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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.
Shortlisted for the Galaxy Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award 2011. Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts at the Hay Festival on 29 May 2011. Professor Brian Cox is back with another insightful and mind-blowing exploration of space. This time he shows us our universe as we've never seen it before.
In the 20th century humanity consumed products faster than ever, but this way of living is no longer sustainable. This new and important book shows how technological advances are driving forms of 'collaborative consumption' which will change forever the ways in which we interact both with businesses and with each other. The average lawn mower is used for four hours a year. The average power drill is used for only twenty minutes in its entire lifespan. The average car is unused for 22 hours a day, and even when it is being used there are normally three empty seats. Surely there must be a way to get the benefit out of things like mowers, drills and even cars, without having to carry the huge up-front costs of ownership? There is indeed. Collaborative consumption is not just a buzzword, it is a new win-win way of life. This insightful and thought-provoking new book by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers is an important and fast-moving survey of the dramatic changes we are seeing in the way we consume products. Many of us are familiar with freecycle, eBay, couchsurfing and Zipcar. But these are just the beginning of a new phenomenon. Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers have interviewed business leaders and opinion formers around the world to draw together the many strands of Collaborative Consumption into a coherent and challenging argument to show that the way we did business and consumerism in the 20th century is not the way we will do it in the 21st century.
Now well-established in the Christmas market, the latest in the New Scientist series of Science puzzles and trivia. As a concept it never seems to stale, due to the fact that these are readers’ queries and readers’ answers – and a genuinely questing readership it is – concerned as much with rats catching bubonic plague as horses getting travel sick.Like for Like ReadingHow to Fossilise Your Hamster & Other Amazing Experiments for the Armchair Scientist, Mick O’HareDoes Anything Eat Wasps?: And 101 Other Questions, New Scientist
The story of how one wild snail (and one of its 118 offspring) came to the aid of Elisabeth Tova Bailey as she recovered from a devastating illness. A friend dug up some violets and found a small snail, thinking Elisabeth would enjoy them both. A strange gift, but it inspired this remarkable meditation on illness and separation from the outside world. Watching the snail, first in its plant pot and then in a terrarium gave the author a focus when she could do little but lie in bed, her observations leading her into exploring the daily life of the snail, its evolution and history. Like for Like ReadingA Voice through a Cloud, Denton WelchMy Year Off, Rediscovering Life after a Stroke, Robert McCrum
Once again physics is brought to the masses with general principles being explained in a more accessible way. A good grasp of physics is definitely a help though and generally those with an interest will be the ones to read this.
Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2010. More than often we like to think we are right, this book shows how very often we can be wrong. It’s in our nature to want to be right but this book looks at how being wrong is also a useful and necessary part of being who we are and how it effects us. Interesting and enjoyable.
A 2014 World Book Night selection. Most people would like to be more creative, more persuasive and more attractive. For years, gurus and 'life coaches' have urged people to improve their lives by changing the way they think and behave, but scientific research has revealed that many of their techniques, from group brainstorming to visualization, are ineffective. Fortunately, psychologist Richard Wiseman is on hand to provide fast-acting, myth-busting scientific answers to a huge range of everyday problems. From job-hunting to relationships, and from parenting to self-esteem, personal and professional success may be less than a minute away ...Find out why putting a pencil between your teeth instantly makes you feel happier. Discover why even thinking about going to the gym can help you keep in shape. Learn how putting just one thing in your wallet will improve the chance of it being returned if lost.
To the mathematically challenged, anything that can make the subject accessible and – dare I say it interesting, is to be welcomed which is why I’ve included Number Freak. Here you will find the maths but also every other aspect of number use in time, sport, history, games and language. Lots of trivia, puzzles and fascinating facts – Derrick Niederman makes an excellent ambassador for the joy of numbers.Like for Like Reading:The Tiger That Isn’t: Seeing Through a World of Numbers, Michael Blastland and Andrew Dilnot
If I can only persuade you to read one of these science titles let it be this one, it’s easily the best science book I’ve read in a long time. And in Michael Brooks you have an author who has the great gift of communication and the ability to write about complex issues with such clarity that ideas like Quantum Physics begin to make sense. I loved the sense of adventure contained in his book and thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the world of scientific mystery he reveals.Like for Like Reading:How to Make a Tornado: The Strange and Wonderful Things That Happen When Scientists Break Free, New Scientist
Without a scientific background it is almost impossible to know the truth behind the media hype surrounding food, one minute we are urged to eat some expensive berry, other times we are urged to avoid a foodstuff like the plague – where is the truth? One place you’ll find it is here, where food science is made comprehensible, the fads deflated and the truth established. I found it indispensible both to read immediately and to keep as a reference, some much needed sanity in establishing what exactly we should be eating and drinking.Like for Like Reading:Not on the Label: What Really Goes into the Food You Eat, Felicity Lawrence
For teenagers puzzled and worried about their changing bodies or mood swings, for parents having to cope with teenagers, for anyone wanting to understand why humans have this immense transition phase in their lives. David Bainbridge provides a wise, sympathetic guide to the teenage process using a whole host of scientific procedures to explain just what’s going on.Like for Like Reading:Get Out of My Life: But First Take Me and Alex into Town, Tony WolfWhatever: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Parenting Teenagers, Gill Hines
Across the road from where I live a house has a new plaque, recording that Thomas Bayes, preacher and mathematician lived there. He is, I learn from Bill Bryson’s introduction, his favourite Royal Society fellow. Bayes died in 1761 and a friend sent his theorem to the Royal Society after his death – a theorem that had no practical use in his lifetime but is now of prime importance in computer calculations. In keeping and publishing such work, it sums up the importance of the Royal Society, the oldest such scientific society in the world, now celebrating its 350th birthday. And here you have a splendid, really well illustrated tribute, a gathering of some of the top names in the field contributing essays celebrating science and the Society.Like for Like Reading:The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science, Richard Holmes
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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