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.

Secrets of the Seas A Journey into the Heart of the Oceans

Secrets of the Seas A Journey into the Heart of the Oceans

Author: Alex Mustard, Callum Roberts Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/09/2016

Our seas are host to an extraordinary variety of plant and animal life, but much of it remains mysterious and great imagery is surprisingly hard to find. Alex Mustard is one of the world's leading underwater photographers and his images are so crisp and immediate that the animals seem to swim out of the water towards you. The text addresses the issue of change in the oceans along with tales of oceanography, marine life and human history in the seas and aims to help the reader to get to know the oceans, understand how marine animals live their lives and how they have, are and may well adapt to change.

eBooks of the Month
New Scientist: The Origin of (Almost) Everything From the Big Bang to Belly-Button Fluff

New Scientist: The Origin of (Almost) Everything From the Big Bang to Belly-Button Fluff

Author: New Scientist Instant Expert, Graham Lawton, Stephen Hawking Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/09/2016

Did you know, that if you were to get too close to a black hole it would suck you up like a noodle (it's called spaghettification), why your keyboard is laid out in QWERTY (it's not to make it easier to type) or whether the invention of the wheel was less important to civilization than the bag (think about it). New Scientist does. And now they and the New York Times' brilliant graphics editor Jennifer Daniel want to take you on a whistlestop journey from the start of our universe (through the history of stars, galaxies, meteorites, the Moon and dark energy) to our planet (through oceans and weather to oil) and life (through dinosaurs to emotions and sex) to civilization (from cities to alcohol and cooking), knowledge (from alphabets to alchemy) ending up with technology (computers to rocket science).

Universal A Guide to the Cosmos

Universal A Guide to the Cosmos

Author: Brian Cox, Jeff Forshaw Format: Hardback Release Date: 22/09/2016

An awe-inspiring, unforgettable journey of scientific exploration from Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw, the top ten bestselling authors of The Quantum Universe. We dare to imagine a time before the Big Bang, when the entire Universe was compressed into a space smaller than an atom. And now, as Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw show, we can do more than imagine: we can understand. Over the centuries, the human urge to discover has unlocked an incredible amount of knowledge. What it reveals to us is breathtaking. Universal takes us on an epic journey of scientific exploration and, in doing so, reveals how we can all understand some of the most fundamental questions about our Earth, Sun, Solar System and the star-filled galaxies beyond. Some of these questions - How big is our solar system? How fast is space expanding? - can be answered from your back garden; the answers to others - How big is the Universe? What is it made of? - draw on the astonishing information now being gathered by teams of astronomers operating at the frontiers of the known universe. At the heart of all these questions - from the earliest attempts to quantify gravity, to our efforts to understand what dark matter is and what really happened at the birth of our universe - is the scientific process.

eBooks of the Month
101 Bets You Will Always Win The Science of the Seemingly Impossible

101 Bets You Will Always Win The Science of the Seemingly Impossible

Author: Professor Richard Wiseman Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/09/2016

What would you do if someone bet you they could balance a coin on the edge of a banknote, walk through a postcard, or make you move your limbs through the power of suggestion? Would you take that bet? From Richard Wiseman, the creator of the 350-million-view YouTube phenomenon, Quirkology, comes a thrilling mix of lateral thinking, magic tricks and scintillating science stunts which is sure to appeal to curious minds everywhere.

eBooks of the Month
Homo Deus A Brief History of Tomorrow

Homo Deus A Brief History of Tomorrow

Author: Yuval Noah Harari Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/09/2016

Yuval. Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century - from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus. War is obsolete. You are more likely to commit suicide than be killed in conflict. Famine is disappearing. You are at more risk of obesity than starvation. Death is just a technical problem. Equality is out - but immortality is in. What does our future hold?

eBooks of the Month
The Upright Thinkers The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos

The Upright Thinkers The Human Journey from Living in Trees to Understanding the Cosmos

Author: Leonard Mlodinow Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2016

From the bestselling author of The Drunkard's Walk and Subliminal, this is the inspiring and illuminating story of how we have come to understand the world, from the invention of the very first tools to the mind-bending theories of quantum physics. Leonard Mlodinow guides us through the critical eras and events in the development of science, all of which, he demonstrates, were propelled forward by humankind's collective struggle to know. From the birth of reasoning and culture to the formation of the studies of physics, chemistry, biology, and modern-day quantum physics, we come to see that much of our progress can be attributed to simple questions - why? how? - bravely asked. Mlodinow profiles some of the great philosophers, scientists, and thinkers who explored these questions - Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein and Lavoisier among them - and makes clear that just as science has played a key role in shaping the patterns of human thought, human subjectivity has played a key role in the evolution of science.

eBooks of the Month
The Hunt for Vulcan How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet and Deciphered the Universe

The Hunt for Vulcan How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet and Deciphered the Universe

Author: Thomas Levenson Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/08/2016

In 1859, the brilliant scientist Urbain LeVerrier discovered that the planet Mercury has a wobble, that its orbit shifts over time. His explanation was that there had to be an unseen planet circling even closer to the sun. He called the planet Vulcan. Supported by the theories of Sir Isaac Newton, the finest astronomers of their generation began to seek out Vulcan and at least a dozen reports of discovery were filed. There was only one problem. Vulcan does not exist - and was never there. The real explanation was only revealed when a young Albert Einstein came up with a theory of gravity that also happened to prove that Mercury's orbit could indeed be explained - not by Newton's theories but by Einstein's own theory of general relativity.

Being a Beast

Being a Beast

Author: Charles Foster Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2016

We can never truly know what it is like to be another species and experience their lives as they search for food, or kill and be killed – but Charles Foster has gone further than most in trying to capture that elusive experience. Through following Swifts, Red Deer, Otters, Badgers and Foxes, observing, trying to live as they do he manages to rent small tears in the barriers between us. His approach to natural history brings shocks and surprises, an otter's intense driving metabolism, why British and European badgers differ in behaviours, how deer live without their wolf predator, how Swifts, Swallows and House Martin inhabit different levels of the sky in their hunt for insects rising up the eddies and columns of air.  Safe to say this unusual, intimate and passionate attempt to connect with nature is unlike anything else you'll read this year. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading Corvus: A Life with Birds, Esther Woolfson Deep Country: Five Years in the Welsh Hills, Neil Ansell

eBooks of the Month
Being a Beast

Being a Beast

Author: Charles Foster Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2016

We can never truly know what it is like to be another species and experience their lives as they search for food, or kill and be  killed – but Charles Foster has gone further than most in trying to capture that elusive experience. Through following Swifts, Red Deer, Otters, Badgers and Foxes, observing, trying to live as they do he manages to rent small tears in the barriers between us. His approach to natural history brings shocks and surprises, an otter's intense driving metabolism, why British and European badgers differ in behaviours, how deer live without their wolf predator, how Swifts, Swallows and House Martin inhabit different levels of the sky in their hunt for insects rising up the eddies and columns of air.  Safe to say this unusual, intimate and passionate attempt to connect with nature is unlike anything else you'll read this year. ~ Sue Baker February 2016 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.  Like for Like Reading Corvus: A Life with Birds, Esther Woolfson Deep Country: Five Years in the Welsh Hills, Neil Ansell

eBooks of the Month
Gulp Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

Gulp Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

Author: Mary Roach Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2016

Mary Roach can never resist going just that bit further, searching out the most arcane information on her chosen subject and in Gulp, a story of the physicality of eating, you just know it won’t end there – you know it won’t end with what goes in, there will be a lot of what goes out as well. Mind you, she has the knack of finding out just what we’ve all been longing to know, and one has to admire her talent for nosing out the experts – some in subjects you’ve never heard of, admire too her gung-ho approach to self-experimentation.  I think she’s the tops, a clever writer who blends the science facts with humour and amazement, if you’ve not read her before then start here and I guarantee you’ll have to go back and search out her back list. Shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2014. Like for Like Reading The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste, Rose George  The Man who Ate Everything: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about but Were Afraid to Ask, Jeffrey Steingarten

eBooks of the Month
50 Science Ideas You Really Need to Know

50 Science Ideas You Really Need to Know

Author: Gail Dixon, Dr. Paul Parsons Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/07/2016

50 Science Ideas You Really Need to Know is your guide to the biggest questions and deepest concepts from across the whole of science. What was the Big Bang? How did life on Earth arise? What does quantum mechanics tell us about the universe? Is true artificial intelligence possible? And does life exist on other planets? Moving from the basics of atoms and molecules, Newton's laws of physics and the building blocks of life to the cutting edge of nanotechnology, Einstein's theories of relativity and cloning, this book makes the many worlds of science accessible and illuminating.

eBooks of the Month
The Planet Remade How Geoengineering Could Change the World

The Planet Remade How Geoengineering Could Change the World

Author: Oliver Morton Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2016

The risks of global warming are real, and potentially vast. The difficulty of doing without fossil fuels is daunting, and possible insurmountable. So there is an urgent need for new thinking on climate. To meet that need, a small but increasingly influential group of scientists is exploring proposals for planned human intervention in the climate system. A stratospheric veil against the sun; the cultivation of photosynthetic plankton; a fleet of unmanned ships seeding clouds: these are the radical technologies of climate geoengineering. It is chilling to think of such power, and such scope for misadventure or malice, in humans hands. And yet we are now at the point where we have no choice but to take them very seriously indeed. The Planet Remade explores the science, history and politics behind these strategies. It looks at who might want to see geoengineering put to use - and why others would be dead set against it. In the last two centuries, changes to the planet - to the clouds and soils, to the winds and the seas, to the great cycles of nitrogen and carbon - have been far more profound than most of us realize. Appreciating the scale of that change compels us to rethink not just our responses to global warming, but our relationship to nature.