from New Scientist magazine. From ripples in glass to 'holograms' in ice, the natural world's wonders are unravelled by the magazine's knowledgeable readers.

The Rational Optimist How Prosperity Evolves

The Rational Optimist How Prosperity Evolves

Author: Matt Ridley Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2011

Matt Ridley, acclaimed author of the classics 'Genome' and 'Nature via Nurture', turns from investigating human nature to investigating human progress. In 'The Rational Optimist' Ridley offers a counterblast to the prevailing pessimism of our age, and proves, however much we like to think to the contrary, that things are getting better. Over 10,000 years ago there were fewer than 10 million people on the planet. Today there are more than 6 billion, 99 per cent of whom are better fed, better sheltered, better entertained and better protected against disease than their Stone Age ancestors. The availability of almost everything a person could want or need has been going erratically upwards for 10,000 years and has rapidly accelerated over the last 200 years: calories; vitamins; clean water; machines; privacy; the means to travel faster than we can run, and the ability to communicate over longer distances than we can shout. Yet, bizarrely, however much things improve from the way they were before, people still cling to the belief that the future will be nothing but disastrous. In this original, optimistic book, Matt Ridley puts forward his surprisingly simple answer to how humans progress, arguing that we progress when we trade and we only really trade productively when we trust each other. 'The Rational Optimist' will do for economics what 'Genome' did for genomics and will show that the answer to our problems, imagined or real, is to keep on doing what we've been doing for 10,000 years -- to keep on changing.

Science has never been more popular. You don’t have to understand it to love it. We live in a golden age where we know more about the world and its origins than ever before. Here, some of the biggest questions ever asked find answers, as well as some of the smallest. This is a section bursting from its nucleus with protons of knowledge especially compiled for the lay enthusiast and the curious. Accessible science is no longer the domain of the scientist. We can all have a go at broadening our minds … and what’s more, we can do it from the relative comfort of our favourite chair. Relative comfort, because the chair is merely a mass of vibrating particles on a planet, hurtling through space and time, bending both as it goes in a Universe that may itself just be one of an infinite number of possible universes in an undefinable dimension of matter.

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