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Data is fundamental to the modern world. From economic development, to healthcare, to education and public policy, we rely on numbers to allocate resources and make crucial decisions. But because so much data fails to take into account gender, because it treats men as the default and women as atypical, bias and discrimination are baked into our systems. And women pay tremendous costs for this bias, in time, money, and often with their lives. Celebrated feminist advocate Caroline Criado Perez investigates the shocking root cause of gender inequality and research in Invisible Women, diving into women’s lives at home, the workplace, the public square, the doctor’s office, and more. Built on hundreds of studies in the US, the UK, and around the world, and written with energy, wit, and sparkling intelligence, this is a groundbreaking, unforgettable exposé that will change the way you look at the world.
2019 Best-Of Lists: 10 Best Science Books of the Year (Smithsonian Magazine) · Best Science Books of the Year (NPR’s Science Friday) · Best Science and Technology Books from 2019” (Library Journal) An astute and timely examination of the re-emergence of scientific research into racial differences. Superior tells the disturbing story of the persistent thread of belief in biological racial differences in the world of science. After the horrors of the Nazi regime in World War II, the mainstream scientific world turned its back on eugenics and the study of racial difference. But a worldwide network of intellectual racists and segregationists quietly founded journals and funded research, providing the kind of shoddy studies that were ultimately cited in Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray’s 1994 title The Bell Curve, which purported to show differences in intelligence among races. If the vast majority of scientists and scholars disavowed these ideas and considered race a social construct, it was an idea that still managed to somehow survive in the way scientists thought about human variation and genetics. Dissecting the statements and work of contemporary scientists studying human biodiversity, most of whom claim to be just following the data, Angela Saini shows us how, again and again, even mainstream scientists cling to the idea that race is biologically real. As our understanding of complex traits like intelligence, and the effects of environmental and cultural influences on human beings, from the molecular level on up, grows, the hope of finding simple genetic differences between “races”—to explain differing rates of disease, to explain poverty or test scores, or to justify cultural assumptions—stubbornly persists. At a time when racialized nationalisms are a resurgent threat throughout the world, Superior is a rigorous, much-needed examination of the insidious and destructive nature of race science—and a powerful reminder that, biologically, we are all far more alike than different.
*Shortlisted for the 2019 Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize* One of the most fascinating scientific detective stories of the last fifty years, an exciting quest for a new form of matter. “A riveting tale of derring-do” (Nature), this book reads like James Gleick’s Chaos combined with an Indiana Jones adventure. When leading Princeton physicist Paul Steinhardt began working in the 1980s, scientists thought they knew all the conceivable forms of matter. The Second Kind of Impossible is the story of Steinhardt’s thirty-five-year-long quest to challenge conventional wisdom. It begins with a curious geometric pattern that inspires two theoretical physicists to propose a radically new type of matter—one that raises the possibility of new materials with never before seen properties, but that violates laws set in stone for centuries. Steinhardt dubs this new form of matter “quasicrystal.” The rest of the scientific community calls it simply impossible. The Second Kind of Impossible captures Steinhardt’s scientific odyssey as it unfolds over decades, first to prove viability, and then to pursue his wildest conjecture—that nature made quasicrystals long before humans discovered them. Along the way, his team encounters clandestine collectors, corrupt scientists, secret diaries, international smugglers, and KGB agents. Their quest culminates in a daring expedition to a distant corner of the Earth, in pursuit of tiny fragments of a meteorite forged at the birth of the solar system. Steinhardt’s discoveries chart a new direction in science. They not only change our ideas about patterns and matter, but also reveal new truths about the processes that shaped our solar system. The underlying science is important, simple, and beautiful—and Steinhardt’s firsthand account is “packed with discovery, disappointment, exhilaration, and persistence…This book is a front-row seat to history as it is made” (Nature).
From preeminent math personality and author of The Joy of x, a brilliant and endlessly appealing explanation of calculus – how it works and why it makes our lives immeasurably better. Without calculus, we wouldn’t have cell phones, TV, GPS, or ultrasound. We wouldn’t have unraveled DNA or discovered Neptune or figured out how to put 5,000 songs in your pocket. Though many of us were scared away from this essential, engrossing subject in high school and college, Steven Strogatz’s brilliantly creative, down‑to‑earth history shows that calculus is not about complexity; it’s about simplicity. It harnesses an unreal number–infinity–to tackle real‑world problems, breaking them down into easier ones and then reassembling the answers into solutions that feel miraculous. Infinite Powers recounts how calculus tantalized and thrilled its inventors, starting with its first glimmers in ancient Greece and bringing us right up to the discovery of gravitational waves (a phenomenon predicted by calculus). Strogatz reveals how this form of math rose to the challenges of each age: how to determine the area of a circle with only sand and a stick; how to explain why Mars goes “backwards” sometimes; how to make electricity with magnets; how to ensure your rocket doesn’t miss the moon; how to turn the tide in the fight against AIDS. As Strogatz proves, calculus is truly the language of the universe. By unveiling the principles of that language, Infinite Powers makes us marvel at the world anew.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2019 New York Public Library Best Books of 2019 Kirkus Reviews Best Health and Science Books of 2019 Science Friday Best Books of 2019 New postscript by the author From an award-winning journalist, an explosive narrative investigation of the generic drug boom that reveals fraud and life-threatening dangers on a global scale—The Jungle for pharmaceuticals Many have hailed the widespread use of generic drugs as one of the most important public-health developments of the twenty-first century. Today, almost 90 percent of our pharmaceutical market is comprised of generics, the majority of which are manufactured overseas. We have been reassured by our doctors, our pharmacists and our regulators that generic drugs are identical to their brand-name counterparts, just less expensive. But is this really true? Katherine Eban’s Bottle of Lies exposes the deceit behind generic-drug manufacturing—and the attendant risks for global health. Drawing on exclusive accounts from whistleblowers and regulators, as well as thousands of pages of confidential FDA documents, Eban reveals an industry where fraud is rampant, companies routinely falsify data, and executives circumvent almost every principle of safe manufacturing to minimize cost and maximize profit, confident in their ability to fool inspectors. Meanwhile, patients unwittingly consume medicine with unpredictable and dangerous effects. The story of generic drugs is truly global. It connects middle America to China, India, sub-Saharan Africa and Brazil, and represents the ultimate litmus test of globalization: what are the risks of moving drug manufacturing offshore, and are they worth the savings? A decade-long investigation with international sweep, high-stakes brinkmanship and big money at its core, Bottle of Lies reveals how the world’s greatest public-health innovation has become one of its most astonishing swindles.
A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER OF THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 2019 WINNER OF THE STANFORD DOLMAN TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2020 ‘You’d be crazy not to read this book’ The Sunday Times A Guardian Best Book of the 21st Century From the internationally bestselling, prize-winning author of Landmarks, The Lost Words and The Old Ways In Underland, Robert Macfarlane takes us on a journey into the worlds beneath our feet. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland’s glaciers, to the underground networks by which trees communicate, from Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves, this is a deep-time voyage into the planet’s past and future. Global in its geography, gripping in its voice and haunting in its implications, Underland is a work of huge range and power, and a remarkable new chapter in Macfarlane’s long-term exploration of landscape and the human heart. SHORTLISTED FOR THE RSL ONDAATJE PRIZE 2020 ‘Macfarlane has invented a new kind of book, really a new genre entirely’ The Irish Times ‘He is the great nature writer, and nature poet, of this generation’ Wall Street Journal ‘Macfarlane has shown how utterly beautiful a brilliantly written travel book can still be’ Observer on The Old Ways ‘Irradiated by a profound sense of wonder… Few books give such a sense of enchantment; it is a book to give to many, and to return to repeatedly’ Independent on Landmarks ‘It sets the imagination tingling…like reading a prose Odyssey sprinkled with imagist poems’ The Sunday Times on The Old Ways
A riveting, urgent account of the explorers and scientists racing to understand the rapidly melting ice sheet in Greenland, a dramatic harbinger of climate change “Jon Gertner takes readers to spots few journalists or even explorers have visited. The result is a gripping and important book.”—Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sixth Extinction NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • The Christian Science Monitor • Library Journal Greenland: a remote, mysterious island five times the size of California but with a population of just 56,000. The ice sheet that covers it is 700 miles wide and 1,500 miles long, and is composed of nearly three quadrillion tons of ice. For the last 150 years, explorers and scientists have sought to understand Greenland—at first hoping that it would serve as a gateway to the North Pole, and later coming to realize that it contained essential information about our climate. Locked within this vast and frozen white desert are some of the most profound secrets about our planet and its future. Greenland’s ice doesn’t just tell us where we’ve been. More urgently, it tells us where we’re headed. In The Ice at the End of the World, Jon Gertner explains how Greenland has evolved from one of earth’s last frontiers to its largest scientific laboratory. The history of Greenland’s ice begins with the explorers who arrived here at the turn of the twentieth century—first on foot, then on skis, then on crude, motorized sleds—and embarked on grueling expeditions that took as long as a year and often ended in frostbitten tragedy. Their original goal was simple: to conquer Greenland’s seemingly infinite interior. Yet their efforts eventually gave way to scientists who built lonely encampments out on the ice and began drilling—one mile, two miles down. Their aim was to pull up ice cores that could reveal the deepest mysteries of earth’s past, going back hundreds of thousands of years. Today, scientists from all over the world are deploying every technological tool available to uncover the secrets of this frozen island before it’s too late. As Greenland’s ice melts and runs off into the sea, it not only threatens to affect hundreds of millions of people who live in coastal areas. It will also have drastic effects on ocean currents, weather systems, economies, and migration patterns. Gertner chronicles the unfathomable hardships, amazing discoveries, and scientific achievements of the Arctic’s explorers and researchers with a transporting, deeply intelligent style—and a keen sense of what this work means for the rest of us. The melting ice sheet in Greenland is, in a way, an analog for time. It contains the past. It reflects the present. It can also tell us how much time we might have left.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The Uninhabitable Earth hits you like a comet, with an overflow of insanely lyrical prose about our pending Armageddon.”—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker • The New York Times Book Review • Time • NPR • The Economist • The Paris Review • Toronto Star • GQ • The Times Literary Supplement • The New York Public Library • Kirkus Reviews It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible—food shortages, refugee emergencies, climate wars and economic devastation. An “epoch-defining book” (The Guardian) and “this generation’s Silent Spring” (The Washington Post), The Uninhabitable Earth is both a travelogue of the near future and a meditation on how that future will look to those living through it—the ways that warming promises to transform global politics, the meaning of technology and nature in the modern world, the sustainability of capitalism and the trajectory of human progress. The Uninhabitable Earth is also an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation—today’s. LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/E.O. WILSON LITERARY SCIENCE WRITING AWARD “The Uninhabitable Earth is the most terrifying book I have ever read. Its subject is climate change, and its method is scientific, but its mode is Old Testament. The book is a meticulously documented, white-knuckled tour through the cascading catastrophes that will soon engulf our warming planet.”—Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times “Riveting. . . . Some readers will find Mr. Wallace-Wells’s outline of possible futures alarmist. He is indeed alarmed. You should be, too.”—The Economist “Potent and evocative. . . . Wallace-Wells has resolved to offer something other than the standard narrative of climate change. . . . He avoids the ‘eerily banal language of climatology’ in favor of lush, rolling prose.”—Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times “The book has potential to be this generation’s Silent Spring.”—The Washington Post “The Uninhabitable Earth, which has become a best seller, taps into the underlying emotion of the day: fear. . . . I encourage people to read this book.”—Alan Weisman, The New York Review of Books
A New York Times Best Book of the Year A Time Best Book of the Year A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of the Year 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence Winner One of NPR’s Best Books of 2019 Journalist Adam Higginbotham’s definitive, years-in-the-making account of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster—and a powerful investigation into how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest disasters. Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history’s worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers its citizens and the entire world. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful nonfiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth. Midnight in Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will—lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats, remain not just vital but necessary.
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!! Named a Best Book of 2019 by TIME, Amazon, and The Washington Post A Wired Must-Read Book of Summer “Gretchen McCulloch is the internet’s favorite linguist, and this book is essential reading. Reading her work is like suddenly being able to see the matrix.” —Jonny Sun, author of everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too Because Internet is for anyone who’s ever puzzled over how to punctuate a text message or wondered where memes come from. It’s the perfect book for understanding how the internet is changing the English language, why that’s a good thing, and what our online interactions reveal about who we are. Language is humanity’s most spectacular open-source project, and the internet is making our language change faster and in more interesting ways than ever before. Internet conversations are structured by the shape of our apps and platforms, from the grammar of status updates to the protocols of comments and @replies. Linguistically inventive online communities spread new slang and jargon with dizzying speed. What’s more, social media is a vast laboratory of unedited, unfiltered words where we can watch language evolve in real time. Even the most absurd-looking slang has genuine patterns behind it. Internet linguist Gretchen McCulloch explores the deep forces that shape human language and influence the way we communicate with one another. She explains how your first social internet experience influences whether you prefer “LOL” or “lol,” why ~sparkly tildes~ succeeded where centuries of proposals for irony punctuation had failed, what emoji have in common with physical gestures, and how the artfully disarrayed language of animal memes like lolcats and doggo made them more likely to spread.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2019 BY Maclean’s • The Washington Post • USA Today • Indigo Bill Bryson, bestselling author of A Short History of Nearly Everything, takes us on a head-to-toe tour of the marvel that is the human body. As compulsively readable as it is comprehensive, this is Bryson at his very best, a must-read owner’s manual for everybody. Bill Bryson once again proves himself to be an incomparable companion as he guides us through the human body–how it functions, its remarkable ability to heal itself, and (unfortunately) the ways it can fail. Full of extraordinary facts (your body made a million red blood cells since you started reading this) and irresistible Bryson-esque anecdotes, The Body will lead you to a deeper understanding of the miracle that is life in general and you, in particular. As Bill Bryson writes, “we pass our existence within this wobble of flesh and yet take it almost entirely for granted.” The Body will cure that indifference with generous doses of wondrous, compulsively readable facts and information.
A vivid, searching journey into California’s capture of water and soil—the epic story of a people’s defiance of nature and the wonders, and ruin, it has wrought Mark Arax is from a family of Central Valley farmers, a writer with deep ties to the land who has watched the battles over water intensify even as California lurches from drought to flood and back again. In The Dreamt Land, he travels the state to explore the one-of-a-kind distribution system, built in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, that is straining to keep up with California’s relentless growth. The Dreamt Land weaves reportage, history and memoir to confront the “Golden State” myth in riveting fashion. No other chronicler of the West has so deeply delved into the empires of agriculture that drink so much of the water. The nation’s biggest farmers—the nut king, grape king and citrus queen—tell their story here for the first time. Arax, the native son, is persistent and tough as he treks from desert to delta, mountain to valley. What he finds is hard earned, awe-inspiring, tragic and revelatory. In the end, his compassion for the land becomes an elegy to the dream that created California and now threatens to undo it.
**SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROYAL SOCIETY INSIGHT INVESTMENT SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE 2019** ‘Read this book and join the effort to terminate air pollution.’ Arnold Schwarzenegger Air pollution has become the world’s greatest environmental health risk, and science is only beginning to reveal its wide-ranging effects. Globally, 19,000 people die each day from air pollution, killing more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and car accidents combined. What happened to the air we breathe? Sustainability journalist Tim Smedley has travelled the world to try and find the answer, visiting cities at the forefront of the fight against air pollution, including Delhi, Beijing, London and Paris. With insights from the scientists and politicians leading the battle against it, and people whose lives have been affected by it, Clearing the Air tells the full story of air pollution for the first time: what it is, which pollutants are harmful, where they come from and – most importantly – what we can do about them. Air pollution is a problem that can be solved. The stories uncovered on this journey show us how. Clearing the Air is essential reading for anyone who cares about the air they breathe. And this much becomes clear: in the fight against air pollution, we all have a part to play. The fightback has begun. ‘Compulsory reading’ Chris Boardman
A concise and engaging investigation of six interpretations of quantum physics. Rules of the quantum world seem to say that a cat can be both alive and dead at the same time and a particle can be in two places at once. And that particle is also a wave; everything in the quantum world can described in terms of waves—or entirely in terms of particles. These interpretations were all established by the end of the 1920s, by Erwin Schrödinger, Werner Heisenberg, Paul Dirac, and others. But no one has yet come up with a common sense explanation of what is going on. In this concise and engaging book, astrophysicist John Gribbin offers an overview of six of the leading interpretations of quantum mechanics. Gribbin calls his account “agnostic,” explaining that none of these interpretations is any better—or any worse—than any of the others. Gribbin presents the Copenhagen Interpretation, promoted by Niels Bohr and named by Heisenberg; the Pilot-Wave Interpretation, developed by Louis de Broglie; the Many Worlds Interpretation (termed “excess baggage” by Gribbin); the Decoherence Interpretation (“incoherent”); the Ensemble “Non-Interpretation”; and the Timeless Transactional Interpretation (which theorized waves going both forward and backward in time). All of these interpretations are crazy, Gribbin warns, and some are more crazy than others—but in the quantum world, being more crazy does not necessarily mean more wrong.
National Geographic Explorer and TED Prize-winner Dr. Sarah Parcak welcomes you to the exciting new world of space archaeology, a growing field that is sparking extraordinary discoveries from ancient civilizations across the globe. In Archaeology from Space, Sarah Parcak shows the evolution, major discoveries, and future potential of the young field of satellite archaeology. From surprise advancements after the declassification of spy photography, to a new map of the mythical Egyptian city of Tanis, she shares her field’s biggest discoveries, revealing why space archaeology is not only exciting, but urgently essential to the preservation of the world’s ancient treasures. Parcak has worked in twelve countries and four continents, using multispectral and high-resolution satellite imagery to identify thousands of previously unknown settlements, roads, fortresses, palaces, tombs, and even potential pyramids. From there, her stories take us back in time and across borders, into the day-to-day lives of ancient humans whose traits and genes we share. And she shows us that if we heed the lessons of the past, we can shape a vibrant future. Includes Illustrations
Say “algae” and most people think of pond scum. What they don’t know is that without algae, none of us would exist.
What are we not seeing? Our naked eyes see only a thin sliver of reality. We are blind in comparison to the X-rays that peer through skin, and the animals that can see in infrared or ultraviolet or with 360-degree vision. In The Reality Bubble, Ziya Tong illuminates this hidden world and takes us on a journey to examine ten of humanity’s biggest blind spots. What she reveals is not on the things we didn’t evolve to see but, more dangerously, the blindness of modern society. Fast-paced, utterly fascinating and deeply humane, this vitally important book gives voice to the sense we’ve all had – that there is more to the world than meets the eye.
With the fascinating scholarship of The Emperor of All Maladies and the deeply personal experience of When Breath Becomes Air, a world-class oncologist examines the current state of cancer and its devastating impact on the individuals it affects — including herself. In The First Cell, Azra Raza offers a searing account of how both medicine and our society (mis)treats cancer, how we can do better, and why we must. A lyrical journey from hope to despair and back again, The First Cell explores cancer from every angle: medical, scientific, cultural, and personal. Indeed, Raza describes how she bore the terrible burden of being her own husband’s oncologist as he succumbed to leukemia. Like When Breath Becomes Air, The First Cell is no ordinary book of medicine, but a book of wisdom and grace by an author who has devoted her life to making the unbearable easier to bear.
The surprising science of hearing and the remarkable technologies that can help us hear better Our sense of hearing makes it easy to connect with the world and the people around us. The human system for processing sound is a biological marvel, an intricate assembly of delicate membranes, bones, receptor cells, and neurons. Yet many people take their ears for granted, abusing them with loud restaurants, rock concerts, and Q-tips. And then, eventually, most of us start to go deaf. Millions of Americans suffer from hearing loss. Faced with the cost and stigma of hearing aids, the natural human tendency is to do nothing and hope for the best, usually while pretending that nothing is wrong. In Volume Control, David Owen argues this inaction comes with a huge social cost. He demystifies the science of hearing while encouraging readers to get the treatment they need for hearing loss and protect the hearing they still have. Hearing aids are rapidly improving and becoming more versatile. Inexpensive high-tech substitutes are increasingly available, making it possible for more of us to boost our weakening ears without bankrupting ourselves. Relatively soon, physicians may be able to reverse losses that have always been considered irreversible. Even the insistent buzz of tinnitus may soon yield to relatively simple treatments and techniques. With wit and clarity, Owen explores the incredible possibilities of technologically assisted hearing. And he proves that ears, whether they’re working or not, are endlessly interesting.
Winner of the 2019 Whirling Prize “Strong on science but just this side of poetry.” —Nature A beautifully illustrated exploration of the principles, laws, and wonders that rule our universe, our world, and our daily lives, from the New York Times bestselling creator of Lost in Translation Have you ever found yourself wondering what we might have in common with stars, or why the Moon never leaves us? Thinking about the precise dancing of planets, the passing of time, or the nature of natural things? Our world is full of unshakable mystery, and although we live in a civilization more complicated than ever, there is simplicity and reassurance to be found in knowing how and why. From the New York Times bestselling creator of Lost in Translation, Eating the Sun is a delicately existential, beautifully illustrated, and welcoming exploration of the universe—one that examines and marvels at the astonishing principles, laws, and phenomena that we exist alongside, that we sit within. “[A] lyrical and luminous celebration of science and our consanguinity with the universe. . . . Playful and poignant.” —Brain Pickings
An enthusiastic, witty, and informative introduction to the world of insects and why we—and the planet we inhabit—could not survive without them. Insects comprise roughly half of the animal kingdom. They live everywhere—deep inside caves, 18,000 feet high in the Himalayas, inside computers, in Yellowstone’s hot springs, and in the ears and nostrils of much larger creatures. There are insects that have ears on their knees, eyes on their penises, and tongues under their feet. Most of us think life would be better without bugs. In fact, life would be impossible without them. Most of us know that we would not have honey without honeybees, but without the pinhead-sized chocolate midge, cocoa flowers would not pollinate. No cocoa, no chocolate. The ink that was used to write the Declaration of Independence was derived from galls on oak trees, which are induced by a small wasp. The fruit fly was essential to medical and biological research experiments that resulted in six Nobel prizes. Blowfly larva can clean difficult wounds; flour beetle larva can digest plastic; several species of insects have been essential to the development of antibiotics. Insects turn dead plants and animals into soil. They pollinate flowers, including crops that we depend on. They provide food for other animals, such as birds and bats. They control organisms that are harmful to humans. Life as we know it depends on these small creatures. With ecologist Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson as our capable, entertaining guide into the insect world, we’ll learn that there is more variety among insects than we can even imagine and the more you learn about insects, the more fascinating they become. Buzz, Sting, Bite is an essential introduction to the little creatures that make the world go round.
HUGO AWARD WINNER: BEST NOVELLA NEBULA AND LOCUS AWARDS WINNER: BEST NOVELLA “[An] exquisitely crafted tale…Part epistolary romance, part mind-blowing science fiction adventure, this dazzling story unfolds bit by bit, revealing layers of meaning as it plays with cause and effect, wildly imaginative technologies, and increasingly intricate wordplay…This short novel warrants multiple readings to fully unlock its complexities.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review). From award-winning authors Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone comes an enthralling, romantic novel spanning time and space about two time-traveling rivals who fall in love and must change the past to ensure their future. Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandment finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, becomes something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future. Except the discovery of their bond would mean the death of each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win. That’s how war works, right? Cowritten by two beloved and award-winning sci-fi writers, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epic love story spanning time and space.
A groundbreaking exploration of the relationship between capitalism, communism, and Arctic ecology since the dawn of the industrial age. Whales and walruses, caribou and fox, gold and oil: through the stories of these animals and resources, Bathsheba Demuth reveals how people have turned ecological wealth in a remote region into economic growth and state power for more than 150 years. The first-ever comprehensive history of Beringia, the Arctic land and waters stretching from Russia to Canada, Floating Coast breaks away from familiar narratives to provide a fresh and fascinating perspective on an overlooked landscape. The unforgiving territory along the Bering Strait had long been home to humans—the Inupiat and Yupik in Alaska, and the Yupik and Chukchi in Russia—before Americans and Europeans arrived with revolutionary ideas for progress. Rapidly, these frigid lands and waters became the site of an ongoing experiment: How, under conditions of extreme scarcity, would the great modern ideologies of capitalism and communism control and manage the resources they craved? Drawing on her own experience living with and interviewing indigenous people in the region, as well as from archival sources, Demuth shows how the social, the political, and the environmental clashed in this liminal space. Through the lens of the natural world, she views human life and economics as fundamentally about cycles of energy, bringing a fresh and visionary spin to the writing of human history. Floating Coast is a profoundly resonant tale of the dynamic changes and unforeseen consequences that immense human needs and ambitions have brought, and will continue to bring, to a finite planet.
In recent years “recovery” has become a sports and fitness buzzword. Anyone who works out or competes at any level is bombarded with the latest recovery products and services: from drinks and shakes to compression sleeves, foam rollers, electrical muscle stimulators, and sleep trackers.In Good to Go, acclaimed FiveThirtyEight science writer Christie Aschwanden takes readers on an entertaining and enlightening tour through this strange world. She investigates whether drinking Gatorade or beer after training helps or hinders performance, she examines the latest trends among athletes–from NFL star Tom Brady’s infrared pajamas to gymnast Simone Biles’ pneumatic compression boots to swimmer Michael Phelps’s “cupping” ritual–and she tests some of the most controversial methods herself, including cryochambers, floatation tanks, and infrared saunas.At a time when the latest recovery products and services promise so much, Good to Go seeks answers to the fundamental question: do any of them actually help the body recover and achieve peak performance?
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An urgent wake-up call about the future of emerging viruses and a gripping account of the doctors and scientists fighting to protect us, told through the story of the deadly 2013–2014 Ebola epidemic “Crisis in the Red Zone reads like a thriller. That the story it tells is all true makes it all more terrifying.”—Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sixth Extinction From the #1 bestselling author of The Hot Zone, now a National Geographic original miniseries . . . This time, Ebola started with a two-year-old child who likely had contact with a wild creature and whose entire family quickly fell ill and died. The ensuing global drama activated health professionals in North America, Europe, and Africa in a desperate race against time to contain the viral wildfire. By the end—as the virus mutated into its deadliest form, and spread farther and faster than ever before—30,000 people would be infected, and the dead would be spread across eight countries on three continents. In this taut and suspenseful medical drama, Richard Preston deeply chronicles the pandemic, in which we saw for the first time the specter of Ebola jumping continents, crossing the Atlantic, and infecting people in America. Rich in characters and conflict—physical, emotional, and ethical—Crisis in the Red Zone is an immersion in one of the great public health calamities of our time. Preston writes of doctors and nurses in the field putting their own lives on the line, of government bureaucrats and NGO administrators moving, often fitfully, to try to contain the outbreak, and of pharmaceutical companies racing to develop drugs to combat the virus. He also explores the charged ethical dilemma over who should and did receive the rare doses of an experimental treatment when they became available at the peak of the disaster. Crisis in the Red Zone makes clear that the outbreak of 2013–2014 is a harbinger of further, more severe outbreaks, and of emerging viruses heretofore unimagined—in any country, on any continent. In our ever more interconnected world, with roads and towns cut deep into the jungles of equatorial Africa, viruses both familiar and undiscovered are being unleashed into more densely populated areas than ever before. The more we discover about the virosphere, the more we realize its deadly potential. Crisis in the Red Zone is an exquisitely timely book, a stark warning of viral outbreaks to come.
A true pioneer and respected elder in ecological recovery and sustainability shares effective solutions he has designed and implemented. A stand-out from the sea of despairing messages about climate change, well-known sustainability elder John Todd, who has taught, mentored, and inspired such well-known names in the field as Janine Benyus, Bill McKibben, and Paul Hawken, chronicles the different ecological interventions he has created over the course of his career. Each chapter offers a workable engineering solution to an existing environmental problem: healing the aftermath of mountain-top removal and valley-fill coal mining in Appalachia, using windmills and injections of bacteria to restore the health of a polluted New England pond, working with community members in a South African village to protect an important river. A mix of both success stories and concrete suggestions for solutions to tackle as yet unresolved issues, Todd’s narrative provides an important addition to the conversation about specific ways we can address the planetary crisis. Eighty-five color photos and images illustrate Todd’s concepts. This is a refreshingly hopeful, proactive book and also a personal story that covers a known practitioner’s groundbreaking career.
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A Science News favorite science book of 2019 As you read these words, copies of you are being created. Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist and one of this world’s most celebrated writers on science, rewrites the history of 20th century physics. Already hailed as a masterpiece, Something Deeply Hidden shows for the first time that facing up to the essential puzzle of quantum mechanics utterly transforms how we think about space and time. His reconciling of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of relativity changes, well, everything. Most physicists haven’t even recognized the uncomfortable truth: physics has been in crisis since 1927. Quantum mechanics has always had obvious gaps—which have come to be simply ignored. Science popularizers keep telling us how weird it is, how impossible it is to understand. Academics discourage students from working on the “dead end” of quantum foundations. Putting his professional reputation on the line with this audacious yet entirely reasonable book, Carroll says that the crisis can now come to an end. We just have to accept that there is more than one of us in the universe. There are many, many Sean Carrolls. Many of every one of us. Copies of you are generated thousands of times per second. The Many Worlds Theory of quantum behavior says that every time there is a quantum event, a world splits off with everything in it the same, except in that other world the quantum event didn’t happen. Step-by-step in Carroll’s uniquely lucid way, he tackles the major objections to this otherworldly revelation until his case is inescapably established. Rarely does a book so fully reorganize how we think about our place in the universe. We are on the threshold of a new understanding—of where we are in the cosmos, and what we are made of.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Shortlisted for the Financial Times/McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award The unbelievable story of a secretive mathematician who pioneered the era of the algorithm–and made $23 billion doing it. Jim Simons is the greatest money maker in modern financial history. No other investor–Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, Ray Dalio, Steve Cohen, or George Soros–can touch his record. Since 1988, Renaissance’s signature Medallion fund has generated average annual returns of 66 percent. The firm has earned profits of more than $100 billion; Simons is worth twenty-three billion dollars. Drawing on unprecedented access to Simons and dozens of current and former employees, Zuckerman, a veteran Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, tells the gripping story of how a world-class mathematician and former code breaker mastered the market. Simons pioneered a data-driven, algorithmic approach that’s sweeping the world. As Renaissance became a market force, its executives began influencing the world beyond finance. Simons became a major figure in scientific research, education, and liberal politics. Senior executive Robert Mercer is more responsible than anyone else for the Trump presidency, placing Steve Bannon in the campaign and funding Trump’s victorious 2016 effort. Mercer also impacted the campaign behind Brexit. The Man Who Solved the Market is a portrait of a modern-day Midas who remade markets in his own image, but failed to anticipate how his success would impact his firm and his country. It’s also a story of what Simons’s revolution means for the rest of us.
On a summer night in 1969, two men climbed down a ladder onto a sea of dust at the edge of an ancient dream. When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first set foot on lunar soil, the moon ceased to be a place of mystery and myth. It became a destination. Now, on the fiftieth anniversary of that journey, Moonbound tells the monumental story of the moon and the men who went there first. With vibrant images and meticulous attention to detail, Jonathan Fetter-Vorm conjures the long history of the visionaries, stargazers, builders, and adventurers who sent Apollo 11 on its legendary voyage. From the wisdom of the Babylonians to the intrigues of the Cold War, from the otherworldly discoveries of Galileo to the dark legacy of Nazi atrocities, from the exhilarating trajectories of astronauts—recounted in their own words—to the unsung brilliance of engineers working behind the scenes, Moonbound captures the grand arc of the Space Age in a graphic history of unprecedented scope and profound lyricism.
Winner of the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Novel A Locus, and Nebula Award nominee for 2019 A Best Book of 2019: Library Journal, Polygon, Den of Geek An NPR Favorite Book of 2019 A Guardian Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Book of 2019 and “Not the Booker Prize” Nominee A Goodreads Biggest SFF Book of 2019 and Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee “A Memory Called Empire perfectly balances action and intrigue with matters of empire and identity. All around brilliant space opera, I absolutely love it.”—Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn’t an accident—or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court. Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion—all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret—one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life—or rescue it from annihilation. A fascinating space opera debut novel, Arkady Martine’s A Memory Called Empire is an interstellar mystery adventure. “The most thrilling ride ever. This book has everything I love.”—Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky And coming soon, the brilliant sequel, A Desolation Called Peace! At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Nothing is as elemental, as essential to human life, as the air we breathe. Yet around the world, in rich countries and poor ones, it is quietly poisoning us. Air pollution prematurely kills seven million people every year, including more than one hundred thousand Americans. It is strongly linked to strokes, heart attacks, many kinds of cancer, dementia, and premature birth, among other ailments. In Choked, Beth Gardiner travels the world to tell the story of this modern-day plague, taking readers from the halls of power in Washington and the diesel-fogged London streets she walks with her daughter to Poland’s coal heartland and India’s gasping capital. In a gripping narrative that’s alive with powerful voices and personalities, she exposes the political decisions and economic forces that have kept so many of us breathing dirty air. This is a moving, up-close look at the human toll, where we meet the scientists who have transformed our understanding of pollution’s effects on the body and the ordinary people fighting for a cleaner future. In the United States, air is far cleaner than it once was. But progress has failed to keep up with the science, which tells us that even today’s lower pollution levels are doing real damage. And as the Trump administration rips up the regulations that have brought us where we are, decades of gains are now at risk. Elsewhere, the problem is far worse, and choking nations like China are scrambling to replicate the achievements of an American agency—the EPA—that until recently was the envy of the world. Clean air feels like a birthright. But it can disappear in a puff of smoke if the rules that protect it are unraveled. At home and around the world, it’s never been more important to understand how progress happened and what dangers might still be in store. Choked shows us that we hold the power to build a cleaner, healthier future: one in which breathing, life’s most basic function, no longer carries a hidden danger.
An enchanting biography of the most resonant—and most necessary—chemical element on Earth. Carbon is everywhere: in the paper of this book and the blood of our bodies. It’s with us from beginning to end, present in our baby clothes and coffin alike. We live on a carbon planet, and we are carbon life. No other element is so central to our well-being; yet, when missing or misaligned, carbon atoms can also bring about disease and even death. At once ubiquitous and mysterious, carbon holds the answers to some of humanity’s biggest questions. Where did Earth come from? What will ultimately become of it—and of us? With poetic storytelling, earth scientist Robert M. Hazen explores the universe to discover the past, present, and future of life’s most essential element. We’re not only “made of star stuff,” as Carl Sagan famously observed, but “Big Bang stuff,” too. Hazen reveals that carbon’s grand symphony began with a frenzied prelude shortly after the dawn of creation, bringing new attention to the tiny number of Big Bang–created carbon atoms that often get overlooked. In minutes, violently colliding protons and neutrons improbably formed the first carbon atoms, which can still be found within our bodies. His book then unfolds in four movements, building momentum as he explores carbon as the element of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. He visits the famed volcanic crater Solfatara di Pozzuoli near Naples, where venting carbon dioxide and other noxious fumes condense into beautiful crystals. He climbs the cliffs of the Scottish Highlands and delves deep into the precious-metal mines of Namibia, journeying toward Earth’s mysterious core in search of undocumented carbon structures. Hazen often asks us to pause and consider carbon’s role in climate change and what we can do about it, for our lives and this element are inextricably intertwined. With prose that sparkles like a diamond, Symphony in C tells the story of carbon, in which we all have a part.
The eighth book in the NYT bestselling Expanse series, Tiamat’s Wrath finds the crew of the Rocinante fighting an underground war against a nearly invulnerable authoritarian empire, with James Holden a prisoner of the enemy. Now a Prime Original series. Thirteen hundred gates have opened to solar systems around the galaxy. But as humanity builds its interstellar empire in the alien ruins, the mysteries and threats grow deeper. In the dead systems where gates lead to stranger things than alien planets, Elvi Okoye begins a desperate search to discover the nature of a genocide that happened before the first human beings existed, and to find weapons to fight a war against forces at the edge of the imaginable. But the price of that knowledge may be higher than she can pay. At the heart of the empire, Teresa Duarte prepares to take on the burden of her father’s godlike ambition. The sociopathic scientist Paolo Cortázar and the Mephistophelian prisoner James Holden are only two of the dangers in a palace thick with intrigue, but Teresa has a mind of her own and secrets even her father the emperor doesn’t guess. And throughout the wide human empire, the scattered crew of the Rocinante fights a brave rear-guard action against Duarte’s authoritarian regime. Memory of the old order falls away, and a future under Laconia’s eternal rule — and with it, a battle that humanity can only lose — seems more and more certain. Because against the terrors that lie between worlds, courage and ambition will not be enough… The ExpanseLeviathan WakesCaliban’s WarAbaddon’s GateCibola BurnNemesis GamesBabylon’s AshesPersepolis RisingTiamat’s Wrath The Expanse Short FictionThe Butcher of Anderson StationGods of RiskThe ChurnThe Vital AbyssStrange Dogs
An Instant NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A LOS ANGELES TIMES, BOSTON GLOBE, WALL STREET JOURNAL, and NATIONAL INDIE BESTSELLER A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR according to Elle, Real Simple, and Kirkus Reviews “Memoir gold: a profound and exquisitely rendered exploration of identity and the true meaning of family.” —People Magazine “Beautifully written and deeply moving—it brought me to tears more than once.”—Ruth Franklin, The New York Times Book Review From the acclaimed, best-selling memoirist, novelist—“a writer of rare talent” (Cheryl Strayed)— and host of the hit podcast Family Secrets, comes a memoir about the staggering family secret uncovered by a genealogy test: an exploration of the urgent ethical questions surrounding fertility treatments and DNA testing, and a profound inquiry of paternity, identity, and love. What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us? In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history–the life she had lived–crumbled beneath her. Inheritance is a book about secrets–secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in–a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.
One of America’s top doctors reveals how AI will empower physicians and revolutionize patient care Medicine has become inhuman, to disastrous effect. The doctor-patient relationship–the heart of medicine–is broken: doctors are too distracted and overwhelmed to truly connect with their patients, and medical errors and misdiagnoses abound. In Deep Medicine, leading physician Eric Topol reveals how artificial intelligence can help. AI has the potential to transform everything doctors do, from notetaking and medical scans to diagnosis and treatment, greatly cutting down the cost of medicine and reducing human mortality. By freeing physicians from the tasks that interfere with human connection, AI will create space for the real healing that takes place between a doctor who can listen and a patient who needs to be heard. Innovative, provocative, and hopeful, Deep Medicine shows us how the awesome power of AI can make medicine better, for all the humans involved.
A riveting blend of science writing and true-crime narrative that explores the valuable but often shocking interface between crime and nature–and the secrets each can reveal about the other–from a pioneer in forensic ecology and a trailblazing female scientist. From mud tracks on a quiet country road to dirt specks on the soles of walking boots, forensic ecologist Patricia Wiltshire uses her decades of scientific expertise to find often-overlooked clues left behind by criminal activity. She detects evidence and eliminates hypotheses armed with little more than a microscope, eventually developing a compelling thesis of the who, what, how, and when of a crime. Wiltshire’s remarkable accuracy has made her one of the most in-demand police consultants in the world, and her curiosity, humility, and passion for the truth have guided her every step of the way. A riveting blend of science writing and true-crime narrative, The Nature of Life and Death details Wiltshire’s unique journey from college professor to crime fighter: solving murders, locating corpses, and exonerating the falsely accused. Along the way, she introduces us to the unseen world all around us and underneath our feet: plants, animals, pollen, spores, fungi, and microbes that we move through every day. Her story is a testament to the power of persistence and reveals how our relationship with the vast natural world reaches far deeper than we might think.
If we send a message into space, will extraterrestrial beings receive it? Will they understand? The endlessly fascinating question of whether we are alone in the universe has always been accompanied by another, more complicated one: if there is extraterrestrial life, how would we communicate with it? In this book, Daniel Oberhaus leads readers on a quest for extraterrestrial communication. Exploring Earthlings’ various attempts to reach out to non-Earthlings over the centuries, he poses some not entirely answerable questions: If we send a message into space, will extraterrestrial beings receive it? Will they understand? What languages will they (and we) speak? Is there not only a universal grammar (as Noam Chomsky has posited), but also a grammar of the universe? Oberhaus describes, among other things, a late-nineteenth-century idea to communicate with Martians via Morse code and mirrors; the emergence in the twentieth century of SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence), CETI (communication with extraterrestrial intelligence), and finally METI (messaging extraterrestrial intelligence); the one-way space voyage of Ella, an artificial intelligence agent that can play cards, tell fortunes, and recite poetry; and the launching of a theremin concert for aliens. He considers media used in attempts at extraterrestrial communication, from microwave systems to plaques on spacecrafts to formal logic, and discusses attempts to formulate a language for our message, including the Astraglossa and two generations of Lincos (lingua cosmica). The chosen medium for interstellar communication reveals much about the technological sophistication of the civilization that sends it, Oberhaus observes, but even more interesting is the information embedded in the message itself. In Extraterrestrial Languages, he considers how philosophy, linguistics, mathematics, science, and art have informed the design or limited the effectiveness of our interstellar messaging.
The production and consumption of alcohol has played a significant role in human society since the dawn of civilization. Will this still hold true when humanity is exploring and settling the outer reaches of space? This first book on the topic examines the history of alcohol in space, as well as dozens of companies and projects that are exploring the possibilities of alcohol production in orbit. Covering the long history of alcohol in human society, how alcohol has been addressed in science fiction, and space agriculture technologies, this book investigates a broad sweep of questions that bear on the manufacture of alcohol in space, as well as human space settlement in general.
‘A gripping new drama in science … if you want to understand how the concept of life is changing, read this’ Professor Andrew Briggs, University of Oxford When Darwin set out to explain the origin of species, he made no attempt to answer the deeper question: what is life? For generations, scientists have struggled to make sense of this fundamental question. Life really does look like magic: even a humble bacterium accomplishes things so dazzling that no human engineer can match it. And yet, huge advances in molecular biology over the past few decades have served only to deepen the mystery. So can life be explained by known physics and chemistry, or do we need something fundamentally new? In this penetrating and wide-ranging new analysis, world-renowned physicist and science communicator Paul Davies searches for answers in a field so new and fast-moving that it lacks a name, a domain where computing, chemistry, quantum physics and nanotechnology intersect. At the heart of these diverse fields, Davies explains, is the concept of information: a quantity with the power to unify biology with physics, transform technology and medicine, and even to illuminate the age-old question of whether we are alone in the universe. From life’s murky origins to the microscopic engines that run the cells of our bodies, The Demon in the Machine is a breath-taking journey across the landscape of physics, biology, logic and computing. Weaving together cancer and consciousness, two-headed worms and bird navigation, Davies reveals how biological organisms garner and process information to conjure order out of chaos, opening a window on the secret of life itself.
The remarkable story of the heroic effort to save and preserve Afghanistan’s wildlife-and a culture that derives immense pride and a sense of national identity from its natural landscape. Postwar Afghanistan is fragile, volatile, and perilous. It is also a place of extraordinary beauty. Evolutionary biologist Alex Dehgan arrived in the country in 2006 to build the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Afghanistan Program, and preserve and protect Afghanistan’s unique and extraordinary environment, which had been decimated after decades of war. Conservation, it turned out, provided a common bond between Alex’s team and the people of Afghanistan. His international team worked unarmed in some of the most dangerous places in the country-places so remote that winding roads would abruptly disappear, and travel was on foot, yak, or mule. In The Snow Leopard Project, Dehgan takes readers along with him on his adventure as his team helps create the country’s first national park, completes the some of the first extensive wildlife surveys in thirty years, and works to stop the poaching of the country’s iconic endangered animals, including the elusive snow leopard. In doing so, they help restore a part of Afghan identity that is ineffably tied to the land itself.
From New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean comes the gripping, untold story of a renegade group of scientists and spies determined to keep Adolf Hitler from obtaining the ultimate prize: a nuclear bomb. Scientists have always kept secrets. But rarely have the secrets been as vital as they were during World War II. In the middle of building an atomic bomb, the leaders of the Manhattan Project were alarmed to learn that Nazi Germany was far outpacing the Allies in nuclear weapons research. Hitler, with just a few pounds of uranium, would have the capability to reverse the entire D-Day operation and conquer Europe. So they assembled a rough and motley crew of geniuses — dubbed the Alsos Mission — and sent them careening into Axis territory to spy on, sabotage, and even assassinate members of Nazi Germany’s feared Uranium Club. The details of the mission rival the finest spy thriller, but what makes this story sing is the incredible cast of characters — both heroes and rogues alike — including: Moe Bergm, the major league catcher who abandoned the game for a career as a multilingual international spy; the strangest fellow to ever play professional baseball. Werner Heisenberg, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist credited as the discoverer of quantum mechanics; a key contributor to the Nazi’s atomic bomb project and the primary target of the Alsos mission. Colonel Boris Pash, a high school science teacher and veteran of the Russian Revolution who fled the Soviet Union with a deep disdain for Communists and who later led the Alsos mission. Joe Kennedy Jr., the charismatic, thrill-seeking older brother of JFK whose need for adventure led him to volunteer for the most dangerous missions the Navy had to offer. Samuel Goudsmit, a washed-up physics prodigy who spent his life hunting Nazi scientists — and his parents, who had been swept into a concentration camp — across the globe. Irène and Frederic Joliot-Curie, a physics Nobel-Prize winning power couple who used their unassuming status as scientists to become active members of the resistance. Thrust into the dark world of international espionage, these scientists and soldiers played a vital and largely untold role in turning back one of the darkest tides in human history.
How math helps us solve the universe’s deepest mysteries One of the great insights of science is that the universe has an underlying order. The supreme goal of physicists is to understand this order through laws that describe the behavior of the most basic particles and the forces between them. For centuries, we have searched for these laws by studying the results of experiments. Since the 1970s, however, experiments at the world’s most powerful atom-smashers have offered few new clues. So some of the world’s leading physicists have looked to a different source of insight: modern mathematics. These physicists are sometimes accused of doing ‘fairy-tale physics’, unrelated to the real world. But in The Universe Speaks in Numbers, award-winning science writer and biographer Farmelo argues that the physics they are doing is based squarely on the well-established principles of quantum theory and relativity, and part of a tradition dating back to Isaac Newton. With unprecedented access to some of the world’s greatest scientific minds, Farmelo offers a vivid, behind-the-scenes account of the blossoming relationship between mathematics and physics and the research that could revolutionize our understanding of reality. A masterful account of the some of the most groundbreaking ideas in physics in the past four decades. The Universe Speaks in Numbers is essential reading for anyone interested in the quest to discover the fundamental laws of nature.
“Outstanding…Amid a space opera resurgence, Bear’s novel sets the bar high.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) A space salvager and her partner make the discovery of a lifetime that just might change the universe in this wild, big-ideas space opera from Hugo Award-winning author Elizabeth Bear. Halmey Dz and her partner Connla Kurucz are salvage operators, living just on the inside of the law…usually. Theirs is the perilous and marginal existence—with barely enough chance of striking it fantastically big—just once—to keep them coming back for more. They pilot their tiny ship into the scars left by unsuccessful White Transitions, searching for the relics of lost human and alien vessels. But when they make a shocking discovery about an alien species that has been long thought dead, it may be the thing that could tip the perilous peace mankind has found into full-out war. Energetic and electrifying, Ancestral Night is a dazzling space opera, sure to delight fans of Alastair Reynolds, Iain M. Banks, and Peter F. Hamilton—“Bear’s ability to create breathtaking variations on ancient themes and make them new and brilliant is, perhaps, unparalleled in the genre” (Library Journal, starred review).
Shortlisted for the 2020 AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books Creating an element is no easy feat. It’s the equivalent of firing six trillion bullets a second at a needle in a haystack, hoping the bullet and needle somehow fuse together, then catching it in less than a thousandth of a second – after which it’s gone forever. Welcome to the world of the superheavy elements: a realm where scientists use giant machines and spend years trying to make a single atom of mysterious artefacts that have never existed on Earth. From the first elements past uranium and their role in the atomic bomb to the latest discoveries stretching our chemical world, Superheavy will reveal the hidden stories lurking at the edges of the periodic table. Why did the US Air Force fly planes into mushroom clouds? Who won the transfermium wars? How did an earthquake help give Japan its first element? And what happened when Superman almost spilled nuclear secrets? In a globe-trotting adventure that stretches from the United States to Russia, Sweden to Australia, Superheavy is your guide to the amazing science filling in the missing pieces of the periodic table. By the end you’ll not only marvel at how nuclear science has changed our lives – you’ll wonder where it’s going to take us in the future.
In twenty short books, Penguin brings you the classics of the environmental movement. No One is Too Small to Make a Difference collects Greta Thunberg’s history-making speeches, from addresses at climate rallies around the world audiences at the UN, the World Economic Forum, and the British Parliament. Over the past 75 years, a new canon has emerged. As life on Earth has become irrevocably altered by humans, visionary thinkers around the world have raised their voices to defend the planet, and affirm our place at the heart of its restoration. Their words have endured through the decades, becoming the classics of a movement. Together, these books show the richness of environmental thought, and point the way to a fairer, saner, greener world.
“The most important book on AI this year.” –The Guardian “Mr. Russell’s exciting book goes deep, while sparkling with dry witticisms.” –The Wall Street Journal “The most important book I have read in quite some time” (Daniel Kahneman); “A must-read” (Max Tegmark); “The book we’ve all been waiting for” (Sam Harris) A leading artificial intelligence researcher lays out a new approach to AI that will enable us to coexist successfully with increasingly intelligent machines In the popular imagination, superhuman artificial intelligence is an approaching tidal wave that threatens not just jobs and human relationships, but civilization itself. Conflict between humans and machines is seen as inevitable and its outcome all too predictable. In this groundbreaking book, distinguished AI researcher Stuart Russell argues that this scenario can be avoided, but only if we rethink AI from the ground up. Russell begins by exploring the idea of intelligence in humans and in machines. He describes the near-term benefits we can expect, from intelligent personal assistants to vastly accelerated scientific research, and outlines the AI breakthroughs that still have to happen before we reach superhuman AI. He also spells out the ways humans are already finding to misuse AI, from lethal autonomous weapons to viral sabotage. If the predicted breakthroughs occur and superhuman AI emerges, we will have created entities far more powerful than ourselves. How can we ensure they never, ever, have power over us? Russell suggests that we can rebuild AI on a new foundation, according to which machines are designed to be inherently uncertain about the human preferences they are required to satisfy. Such machines would be humble, altruistic, and committed to pursue our objectives, not theirs. This new foundation would allow us to create machines that are provably deferential and provably beneficial.
National Bestseller “One of those rare nonfiction books that transcends the genre. … Extraordinary.” —Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God A grand tour of the human immune system and the secrets of health, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist A terminal cancer patient rises from the grave. A medical marvel defies HIV. Two women with autoimmunity discover their own bodies have turned against them. Matt Richtel’s An Elegant Defense uniquely entwines these intimate stories with science’s centuries-long quest to unlock the mysteries of sickness and health, and illuminates the immune system as never before. The immune system is our body’s essential defense network, a guardian vigilantly fighting illness, healing wounds, maintaining order and balance, and keeping us alive. Its legion of microscopic foot soldiers—from T cells to “natural killers”—patrols our body, linked by a nearly instantaneous communications grid. It has been honed by evolution over millennia to face an almost infinite array of threats. For all its astonishing complexity, however, the immune system can be easily compromised by fatigue, stress, toxins, advanced age, and poor nutrition—hallmarks of modern life—and even by excessive hygiene. Paradoxically, it is a fragile wonder weapon that can turn on our own bodies with startling results, leading today to epidemic levels of autoimmune disorders. Richtel effortlessly guides readers on a scientific detective tale winding from the Black Plague to twentieth-century breakthroughs in vaccination and antibiotics, to the cutting-edge laboratories that are revolutionizing immunology—perhaps the most extraordinary and consequential medical story of our time. The foundation that Richtel builds makes accessible revelations about cancer immunotherapy, the microbiome, and autoimmune treatments that are changing millions of lives. An Elegant Defense also captures in vivid detail how these powerful therapies, along with our behavior and environment, interact with the immune system, often for the good but always on a razor’s edge that can throw this remarkable system out of balance. Drawing on his groundbreaking reporting for the New York Times and based on extensive new interviews with dozens of world-renowned scientists, Matt Richtel has produced a landmark book, equally an investigation into the deepest riddles of survival and a profoundly human tale that is movingly brought to life through the eyes of his four main characters, each of whom illuminates an essential facet of our “elegant defense.”
The full story of how our relationship with light shapes our health, productivity and mood. ‘A sparkling and illuminating study, one of those rare books that could genuinely improve your life’ Sunday Times Since the dawn of time, humans have worshipped the sun. And with good reason. Our biology is set up to work in partnership with it. From our sleep cycles to our immune systems and our mental health, access to sunlight is crucial for living a happy and fulfilling life. New research suggests that our sun exposure over a lifetime – even before we were born – may shape our risk of developing a range of different illnesses, from depression to diabetes. Bursting with cutting-edge science and eye-opening advice, Chasing the Sun explores the extraordinary significance of sunlight, from ancient solstice celebrations to modern sleep labs, and from the unexpected health benefits of sun exposure to what the Amish know about sleep that the rest of us don’t. As more of us move into light-polluted cities, spending our days in dim offices and our evenings watching brightly lit screens, we are in danger of losing something vital: our connection to the star that gave us life. It’s a loss that could have far-reaching consequences that we’re only just beginning to grasp.
A new, deluxe hardcover edition of one of the most important scientific works ever written In December 1831, Charles Darwin boarded the HMS Beagle, accompanying her crew on a five-year journey that crossed the Atlantic Ocean to survey the coasts of South America. As the expedition’s geologist and naturalist, Darwin collected evidence from the Galapagos Islands and other locations which prompted him to speculate that species evolve over generations through a process of natural selection. In 1859, Darwin published On the Origin of Species, a work of scientific literature considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. His revolutionary work presented evidence from the Beagle expedition as well as from years of subsequent research and experimentation. Written for non-specialists, Darwin’s book gained widespread interest from the scientific community, religious leaders, politicians and the general public. The theory Darwin presented in his book quickly became the subject of heated debate and discussion. Now accepted by the scientific community, Darwin’s concepts of evolutionary adaptation via natural selection are central to modern evolutionary theory and form the foundation of modern life sciences. Perhaps the most transformative scientific volume ever published, this volume of the first edition of On the Origin of Species: Outlines Darwin’s ideas, scientific influences and the core of his theory Details natural selection and address possible objections to the theory Examines the fossil record and biogeography to support evolutionary adaptation Features a “Recapitulation and Conclusion” which reviews key concepts and considers the future relevance of Darwin’s theory On the Origin of Species: The Science Classic is an important addition to the bestselling Capstone Classics series edited by Tom Butler-Bowdon. It includes an insightful Introduction from leading Darwin scholar Dr John van Wyhe of the University of Singapore, which presents new research and an offers an original perspective on Darwin and his famous work. This high-quality, hardcover volume is a must-have for readers interested in science and scientific literature, particularly evolutionary theory and life sciences.
Last updated on October 17, 2021