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 world-famous cosmologist, bestselling author of A Brief History of Time, leaves us with his final thoughts on the universe’s biggest questions in this brilliant posthumous work: how did the universe begin? Will humanity survive on Earth? Is there intelligent life beyond our solar system? Could artificial intelligence ever outsmart us?
Your Brain is a Time Machine
"Time" is the most common noun in the English language yet philosophers and scientists don't agree about what time actually is or how to define it. Perhaps this is because the brain tells, represents and perceives time in multiple ways.
Dean Buonomano investigates the relationship between the brain and time, looking at what time is, why it seems to speed up or slow down and whether our sense that time flows is an illusion. Buonomano presents his theory of how the brain tells time, and illuminates such concepts as free will, consciousness, space-time and relativity from the perspective of a neuroscientist. Drawing on physics, evolutionary biology and philosophy, he reveals that the brain's ultimate purpose may be to predict the future-and thus that your brain is a time machine.
Discover the groundbreaking developments in dinosaur research with this state of the art guide to dinosaur biology. Written by experts from a leading dinosaur research centre, this book traces the evolution of the dinosaur from 225 million years ago through to the end of the Cretaceous Period. It explores how they lived and what happened to the dinosaurs during and after the great extinction event. Research on these fantastic animals is proceeding at a faster pace than ever before. Dinosaurs explores the most recent global discoveries and the major role that new technologies play in revealing previously inaccessible and unknown details about how dinosaurs lived, such as the of use CT-scanning to look inside a dinosaur skull and gain new information on brains and sense organs. This engaging book reveals the latest findings about dinosaur anatomy and behaviour, evolution, diversity and lifestyle, and is lavishly illustrated with artwork, photographs and artistic reconstructions that bring these iconic creatures to life.
Atlas of the Southern Night Sky
Updated fifth edition. Beautifully illustrated with many tips and advice on how to both understand, observe and even photograph the night sky, including the stars, galaxies, nebulae, Sun, Moon, asteroids, comets and planets from the back yard, this book is your essential guide and reference to the celestial wonders of the Southern Night Sky. Information on common telescope designs and tips for observing the night sky.
Big History creator David Christian takes readers on a cosmological detective quest, told on the grandest possible scale. He traces how, during eight key thresholds, the right conditions have allowed new forms of complexity to arise, from stars to galaxies, Earth to homo sapiens, agriculture to fossil fuels. This last mega-innovation gave us an energy bonanza that brought huge benefits to mankind, yet also threatens to shake apart everything we have created.
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.
Forces of Nature
A breathtaking and beautiful exploration of our planet, this groundbreaking book accompanies the acclaimed BBC TV series, providing the deepest answers to the simplest questions. Think you know our planet? Think again. Forces of Nature takes you from the mid-Atlantic ridge in Iceland, the volcanoes of Indonesia and the precipitous cliffs in Nepal, to the manatees off the coast of Florida and the northern lights of the Arctic, in search of the fundamental laws that govern our world. These universal laws shape everything, from the structure of snowflakes to the elegant spirals of the galaxies. By seeking to understand the everyday world - the colours, structure, behaviour and history of our home - we can step beyond the everyday and approach the Universe beyond.
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.
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
Charles Darwin's masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, shook society to its core on publication in 1859. Darwin was only too aware of the storm his theory of evolution would provoke but he would surely have raised an incredulous eyebrow at the controversy still raging a century and a half later. Evolution is accepted as scientific fact by all reputable scientists and indeed theologians, yet millions of people continue to question its veracity. In The Greatest Show On Earth Richard Dawkins takes on creationists, including followers of Intelligent Design and all those who question the fact of evolution through natural selection. Like a detective arriving on the scene of a crime, he sifts through fascinating layers of scientific facts and disciplines to build a cast-iron case- from the living examples of natural selection in birds and insects; the time clocks of trees and radioactive dating that calibrate a timescale for evolution; the fossil record and the traces of our earliest ancestors; to confirmation from molecular biology and genetics. All of this, and much more, bears witness to the truth of evolution.
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'.
God Created the Integers
God Created The Integers is Stephen Hawking's personal choice of the greatest mathematical works in history. He allows the reader to peer into the mind of genius by providing us with excerpts from original mathematical proofs and results. He also helps us understand the progression of mathematical thought, and the very foundations of our present day technologies. The book includes landmark discoveries spanning 2500 years and representing the work of mathematicians such as Euclid, Georg Cantor, Kurt Godel, Augustin Cauchy, Bernard Riemann and Alan Turing. Each chapter begins with a biography of the featured mathematician, clearly explaining the significance of the result, followed by the full proof of the work, reproduced from the original publication, many in new translations.
Perfectly Reasonable Deviations
Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track--collecting over forty years' worth of Feynman's letters--offers an unprecedented look at the writer and thinker whose scientific mind and lust for life made him a legend in his own time. Containing missives to and from such scientific luminaries as Victor Weisskopf, Stephen Wolfram, James Watson, and Edward Teller, as well as a remarkable selection of letters to and from fans, students, family, and people from around the world eager for Feynman's advice and counsel, Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track not only illuminates the personal relationships that underwrote the key developments in modern science, but also forms the most intimate look at Feynman yet available.
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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