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.
In The Compatibility Gene, leading scientist Daniel M Davis tells the story of the crucial genes that define our relationships, our health and our individuality. We each possess a similar set of around 25,000 human genes. Yet a tiny, distinctive cluster of these genes plays a disproportionately large part in how our bodies work. These few genes, argues Davis, hold the key to who we are as individuals and our relationship to the world: how we combat disease, how our brains are wired, how attractive we are, even how likely we are to reproduce. The Compatibility Gene follows the remarkable history of these genes' discovery. From the British scientific pioneers who struggled to understand the mysteries of transplants to the Swiss zoologist who devised a new method of assessing potential couples' compatibility based on the smell of worn T-shirts, Davis traces a true scientific revolution in our understanding of the human body: a global adventure spanning some sixty years. Unusual results, astonishing implications and ethical dilemmas . (The Times). Packed with an insider's knowledge . (New York Times). He makes immunology as fascinating to popular science readers as cosmology, consciousness, and evolution . (Steven Pinker). An elegantly written, unexpectedly gripping account . (Bill Bryson Guardian, Books of the Year). Daniel M Davis is director of research at the University of Manchester's Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research and a visiting professor at Imperial College, London. He has published over 100 academic articles, including papers in Nature and Science, and Scientific American. He has won the Oxford University Press Science Writing Prize and given numerous interviews for national and international media. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2011.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Dava Sobel returns with a captivating, little-known true story of women in science In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or human computers, to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the women turned to studying images of the stars captured on glass photographic plates, making extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what the stars were made of, divided them into meaningful categories for further research, and even found a way to measure distances across space by starlight .
In A Buzz in the Meadow Goulson tells the story of how he bought a derelict farm in the heart of rural France, together with 33 acres of surrounding meadow and how, over a decade, he has created a place for his beloved bumblebees to thrive. But other creatures live there too, a myriad insects of every kind, many of them ones that Goulson has studied before in his career as a biologist. You will learn about how a deathwatch beetle finds its mate, about the importance of houseflies, why butterflies have spots on their wings, about dragonfly sex, bed-bugs and wasps. Goulson is brilliant, and very funny, at showing how scientists actually conduct experiments. The book is also a wake-up call, urging us to cherish and protect life on earth in all its forms. Goulson has that rare ability to persuade you to go out into your garden or local park and get down on your hands and knees and look. The undiscovered glory that is life in all its forms on planet Earth is there to be discovered. And if we learn to value what we have, perhaps we will find a way to keep it. A Sting in the Tale, Dave Goulson's account of a lifetime studying bumblebees, was one of the most gratifying success stories of 2013. Brilliantly reviewed, it was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for the best non-fiction book of the year. A Buzz in the Meadow is another call to arms for nature lovers everywhere.
This book is from the author of the Samuel Johnson Prize - shortlisted Sunday Times bestseller, A Sting in the Tale. In 2003, Dave Goulson bought a derelict farm in the heart of rural France, together with 33 acres of surrounding meadow. Over the course of a decade, he created a place for his beloved bumblebees to thrive along with myriad insects of every kind. In this book you will learn how a deathwatch beetle finds its mate, about the importance of houseflies, why butterflies have spots on their wings, about dragonfly sex, bed-bugs and wasps. But it is also a wake-up call, urging us to cherish and protect life on earth in all its forms. A Buzz in the Meadow is a captivating look at our natural world and a call to arms for nature-lovers everywhere. Glorious. (The Times). Captivating. (Independent).
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
In Curvology, Cambridge Professor of Veterinary Anatomy David Bainbridge applies the science of evolutionary biology and cutting-edge psychology to women's bodies, to explain why the human female is the only female animal to have curves and how these curves rule our lives, by influencing not only sexual selection but also social hierarchy and self-image. Written in lucid and engaging prose, Bainbridge's unique brand of popular science also draws on illuminating references from art history, contemporary media culture, and a range of first-person interviews with some actual human women. Offering a level-headed and fresh perspective on a contentious issue, Curvology will be a fascinating, controversial, and highly newsworthy read.
April 2011 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. This book grabs you from the first page, tumbling out facts and information in a down to earth and readable way, with a chatty humour which does not disguise the amount of knowledge that neuroscientist author David Eagleman has to offer. Many of his facts and anecdotes are grippingly interesting and I found myself re-reading several of them so that I could tell other people and impress them with my knowledge! This is the real secret of the success of this fantastic book – it is easily broken into manageable chunks of reading so that you are not completely bogged down or overwhelmed by what must be his vastly superior intellect. It is rare to find a brilliant scientist who has the gift of the gab and can hold an audience but this book really does do that. For anyone interested in human nature and behavior, this book is an absolute must, a “can’t put it down” treasure store of fascinating information about our brains.
This is a New York Times bestseller. Our subconscious is an important part of our daily lives, yet how much do we know about its mysterious inner workings? In Incognito, renowned neuroscientist and bestselling author David Eagleman draws on recent discoveries to illuminate the surprising unconscious processes of the brain. Why do you hear your name in a conversation that you didn't think you were listening to? Why does your foot hit the brake pedal before you are conscious of danger ahead? Why are you more likely to marry someone whose name begins with the same letter as yours? Why is it so difficult to keep a secret?
A history of exploration beneath the surface of our planet, a remarkable voyage of scientific discovery over the past 150 years. Whitehouse's enthralling journey vividly charts all we are able to understand about the mysteries of the deep Earth. His book encompasses the history of our planet and the latest findings about its inner core, allowing us to embark on an adventure that brings us closer to the enigma of our existence.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, David Whitehouse brings you the inside story of the astronauts, NASA engineers and political rivals that brought an end to the Space Race. Fifty years ago in July 1969, Apollo 11 became the first manned mission to land on the moon, and Neil Armstrong the first man to step onto its surface. US President Nixon called it the greatest week since creation. In the most authoritative book ever written about Apollo, David Whitehouse reveals the true drama behind the mission, telling the story in the words of those who took part - based around exclusive interviews with the key players. This enthralling book takes us from the early rocket pioneers to the shock America received from the Soviets' launch of the first satellite, Sputnik; from the race to put the first person into space, through President Kennedy's enthusiasm and later doubts, to the astronauts' intense competition to leave the first footprint. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing, here is the story as told by the crew of Apollo 11 and the many other astronauts who paved the way or followed themselves after the first man to walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong, alongside Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Astronauts, engineers, politicians, NASA officials, Soviet rivals - all tell their own story of a great moment of human achievement.
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
In The Human Age award-winning nature writer Diane Ackerman confronts the fact that the human race is now the single dominant force of change on the planet. Humans have 'subdued 75 per cent of the land surface, concocted a wizardry of industrial and medical marvels, strung lights all across the darkness'. We now collect the DNA of vanishing species in a 'frozen ark', equip orang-utans with iPads, create wearable technologies and synthetic species that might one day outsmart us. Ackerman takes us on an exciting journey to understand this bewildering new reality, introducing us to many of the people and ideas now creating - perhaps saving - the future. The Human Age is a surprising, optimistic engagement with the dramatic transformations that have shaped, and continue to alter, our world, our relationship with nature and our prospects for the future. Diane Ackerman is one of our most lyrical, insightful and compelling writers on the natural world and The Human Age is a landmark book.
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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