Our science section includes popular and general science, biographies of well-known figures like Charles Darwin, astronomy, and an environmental science section which always features new books on topics like climate change.
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Brief Answers to the Big Questions
The final book from Professor Stephen Hawking, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a profound, accessible and timely reflection on the biggest questions in science. How did the universe begin? Will humanity survive on Earth? Is there intelligent life beyond our solar system? Could artificial intelligence ever outsmart us? Throughout his extraordinary career, Stephen Hawking expanded our understanding of the universe and unravelled some of its greatest mysteries. But even as his theoretical work on black holes, imaginary time and multiple histories took his mind to the furthest reaches of space, Hawking always believed that science could also be used to fix the problems on our planet.
Sunlight and Seaweed
Acclaimed scientist Tim Flannery investigates exciting new technologies currently being developed to address our most pressing environmental threats in a book that presents a positive future for us and our planet.
Climate change, food production and toxic pollution present huge challenges, but, as Flannery shows, we already have innovative, practical and inspiring solutions. With accessible and engaging explanations of the fascinating science behind these technologies, as well as accounts of the systems already in operation around the world, Sunlight and Seaweed is an enlightening and uplifting view of the future.
The Brain's Way of Healing
For centuries we believed that the price we paid for our brain's complexity was that, compared to other organs, it was fixed and unregenerative - unable to recover from damage or illness. In this revolutionary new book, Norman Doidge turns this belief on its head. The phenomenon of neuroplasticity - the discovery that the brain can change its own structure and function in response to mental experience - is the most important development in our understanding of the brain and mind since the beginning of modern science. The Brain's Way of Healing shows how the amazing process of neuroplastic healing really works, and that it is often possible to radically improve - and even cure - many conditions thought to be irreversible.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens? In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we're going. Sapiens is a thrilling account of humankind's extraordinary history - from the Stone Age to the Silicon Age - and our journey from insignificant apes to rulers of the world.
The key to living a happier, healthier life is inside us. Our gut is almost as important to us as our brain or our heart, yet we know very little about how it works. In Gut, Giulia Enders shows that rather than the utilitarian and - let's be honest - somewhat embarrassing body part we imagine it to be, it is one of the most complex, important, and even miraculous parts of our anatomy. In this charming book, young scientist Giulia Enders takes us on a fascinating tour of our insides. Her message is simple - if we treat our gut well, it will treat us well in return. But how do we do that? And why do we need to? Find out in this surprising, and surprisingly funny, exploration of the least understood of our organs.
Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End
For most of human history, death was a common, ever-present possibility. It didn't matter whether you were five or fifty - every day was a roll of the dice. But now, as medical advances push the boundaries of survival further each year, we have become increasingly detached from the reality of being mortal. So here is a book about the modern experience of mortality - about what it's like to get old and die, how medicine has changed this and how it hasn't, where our ideas about death have gone wrong. With his trademark mix of perceptiveness and sensitivity, Atul Gawande outlines a story that crosses the globe, as he examines his experiences as a surgeon and those of his patients and family, and learns to accept the limits of what he can do.
Classical Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum
Here is the ultimate master class in modern physics. In Classical Mechanics, world-class physicist and father of string theory Leonard Susskind and citizen-scientist George Hrabovsky combine forces in a primer that teaches the skills you need to do physics yourself. Combining crystal-clear explanations of the laws of the universe with basic exercises, the authors cover the minimum that readers should master in order to move on to more advanced topics. Instead of shying away from the maths that is essential to any understanding of physics, they provide a practical toolkit that you won't find in any other popular science book.
The Art of the Infinite: The Pleasures of Mathematics
The Art of the Infinite takes infinity, in its countless guises, as a touchstone for understanding mathematical thinking. Robert and Ellen Kaplan guide us through the "Republic of Numbers," where we meet both its upstanding citizens and its more shadowy dwellers; and transport us across the plane of geometry into the unlikely realm where parallel lines meet. The journey is enriched by deft character studies of great mathematicians (and equally colorful lesser ones). And as we go deeper into infinity, we explore the most profound mystery of mathematics: Are its principles eternal truths that we discover? Or ones that we invent?
The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction
From the financial crisis to ecological disasters, we routinely fail to foresee hugely significant events, often at great cost to society. The rise of 'big data' has the potential to help us predict the future, yet much of it is misleading and useless. Nate Silver accurately predicted the results of every state in the 2012 US election, cementing his reputation as one of our most prophetic forecasters. Here he takes us on an enthralling insider's tour of the high-stakes world of prediction, showing how we can all learn to detect the true signals amid the noise of data.
Oil and Honey
Bestselling author and environmental activist Bill McKibben recounts the personal and global story of the fight to build and preserve a sustainable planet. Bill McKibben is not a person you'd expect to find handcuffed in the city jail in Washington, D.C. But that's where he spent three days in the summer of 2011, after leading the largest civil disobedience action in thirty years to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. A few months later the protesters would see their efforts rewarded when President Obama agreed to put the project on hold. And yet McKibben realized that this small and temporary victory was at best a stepping-stone. With the Arctic melting, the Midwest in drought, and Hurricane Sandy scouring the Atlantic, the need for much deeper solutions was obvious. Some of those would come at the local level, and McKibben recounts a year he spends in the company of a beekeeper raising his hives as part of the growing trend toward local food. Other solutions would come from a much larger fight against the fossil-fuel industry as a whole. Oil and Honey is McKibben's account of these two necessary and mutually reinforcing sides of the global climate fight - from the absolute centre of the maelstrom and from the growing hive of small-scale local answers to the climate crisis.
The Wavewatcher's Companion
One bright February afternoon on a beach in Cornwall, Gavin Pretor-Pinney took a break from cloudspotting and started watching the waves rolling into shore. Mesmerised, he wondered where they had come from, and decided to find out. He soon realised that waves don't just appear on the ocean, they are everywhere around us, and our lives depend on them. From the rippling beats of our hearts, to the movement of food through our digestive tracts and of signals across our brains, waves are the transport systems of our bodies.
Dr Ben Goldacre takes us on a hilarious, invigorating and informative journey through the bad science we're fed by the worst of the hacks and the quacks... At a time when science is used to prove everything and nothing, everyone has their own `bad science' moments - from the useless pie-chart on the back of cereal packets to the use of the word 'visibly' in cosmetics ads. This book will help people to quantify their instincts - that a lot of the so-called `science' which appears in the media and in advertising is just wrong or misleading. Satirical and amusing - and unafraid to expose the ridiculous - it provides the reader with the facts they need to differentiate the good from the bad. Full of spleen, this is a hilarious, invigorating and informative journey through the world of `bad science'.
The tenth anniversary edition of the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest: the search for the solution of how to calculate longitude and the unlikely triumph of an English genius. With a new Foreword by the celebrated astronaut Neil Armstrong. 'Sobel has done the impossible and made horology sexy - no mean feat' New Scientist Anyone alive in the 18th century would have known that `the longitude problem' was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day - and had been for centuries.
The Descent of Man: Selection in Relation to Sex
No book made a greater impact on the intellectual world of its first Victorian readers nor has had such an enduring influence on our thinking on science, literature, theology and philosophy. In The Descent of Man, Darwin addresses the crucial question of the origins, evolution and racial divergence of mankind, that he had deliberately left out of On the Origin of Species. And the evidence he presents forces us to question what it is that makes us uniquely human.
Guns, Germs & Steel
Why has human history unfolded so differently across the globe? Jared Diamond puts the case that geography and biogeography, not race, moulded the contrasting fates of Europeans, Asians, Native Americans, sub-Saharan Africans, and aboriginal Australians. An ambitious synthesis of history, biology, ecology and linguistics, Guns, Germs and Steel is a ground-breaking and humane work of popular science.
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