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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.
'Our relationship with nature has changed ...radically, irreversibly, but by no means all for the bad. Our new epoch is laced with invention. Our mistakes are legion, but our talent is immeasurable.' 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.
For too long the Neanderthals have been seen as dim-witted evolutionary dead-enders who looked and behaved completely differently from us, but their story has been transformed thanks to new discoveries and advances in scientific techniques. This book takes a look at the whole story of the Neanderthals.
A continent by continent journey around Earth's most beautiful, spectacular, and captivating landscapes. Discover which of Earth's wonders should definitely make it onto your bucket list with this unparalleled survey of the world's incredible natural treasures. With a foreword by Chris Packham, Natural Wonders of the World is the most in-depth look at Earth's greatest wonders.
Do you understand who you really are? Or how others really see you? We all know people with a stunning lack of self-awareness - but how often do we consider whether we might have the same problem? Research shows that self-awareness is the meta-skill of the 21st century - the foundation for high performance, smart choices, and lasting relationships. Unfortunately, we are remarkably poor judges of ourselves and how we come across, and it's rare to get candid, objective feedback from colleagues, employees, and even friends and family.
The presenter of BBC's The Incredible Human Journey gives us a new and highly accessible look at our own bodies, allowing us to understand how we develop as an embryo, from a single egg into a complex body, and how our embryos contain echoes of our evolutionary past. Bringing together the latest scientific discoveries, Professor Alice Roberts illustrates that evolution has made something which is far from perfect. Our bodies are a quirky mix of new and old, with strokes of genius alongside glitches and imperfections which are all inherited from distant ancestors. Our development and evolutionary past explains why, as embryos, we have what look like gills, and as adults we suffer from back pain. This is a tale of discovery, not only exploring why and how we have developed as we have, but also looking at the history of our anatomical understanding. It combines the remarkable skills and qualifications Alice Roberts has as a doctor, anatomist, osteoarchaeologist and writer. Above all, she has a rare ability to make science accessible, relevant and interesting to mainstream audiences and readers.
For hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors depended on wild plants and animals for survival. They were hunter-gatherers, consummate foraging experts, taking the world as they found it. Then a revolution occurred - our ancestors' interaction with other species changed. They began to tame them. The human population boomed; civilisation began.
This is the perfect introduction for those who have a lingering fear of maths. If you think that maths is difficult, confusing, dull or just plain scary, then The Maths Handbook is your ideal companion. Covering all the basics including fractions, equations, primes, squares and square roots, geometry and fractals, Dr Richard Elwes will lead you gently towards a greater understanding of this fascinating subject. Even apparently daunting concepts are explained simply, with the assistance of useful diagrams, and with a refreshing lack of jargon. So whether you're an adult or a student, whether you like Sudoku but hate doing sums, or whether you've always been daunted by numbers at work, school or in everyday life, you won't find a better way of overcoming your nervousness about numbers and learning to enjoy making the most of mathematics.
Pauline first became ill when she was fifteen. What seemed to be a urinary infection became joint pain, then life-threatening appendicitis. After a routine operation Pauline lost all the strength in her legs. Shortly afterwards, convulsions started. But Pauline's tests are normal: her symptoms seem to have no physical cause whatsoever. This may be an extreme case, but Pauline is not alone. As many as a third of people visiting their GP have symptoms that are medically unexplained. In most, an emotional root is suspected which is often the last thing a patient wants to hear and a doctor to say.
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
Everyone wants to be happy and successful and yet the pursuit of both has never been more elusive. We are urged to craft careers that matter, to achieve more and waste no time on the small stuff, to be actively engaged in our communities and, while we are at it, to relish every second. Rather than thriving, all this pressure leads to declining wellbeing, relationships and, paradoxically, productivity. In The Happiness Track Emma Seppala explains that behind our inability to achieve sustainable fulfillment are counterproductive theories of success. Success doesn't have to come at our personal expense. Drawing on the latest research into resilience, willpower, growth mindset, stress, creativity, compassion, mindfulness, gratitude training and optimism, Seppala shows how nurturing ourselves is the most productive thing we can do to thrive professionally and personally.
This is a publishing sensation in Argentina that has sold over 200,000 copies and topped the best-seller charts for a record-breaking two years, now available in English for the first time! The Agile Mind is about the most precious mental talent we have: the ability to imagine things which have never existed and to create new ideas. This book demystifies the preconceptions we often have about how our brains function to show how creativity really works, and how we can make it work even better. We used to think that creativity diminished through the lifespan, but we now know this is not the case. The brain can regenerate and continue learning until the last days of our lives. We can all become more creative if we use the right methods and techniques to stimulate our brains and broaden our minds.
Your genome defines you at the most profound level. That same genome is present in every one of the approximately 100,000 billion cells that make you who you are as an individual member of the human species. An important ingredient of the genome, and its essential nature, is memory - the memory of the entirety of every individual human's genetic inheritance. But how, exactly, does it perform this remarkable feat of memory? We know that this wonder chemical we call DNA works like a code. But how could any code recall the complex instructions that go into the making of cells and tissues and organs, and once made, allow them to function as a co-ordinated whole that comprises the human being? All of this might be encompassed in a minuscule cluster of chemicals, including, but not exclusive to, the master molecule we call DNA. This chemical code somehow records the genetic instructions for 'making' us. Built into that code must also be the potential for individual liberty of thought and inventiveness, enabling every human artistic, mathematical and scientific creativity. It gives rise to what each of us thinks innately as our individual 'self'. Somehow that same construction of 'self' made possible the genius of Mozart, Picasso, Newton and Einstein. It is little wonder that we look at the repository of such potential with awe. And unsurprisingly we hope to uncover the mystery that lies at the very core of our being.
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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