Your guide to science, from the Big Bang to AI
Whether you wish to discover the basics of science or catch up on its latest developments, this short accessible guide is for you.
YOUNIVERSE describes in simple terms the world you are inseparably a part of: what it is, how it works and your place in it – insofar as these things are known. The text has been vetted by 13 distinguished scientists.
Journey now through time and space, a world of the unimaginably big and the inconceivably small – though the marvels of science.
*PRAISE FOR YOUNIVERSE*
‘This is a fine piece of work… very entertaining and informative… It should appeal and be useful to the generalist who wants an overview of science.’ Sir Peter Ratcliffe, 2019 Nobel Prize winner and head of clinical research at the Francis Crick Institute
Bone is a marvel, an adaptable and resilient building material developed over 500 million years of evolutionary history. It has manifested itself in wings, sails, horns, armour, and an even greater array of appendages since the time of its origin. In dinosaur fossils, skeletons are biological time capsules that tell us of lives we’ll never see in the flesh. Inherited from a common fishy ancestor, it is the stuff that binds all of us vertebrates together into one great family. Swim, slither, stomp, fly, dig, run – all are expressions of what bones make possible. But that’s hardly all.
In The Secret Life of Bones, Brian Switek frames the history of our species through the importance of bone from instruments and jewellery, to objects of worship and conquest from the origins of religion through the genesis of science and up through this very day. While bone itself can reveal our individual stories, the truth very much depends on who’s telling it. Our skeletons are as embedded in our culture as they are in our bodies. Switek, an enthusiastic osteological raconteur, cuts through biology, history, and culture to understand the meaning of what’s inside us and what our bones tell us about who we are, where we came from and the legacies we leave behind.
A Daily Telegraph and TLS Book of the Year
‘An audacious tour of all that science can teach us’ Edward O. Wilson
Specialist scientific fields are developing at incredibly swift speeds, but what can they really tell us about how the universe began and how humans evolved to play such a dominant role on Earth? John Hands’s extraordinarily ambitious quest brings together our scientific knowledge and evaluates the theories and evidence about the origin and evolution of matter, life, consciousness, and humankind.
Cosmosapiens provides the most comprehensive account yet of current ideas such as cosmic inflation, dark energy, the selfish gene, and neurogenetic determinism. In clear and accessible language, Hands differentiates the firmly established from the speculative and examines the claims of various fields such as string theory to approach a unified theory of everything. In doing so he challenges the orthodox consensus in those branches of cosmology, biology, and neuroscience that have ossified into dogma. His striking analysis reveals underlying patterns of cooperation, complexification, and convergence that lead to the unique emergence in humans of a self-reflective consciousness that enables us to determine our future evolution. This groundbreaking book is destined to become a classic of scientific thinking.
In his groundbreaking Before the Dawn, Wade reveals humanity’s origins as never before – a journey made possible only through genetic science, whose incredible findings have answered such questions as: What was the first human language like? How large were the first societies, and how warlike were they? When did our ancestors first leave Africa, and by what route did they leave? By eloquently solving these and numerous other mysteries, Wade offers nothing less than a uniquely complete retelling of a story that began 500 centuries ago.
From ancient empires to modern economics, journalist Andrew Lawler takes us on an adventure telling us the story of the animal most crucial to the spread of civilization across the globe-the chicken. Queen Victoria was obsessed with it. Socrates’ last words were about it. Charles Darwin and Louis Pasteur made their scientific breakthroughs using it. Catholic popes, African shamans, Chinese philosophers, and Muslim mystics praised it. Hailed as a messenger of the gods, powerful sex symbol, gambling aid, all-purpose medicine, handy research tool, the humble chicken has been also cast the epitome of evil, and the star of the world’s most famous joke. Beginning with the recent discovery, that the chicken’s unlikely ancestor is T. Rex, this book tracks the chicken from its original domestication in the jungles of Southeast Asia some 10,000 years ago to today’s Western societies, where it became the most engineered of animals, to the uncertain future of what is now humanity’s single most important source of protein. In a masterful combination of historical sleuthing and journalistic exploration on four continents, Lawler reframes the way we feel and think about all domesticated animals, even nature itself.