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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.
Diving through history and soaring across borders this truly fascinating book about birds was winner of the readers’ vote in Poland’s most prestigious literary prize, the Nike Award. Author Stanislaw Lubienski first began to observe birds as a child, he explores how people and art (stories, paintings, music, and dance) interact with birds. While he has always lived in and around his home town of Szczesliwice, his love for birds has taken him in person and in his thoughts around the world and back in time. I picked up my love for birds through my father, at home as a child we looked after some blind pheasants he had rescued, once he even nursed a particularly ill-tempered seagull back to health. So, I smiled at the story of James Bond, winced in sympathy as I heard how the photo of the eagle owl was taken, and my heart ached at the Last of the Curlews. A little bit different and a lot lovely, The Birds they Sang has crept into my heart to become a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month.
From the world-renowned physicist and best-selling author of The Elegant Universe comes this captivating exploration of deep time and humanity's search for purpose In both time and space, the cosmos is astoundingly vast, and yet is governed by simple, elegant, universal mathematical laws. On this cosmic timeline, our human era is spectacular but fleeting. Someday, we know, we will all die. And, we know, so too will the universe itself. Until the End of Time is Brian Greene's breathtaking new exploration of the cosmos and our quest to understand it. Greene takes us on a journey across time, from our most refined understanding of the universe's beginning, to the closest science can take us to the very end. He explores how life and mind emerged from the initial chaos, and how our minds, in coming to understand their own impermanence, seek in different ways to give meaning to experience: in story, myth, religion, creative expression, science, the quest for truth, and our longing for the timeless, or eternal. Through a series of nested stories that explain distinct but interwoven layers of reality-from the quantum mechanics to consciousness to black holes-Greene provides us with a clearer sense of how we came to be, a finer picture of where we are now, and a firmer understanding of where we are headed. Yet all this understanding, which arose with the emergence of life, will dissolve with its conclusion. Which leaves us with one realization: during our brief moment in the sun, we are tasked with the charge of finding our own meaning. Let us embark.
Sitting still in a quiet room, you might just be able to convince yourself that nothing is moving. But air currents swirl about you. Blood rushes through your veins. The atoms in your chair jiggle furiously. And the planet you are on is whizzing through space 35 times faster than the speed of sound. In Zoom, Bob Berman takes a thrilling tour around the wondrous and myriad motions that shape every aspect of the universe. Spanning astronomy, geology, biology, meteorology and history, he explains how clouds stay aloft, how the earth's rotation curves a ball's flight, how a mosquito's familiar whine is tuned to a perfect A sharp, how the day gets longer every century, and much more.
Shortlisted for the 2009 Royal Society Prize for Science Books. For anyone wanting to understand evolution – Your Inner Fish is a revelation showing we may be closely related to the apes but further back, fish, anemones, sea-worms – they’re all our very distant relations. Puzzling perhaps, we can see the similarities between apes and ourselves but fish? But that’s where Neil Shubin shines - with a text that explains and enlightens; his wonder at the intricacy and beauty of the evolutionary process positively infectious. Comparison: The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkin
In You Are Here, bestselling author and celebrated astronaut Chris Hadfield creates a virtual orbit of Earth, giving us the really big picture: this is our home, from space. The millions of us who followed Hadfield's news-making Twitter feed from the ISS thought we knew what we were looking at when we first saw his photos. But we may have caught the beauty and missed the full meaning. Now, through photographs - many of which have never been shared - Hadfield unveils a fresh and insightful look at our planet. He sees astonishing detail and importance in these images, not just because he's spent months in space but because his in-depth knowledge of geology, geography, and meteorology allows him to reveal the photos' mysteries. Featuring Hadfield's favourite images, You Are Here is divided by continent and represents one (idealized) orbit of the ISS. This planetary photo tour - surprising, playful, thought-provoking, and visually delightful - provides a breathtakingly beautiful perspective on the wonders of the world. You Are Here opens a singular window on our planet, using remarkable photographs to illuminate the history and consequences of human settlement, the magnificence of newly uncovered landscapes, and the power of the natural forces shaping our world and the future of our species.
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.
From blackbirds, beavers and beetles to tawny owls, natterjack toads and lemon slugs. Every day of the year, winter or summer, in every corner of the British Isles, there's plenty to see if you know where - and how - to look. From encounters with the curious black redstart, which winters on our rocky coasts, to the tiny green snowdrop shoots that are the first sign that spring might be round the corner. And from the blossom-time and dawn choruses of April and May into the abundant noisiness of summer, where days start with hawker dragonflies and drowsy bumblebees and end with glow-worms and ghost moths; to autumn when in the early morning mist of London's Richmond Park male red deer lock horns in competition for a mate. Nature is always full of surprises - whether it's the strange behaviour of clothes moths or the gruesome larder of the strike.
WOMAN explores the essence of what it means to be female. In mapping the inner woman - from organs to orgasms - Natalie Angier presents an extraordinary new vision of the female body as an evolutionary masterpiece. 'Anyone living in or near a female body should read this book' - Gloria Steinem 'Women have long been regarded as slaves to biology and evolution, prisoners in a hormonal swamp. But now, some of the sacred tenets of evolutionary psychology...have come under fresh challenge. As the century turns, it could be Goodbye women's lib; hello female liberation!...WOMAN is a delicious cocktail of estrogen and amphetamine designed to pump up the ovaries as well as the cerebral cortex' - Barbara Ehrenreich, TIME MAGAZINE 'Drawing on science, literature and history, Angier provides valuable insight into the power of hormones, breast milk and the all-important clitoris. A must for every woman's bookshelf' - WOMAN'S JOURNAL
October 2012 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. The seventh in the phenomenally brilliant and best selling series. Complied from the ‘Last Word’ section of the New Scientist magazine, where readers write in with interesting and obscure questions - which are then answered by other (v clever) readers. Perfect for someone who thinks they know everything or for everyone else who loves dipping in and out of fascinating scientific trivia.
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
Why are there two sexes? How different are they and why? Why can't a woman be more like a man? Or should the question be: why can't a man be more like a woman? Controversy rages around sex and gender, but just what are the differences and how are they determined? Lewis Wolpert, distinguished scientist, broadcaster and author, has tackled depression, religion and old age from a developmental biologist's perspective. Now he enters the gender debate, starting with his argument that men are fundamentally modified females - if the genes present at fertilisation did not do their job properly, we would all be women - and journeying through MRI techniques, the nature of sexual attraction, 'neurosexism' and whether men are really better at maths. With fresh and persuasive research and with his customary intelligence and curiosity, Lewis Wolpert sets out to make his mark on this controversial topic - and makes some surprising discoveries along the way.
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.
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.
Where did we come from? What is the ultimate destiny of the universe? What are the building blocks of the physical world? What is consciousness? Are there limits to what we can discover about our physical universe? Are some regions of the future beyond the predictive powers of science and mathematics? Is time before the big bang a no go arena? Are there ideas so complex that they are beyond the conception of our finite human brains? Can brains even investigate themselves or does the analysis enter an infinite loop from which it is impossible to rescue itself? Are there true statements that can never be proved true? Prepare to be taken to the edge of knowledge to find out what we cannot know.
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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