Here are the 49 best science books of 2021 according to Google. Find your new favorite book from the local library with one click.
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The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns with a gripping account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies. When Jennifer Doudna was in sixth grade, she came home one day to find that her dad had left a paperback titled The Double Helix on her bed. She put it aside, thinking it was one of those detective tales she loved. When she read it on a rainy Saturday, she discovered she was right, in a way. As she sped through the pages, she became enthralled by the intense drama behind the competition to discover the code of life. Even though her high school counselor told her girls didn’t become scientists, she decided she would. Driven by a passion to understand how nature works and to turn discoveries into inventions, she would help to make what the book’s author, James Watson, told her was the most important biological advance since his co-discovery of the structure of DNA. She and her collaborators turned a curiosity of nature into an invention that will transform the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions. The development of CRISPR and the race to create vaccines for coronavirus will hasten our transition to the next great innovation revolution. The past half-century has been a digital age, based on the microchip, computer, and internet. Now we are entering a life-science revolution. Children who study digital coding will be joined by those who study genetic code. Should we use our new evolution-hacking powers to make us less susceptible to viruses? What a wonderful boon that would be! And what about preventing depression? Hmmm…Should we allow parents, if they can afford it, to enhance the height or muscles or IQ of their kids? After helping to discover CRISPR, Doudna became a leader in wrestling with these moral issues and, with her collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, won the Nobel Prize in 2020. Her story is a thrilling detective tale that involves the most profound wonders of nature, from the origins of life to the future of our species.
From a star theoretical physicist, a journey into the world of particle physics and the cosmos — and a call for a more just practice of science. In The Disordered Cosmos, Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein shares her love for physics, from the Standard Model of Particle Physics and what lies beyond it, to the physics of melanin in skin, to the latest theories of dark matter — all with a new spin informed by history, politics, and the wisdom of Star Trek. One of the leading physicists of her generation, Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is also one of fewer than one hundred Black American women to earn a PhD from a department of physics. Her vision of the cosmos is vibrant, buoyantly non-traditional, and grounded in Black feminist traditions. Prescod-Weinstein urges us to recognize how science, like most fields, is rife with racism, sexism, and other dehumanizing systems. She lays out a bold new approach to science and society that begins with the belief that we all have a fundamental right to know and love the night sky. The Disordered Cosmos dreams into existence a world that allows everyone to tap into humanity’s wealth of knowledge about the wonders of the universe.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction returns to humanity’s transformative impact on the environment, now asking: After doing so much damage, can we change nature, this time to save it? “A superb and honest reflection of our extraordinary time.”–Nature That man should have dominion “over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” is a prophecy that has hardened into fact. So pervasive are human impacts on the planet that it’s said we live in a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. In Under a White Sky, Elizabeth Kolbert takes a hard look at the new world we are creating. Along the way, she meets biologists who are trying to preserve the world’s rarest fish, which lives in a single tiny pool in the middle of the Mojave; engineers who are turning carbon emissions to stone in Iceland; Australian researchers who are trying to develop a super coral that can survive on a hotter globe; and physicists who are contemplating shooting tiny diamonds into the stratosphere to cool the earth. One way to look at human civilization, says Kolbert, is as a ten-thousand-year exercise in defying nature. In The Sixth Extinction, she explored the ways in which our capacity for destruction has reshaped the natural world. Now she examines how the very sorts of interventions that have imperiled our planet are increasingly seen as the only hope for its salvation. By turns inspiring, terrifying, and darkly comic, Under a White Sky is an utterly original examination of the challenges we face.
From a young British scientist, a groundbreaking exploration of a radically different approach to physics There is a vast class of things that science has so far almost entirely neglected. They are central to the understanding of physical reality both at an everyday level and at the level of the most fundamental phenomena in physics, yet have traditionally been assumed to be impossible to incorporate into fundamental scientific explanations. They are facts not about what is (the actual) but about what could be (counterfactuals). According to physicist Chiara Marletto, laws about things being possible or impossible may generate an alternative way of providing explanations. This fascinating, far-reaching approach holds promise for revolutionizing the way fundamental physics is formulated and for providing essential tools to face existing technological challenges–from delivering the next generation of information-processing devices beyond the universal quantum computer to designing AIs. Each chapter in the book delineates how an existing vexed open problem in science can be solved by this radically different approach and it is augmented by short fictional stories that explicate the main point of the chapter. As Marletto demonstrates, contemplating what is possible can give us a more complete and hopeful picture of the physical world.
Harvard’s top astronomer lays out his controversial theory that our solar system was recently visited by advanced alien technology from a distant star
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER NATIONAL BESTSELLER In this urgent, singularly authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical–and accessible–plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid an irreversible climate catastrophe. Bill Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help and guidance of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science and finance, he has focused on exactly what must be done in order to stop the planet’s slide toward certain environmental disaster. In this book, he not only gathers together all the information we need to fully grasp how important it is that we work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases but also details exactly what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal. He gives us a clear-eyed description of the challenges we face. He describes the areas in which technology is already helping to reduce emissions; where and how the current technology can be made to function more effectively; where breakthrough technologies are needed, and who is working on these essential innovations. Finally, he lays out a concrete plan for achieving the goal of zero emissions–suggesting not only policies that governments should adopt, but what we as individuals can do to keep our government, our employers and ourselves accountable in this crucial enterprise. As Bill Gates makes clear, achieving zero emissions will not be simple or easy to do, but by following the guidelines he sets out here, it is a goal firmly within our reach.
For those who could read between the lines, the censored news out of China was terrifying. But the president insisted there was nothing to worry about. Fortunately, we are still a nation of skeptics. Fortunately, there are those among us who study pandemics and are willing to look unflinchingly at worst-case scenarios. Michael Lewis’s taut and brilliant nonfiction thriller pits a band of medical visionaries against the wall of ignorance that was the official response of the Trump administration to the outbreak of COVID-19. The characters you will meet in these pages are as fascinating as they are unexpected. A thirteen-year-old girl’s science project on transmission of an airborne pathogen develops into a very grown-up model of disease control. A local public-health officer uses her worm’s-eye view to see what the CDC misses, and reveals great truths about American society. A secret team of dissenting doctors, nicknamed the Wolverines, has everything necessary to fight the pandemic: brilliant backgrounds, world-class labs, prior experience with the pandemic scares of bird flu and swine flu…everything, that is, except official permission to implement their work. Michael Lewis is not shy about calling these people heroes for their refusal to follow directives that they know to be based on misinformation and bad science. Even the internet, as crucial as it is to their exchange of ideas, poses a risk to them. They never know for sure who else might be listening in.
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER “A brilliant beast of a book.”—David Byrne “Exhilarating… a vast-ranging, phenomenal achievement that will undoubtedly become a seminal text.” —The Guardian Anil Seth’s quest to understand the biological basis of conscious experience is one of the most exciting contributions to twenty-first-century science. What does it mean to “be you”—that is, to have a specific, conscious experience of the world around you and yourself within it? There may be no more elusive or fascinating question. Historically, humanity has considered the nature of consciousness to be a primarily spiritual or philosophical inquiry, but scientific research is now mapping out compelling biological theories and explanations for consciousness and selfhood. Now, internationally renowned neuroscience professor, researcher, and author Anil Seth is offers a window into our consciousness in BEING YOU: A New Science of Consciousness. Anil Seth is both a leading expert on the neuroscience of consciousness and one of most prominent spokespeople for this relatively new field of science. His radical argument is that we do not perceive the world as it objectively is, but rather that we are prediction machines, constantly inventing our world and correcting our mistakes by the microsecond, and that we can now observe the biological mechanisms in the brain that accomplish this process of consciousness. Seth has been interviewed for documentaries aired on the BBC, Netflix, and Amazon and podcasts by Sam Harris, Russell Brand, and Chris Anderson, and his 2017 TED Talk on the topic has been viewed over 11 million times, a testament to his uncanny ability to make unimaginably complex science accessible and entertaining.
“Rovelli is a genius and an amazing communicator… This is the place where science comes to life.” ―Neil Gaiman “One of the warmest, most elegant and most lucid interpreters to the laity of the dazzling enigmas of his discipline…[a] momentous book” ―John Banville, The Wall Street Journal A startling new look at quantum theory, from the New York Times bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics and The Order of Time. One of the world’s most renowned theoretical physicists, Carlo Rovelli has entranced millions of readers with his singular perspective on the cosmos. In Helgoland, he examines the enduring enigma of quantum theory. The quantum world Rovelli describes is as beautiful as it is unnerving. Helgoland is a treeless island in the North Sea where the twenty-three-year-old Werner Heisenberg made the crucial breakthrough for the creation of quantum mechanics, setting off a century of scientific revolution. Full of alarming ideas (ghost waves, distant objects that seem to be magically connected, cats that appear both dead and alive), quantum physics has led to countless discoveries and technological advancements. Today our understanding of the world is based on this theory, yet it is still profoundly mysterious. As scientists and philosophers continue to fiercely debate the meaning of the theory, Rovelli argues that its most unsettling contradictions can be explained by seeing the world as fundamentally made of relationships rather than substances. We and everything around us exist only in our interactions with one another. This bold idea suggests new directions for thinking about the structure of reality and even the nature of consciousness. Rovelli makes learning about quantum mechanics an almost psychedelic experience. Shifting our perspective once again, he takes us on a riveting journey through the universe so we can better comprehend our place in it.
#1 New York Times Bestseller “THIS. This is the right book for right now. Yes, learning requires focus. But, unlearning and relearning requires much more—it requires choosing courage over comfort. In Think Again, Adam Grant weaves together research and storytelling to help us build the intellectual and emotional muscle we need to stay curious enough about the world to actually change it. I’ve never felt so hopeful about what I don’t know.” —Brené Brown, Ph.D., #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dare to Lead The bestselling author of Give and Take and Originals examines the critical art of rethinking: learning to question your opinions and open other people’s minds, which can position you for excellence at work and wisdom in life Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. In our daily lives, too many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions, when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process. The result is that our beliefs get brittle long before our bones. We think too much like preachers defending our sacred beliefs, prosecutors proving the other side wrong, and politicians campaigning for approval–and too little like scientists searching for truth. Intelligence is no cure, and it can even be a curse: being good at thinking can make us worse at rethinking. The brighter we are, the blinder to our own limitations we can become. Organizational psychologist Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people’s minds–and our own. As Wharton’s top-rated professor and the bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take, he makes it one of his guiding principles to argue like he’s right but listen like he’s wrong. With bold ideas and rigorous evidence, he investigates how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, bring nuance to charged conversations, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners. You’ll learn how an international debate champion wins arguments, a Black musician persuades white supremacists to abandon hate, a vaccine whisperer convinces concerned parents to immunize their children, and Adam has coaxed Yankees fans to root for the Red Sox. Think Again reveals that we don’t have to believe everything we think or internalize everything we feel. It’s an invitation to let go of views that are no longer serving us well and prize mental flexibility over foolish consistency. If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is wisdom.
The highly anticipated portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, by the prize-winning, bestselling author of SAY NOTHING The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions: Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing OxyContin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis. Empire of Pain is a masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, exhaustively documented and ferociously compelling.
One of Apple’s Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2021 A quest to explore some of the most spectacular ancient cities in human history—and figure out why people abandoned them. In Four Lost Cities, acclaimed science journalist Annalee Newitz takes readers on an entertaining and mind-bending adventure into the deep history of urban life. Investigating across the centuries and around the world, Newitz explores the rise and fall of four ancient cities, each the center of a sophisticated civilization: the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Central Turkey, the Roman vacation town of Pompeii on Italy’s southern coast, the medieval megacity of Angkor in Cambodia, and the indigenous metropolis Cahokia, which stood beside the Mississippi River where East St. Louis is today. Newitz travels to all four sites and investigates the cutting-edge research in archaeology, revealing the mix of environmental changes and political turmoil that doomed these ancient settlements. Tracing the early development of urban planning, Newitz also introduces us to the often anonymous workers—slaves, women, immigrants, and manual laborers—who built these cities and created monuments that lasted millennia. Four Lost Cities is a journey into the forgotten past, but, foreseeing a future in which the majority of people on Earth will be living in cities, it may also reveal something of our own fate.
“Offers a useful reminder of the role of modern science in fundamentally transforming all of our lives.” —President Barack Obama (on Twitter) “An important book.” —Steven Pinker, The New York Times Book Review Now also a PBS documentary series: the surprising story of how humans gained what amounts to an extra life, from the bestselling author of How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come From As a species we have doubled our life expectancy in just one hundred years. All the advances of modern life—the medical breakthroughs, the public health institutions, the rising standards of living—have given us each about twenty thousand extra days on average. There are few measures of human progress more astonishing than our increased longevity. This book is Steven Johnson’s attempt to understand where that progress came from. How many of those extra twenty thousand days came from vaccines, or the decrease in famines, or seatbelts? What are the forces that now keep us alive longer? Behind each breakthrough lies an inspiring story of cooperative innovation, of brilliant thinkers bolstered by strong systems of public support and collaborative networks. But it is not enough simply to remind ourselves that progress is possible. How do we avoid decreases in life expectancy as our public health systems face unprecedented challenges? What current technologies or interventions that could reduce the impact of future crises are we somehow ignoring? A study in how meaningful change happens in society, Extra Life is an ode to the enduring power of common goals and public resources. The most fundamental progress we have experienced over the past few centuries has not come from big corporations or start-ups. It has come, instead, from activists struggling for reform; from university-based and publicly funded scientists sharing their findings open-source-style; and from nonprofit agencies spreading new innovations around the world.
“Beginning with the amazing tale of the Chinese “CRISPR Babies,” Greely tells the complex story of human germline editing, covering the science, ethics, law, and politics”–
Harvard’s acclaimed geologist “charts Earth’s history in accessible style” (AP) “A sublime chronicle of our planet.” –Booklist, STARRED review How well do you know the ground beneath your feet? Odds are, where you’re standing was once cooking under a roiling sea of lava, crushed by a towering sheet of ice, rocked by a nearby meteor strike, or perhaps choked by poison gases, drowned beneath ocean, perched atop a mountain range, or roamed by fearsome monsters. Probably most or even all of the above. The story of our home planet and the organisms spread across its surface is far more spectacular than any Hollywood blockbuster, filled with enough plot twists to rival a bestselling thriller. But only recently have we begun to piece together the whole mystery into a coherent narrative. Drawing on his decades of field research and up-to-the-minute understanding of the latest science, renowned geologist Andrew H. Knoll delivers a rigorous yet accessible biography of Earth, charting our home planet’s epic 4.6 billion-year story. Placing twenty first-century climate change in deep context, A Brief History of Earth is an indispensable look at where we’ve been and where we’re going. Features original illustrations depicting Earth history and nearly 50 figures (maps, tables, photographs, graphs).
From adrenaline to dopamine, our lives are shaped by the chemicals that control us. They are the hormones and neurotransmitters that our brains run on, and Overloaded looks at the roles they play in all aspects of our experiences, from how we make decisions, who we love, what we remember to basic survival drives such as hunger, fear and sleep. Author Ginny Smith explores what these tiny molecules do: what roles do cortisol and adrenaline play in memory formation? How do hormones and neurotransmitters affect the trajectory of our romantic relationships? Ginny meets scientists at the cutting-edge of brain chemistry research who are uncovering unexpected connections between these crucial chemicals. An eye-opening route through the remarkable world of neuro-transmitters, Overloaded unveils the chemicals inside each of us that touch every facet of our lives.
Spend a day inside the curious mind of a chemist as she reveals the fascinating science behind everyday things, like breakfast and trips to the dentist, and not-so-everyday things, like space travel and baby dinosaurs. In Chemistry for Breakfast, Dr. Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim uses the same relatable style that makes her a popular YouTuber to explain essential scientific concepts. Over the course of a single day, Mai shows us that amazing science happens everywhere–we just have to know to look for it. In the morning, her alarm prompts a deep dive into biological clocks and fight-or-flight responses, followed by a coffee with a side of heat conduction and states of matter. Mai continues her day with explainers of cell phone technology, food preservation, body odor, and the effects of alcohol. Throughout, she explains why there are no easy answers in chemistry, and shares the challenges of communicating science to the public. She concludes by summarizing her mission–to give readers everywhere an appreciation of facts and a basic understanding of the science of everyday life.
*BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK* ‘An enthralling tale of toil, tenacity and triumph’ RACHEL CLARKE This is the story of a race – not against other vaccines or other scientists, but against a deadly and devastating virus. On 1 January 2020, Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at Oxford University, read an article about four people in China with a strange pneumonia. Within two weeks, she and her team had designed a vaccine against a pathogen that no one had ever seen before. Less than 12 months later, vaccination was rolled out across the world to save millions of lives from Covid-19. In Vaxxers, we hear directly from Professor Gilbert and her colleague Dr Catherine Green as they reveal the inside story of making the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and the cutting-edge science and sheer hard work behind it. This is their story of fighting a pandemic as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Sarah and Cath share the heart-stopping moments in the eye of the storm; they separate fact from fiction; they explain how they made a highly effective vaccine in record time with the eyes of the world watching; and they give us hope for the future. Vaxxers invites us into the lab to find out how science will save us from this pandemic, and how we can prepare for the inevitable next one.
“Carl Zimmer is one of the best science writers we have today.” —Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks We all assume we know what life is, but the more scientists learn about the living world—from protocells to brains, from zygotes to pandemic viruses—the harder they find it is to locate life’s edge. Carl Zimmer investigates one of the biggest questions of all: What is life? The answer seems obvious until you try to seriously answer it. Is the apple sitting on your kitchen counter alive, or is only the apple tree it came from deserving of the word? If we can’t answer that question here on earth, how will we know when and if we discover alien life on other worlds? The question hangs over some of society’s most charged conflicts—whether a fertilized egg is a living person, for example, and when we ought to declare a person legally dead. Life’s Edge is an utterly fascinating investigation that no one but one of the most celebrated science writers of our generation could craft. Zimmer journeys through the strange experiments that have attempted to re-create life. Literally hundreds of definitions of what that should look like now exist, but none has yet emerged as an obvious winner. Lists of what living things have in common do not add up to a theory of life. It’s never clear why some items on the list are essential and others not. Coronaviruses have altered the course of history, and yet many scientists maintain they are not alive. Chemists are creating droplets that can swarm, sense their environment, and multiply. Have they made life in the lab? Whether he is handling pythons in Alabama or searching for hibernating bats in the Adirondacks, Zimmer revels in astounding examples of life at its most bizarre. He tries his own hand at evolving life in a test tube with unnerving results. Charting the obsession with Dr. Frankenstein’s monster and how Coleridge came to believe the whole universe was alive, Zimmer leads us all the way into the labs and minds of researchers working on engineering life from the ground up.
NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • The epic story of the greatest quest in all of science—the holy grail of physics that would explain the creation of the universe—from renowned theoretical physicist and author of The Future of the Mind and The Future of Humanity When Newton discovered the law of gravity, he unified the rules governing the heavens and the Earth. Since then, physicists have been placing new forces into ever-grander theories. But perhaps the ultimate challenge is achieving a monumental synthesis of the two remaining theories—relativity and the quantum theory. This would be the crowning achievement of science, a profound merging of all the forces of nature into one beautiful, magnificent equation to unlock the deepest mysteries in science: What happened before the Big Bang? What lies on the other side of a black hole? Are there other universes and dimensions? Is time travel possible? Why are we here? Kaku also explains the intense controversy swirling around this theory, with Nobel laureates taking opposite sides on this vital question. It is a captivating, gripping story; what’s at stake is nothing less than our conception of the universe. Written with Kaku’s trademark enthusiasm and clarity, this epic and engaging journey is the story of The God Equation.
“Driven by a vision of colonizing other planets, Mason reveals unique insights into how the human body is altered during long-duration spaceflight & how genetic engineering can protect cells in space”–
The sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission to save both humanity and the earth, Ryland Grace is hurtled into the depths of space when he must conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.
An award-winning psychologist reveals the hidden power of our inner voice and shows how we can harness it to live a healthier, more satisfying, and more productive life. “This book is going to fundamentally change some of the most important conversations in your life–the ones you have with yourself.”–Adam Grant, bestselling author of Give and Take One of the best new books of the year–The Washington Post, BBC, CNN Underscored, Shape, Behavioral Scientist, PopSugar * Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Shelf Awareness starred reviews * Next Big Idea Club Finalist Tell a stranger that you talk to yourself, and you’re likely to get written off as eccentric. But the truth is that we all have a voice in our head. When we talk to ourselves, we often hope to tap into our inner coach but find our inner critic instead. When we’re facing a tough task, our inner coach can buoy us up: Focus–you can do this. But, just as often, our inner critic sinks us entirely: I’m going to fail. They’ll all laugh at me. What’s the use? In Chatter, acclaimed psychologist Ethan Kross explores the silent conversations we have with ourselves. Interweaving groundbreaking behavioral and brain research from his own lab with real-world case studies–from a pitcher who forgets how to pitch, to a Harvard undergrad negotiating her double life as a spy–Kross explains how these conversations shape our lives, work, and relationships. He warns that giving in to negative and disorienting self-talk–what he calls “chatter”–can tank our health, sink our moods, strain our social connections, and cause us to fold under pressure. But the good news is that we’re already equipped with the tools we need to make our inner voice work in our favor. These tools are often hidden in plain sight–in the words we use to think about ourselves, the technologies we embrace, the diaries we keep in our drawers, the conversations we have with our loved ones, and the cultures we create in our schools and workplaces. Brilliantly argued, expertly researched, and filled with compelling stories, Chatter gives us the power to change the most important conversation we have each day: the one we have with ourselves.
A deeply moving and insightful collection of personal essays from #1 bestselling author John Green. The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, bestselling author John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale—from the QWERTY keyboard and sunsets to Canada geese and Penguins of Madagascar. Funny, complex, and rich with detail, the reviews chart the contradictions of contemporary humanity. As a species, we are both far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough, a paradox that came into sharp focus as we faced a global pandemic that both separated us and bound us together. John Green’s gift for storytelling shines throughout this masterful collection. The Anthropocene Reviewed is a open-hearted exploration of the paths we forge and an unironic celebration of falling in love with the world.
A world-leading expert shares her amazing story of discovering the communication that exists between trees, and shares her own story of family and grief. Suzanne Simard is a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence; she’s been compared to Rachel Carson, hailed as a scientist who conveys complex, technical ideas in a way that is dazzling and profound. Her work has influenced filmmakers (the Tree of Souls in James Cameron’s Avatar), and her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide. Now, in her first book, Simard brings us into her world, the intimate world of the trees, in which she brilliantly illuminates the fascinating and vital truths—that trees are not simply the source of timber or pulp but are a complicated, interdependent circle of life; that forests are social, cooperative creatures connected through underground networks by which trees communicate their vitality and vulnerabilities with communal lives not that different from our own. Simard describes up close—in revealing and accessible ways—how trees, living side by side for hundreds of years, have evolved; how they perceive one another, learn and adapt their behaviors, recognize neighbors, and remember the past; how they have agency about their future; how they elicit warnings and mount defenses, compete and cooperate with one another with sophistication: characteristics previously ascribed to human intelligence, traits that are the essence of civil societies. And, at the center of it all, the Mother Trees: the mysterious, powerful forces that connect and sustain the others that surround them.Simard, born and raised in the rain forests of British Columbia, spent her days as a child cataloging the trees from the forest; she came to love and respect them and embarked on a journey of discovery and struggle. Her powerful story is one of love and loss, of observation and change, of risk and reward. And it is a testament to how deeply human scientific inquiry exists beyond data and technology: it’s about understanding who we are and our place in the world. In her book, as in her groundbreaking research, Simard proves the true connectedness of the Mother Tree to the forest, nurturing it in the profound ways that families and humansocieties nurture one another, and how these inseparable bonds enable all our survival.
Second only to the human brain in its complexity, the human immune system is one of the oldest and most critical facets of life on Earth. Philipp Dettmer takes readers on a journey through the fortress of the human body and its defenses. Each chapter – with engaging full-colour graphics and immersive descriptions – delves into an element of the immune system, including defenses like antibodies and inflammation as well as threats like bacteria, allergies and cancer. Print run 75,000.
A bold, provocative history of our species finds the roots of civilization’s success and failure in our evolutionary biology. We are living through the most prosperous age in all of human history, yet people are more listless, divided and miserable than ever. Wealth and comfort are unparalleled, and yet our political landscape grows ever more toxic, and rates of suicide, loneliness, and chronic illness continue to skyrocket. How do we explain the gap between these two truths? What’s more, what can we do to close it? For evolutionary biologists Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein, the cause of our woes is clear: the modern world is out of sync with our ancient brains and bodies. We evolved to live in clans, but today most people don’t even know their neighbors’ names. Traditional gender roles once served a necessary evolutionary purpose, but today we dismiss them as regressive. The cognitive dissonance spawned by trying to live in a society we’re not built for is killing us. In this book, Heying and Weinstein cut through the politically fraught discourse surrounding issues like sex, gender, diet, parenting, sleep, education, and more to outline a provocative, science-based worldview that will empower you to live a better, wiser life. They distill more than 20 years of research and first-hand accounts from the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth into straight forward principles and guidance for confronting our culture of hyper-novelty.
“Surging sea levels are inundating the coasts.” “Hurricanes and tornadoes are becoming fiercer and more frequent.” “Climate change will be an economic disaster.” You’ve heard all this presented as fact. But according to science, all of these statements are profoundly misleading. When it comes to climate change, the media, politicians, and other prominent voices have declared that “the science is settled.” In reality, the long game of telephone from research to reports to the popular media is corrupted by misunderstanding and misinformation. Core questions—about the way the climate is responding to our influence, and what the impacts will be—remain largely unanswered. The climate is changing, but the why and how aren’t as clear as you’ve probably been led to believe. Now, one of America’s most distinguished scientists is clearing away the fog to explain what science really says (and doesn’t say) about our changing climate. In Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, Steven Koonin draws upon his decades of experience—including as a top science advisor to the Obama administration—to provide up-to-date insights and expert perspective free from political agendas. Fascinating, clear-headed, and full of surprises, this book gives readers the tools to both understand the climate issue and be savvier consumers of science media in general. Koonin takes readers behind the headlines to the more nuanced science itself, showing us where it comes from and guiding us through the implications of the evidence. He dispels popular myths and unveils little-known truths: despite a dramatic rise in greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures actually decreased from 1940 to 1970. What’s more, the models we use to predict the future aren’t able to accurately describe the climate of the past, suggesting they are deeply flawed. Koonin also tackles society’s response to a changing climate, using data-driven analysis to explain why many proposed “solutions” would be ineffective, and discussing how alternatives like adaptation and, if necessary, geoengineering will ensure humanity continues to prosper. Unsettled is a reality check buoyed by hope, offering the truth about climate science that you aren’t getting elsewhere—what we know, what we don’t, and what it all means for our future.
A bold new book reveals how we can tap the intelligence that exists beyond our brains–in our bodies, our surroundings, and our relationships Use your head. That’s what we tell ourselves when facing a tricky problem or a difficult project. But a growing body of research indicates that we’ve got it exactly backwards. What we need to do, says acclaimed science writer Annie Murphy Paul, is think outside the brain. A host of “extra-neural” resources–the feelings and movements of our bodies, the physical spaces in which we learn and work, and the minds of those around us– can help us focus more intently, comprehend more deeply, and create more imaginatively. The Extended Mind outlines the research behind this exciting new vision of human ability, exploring the findings of neuroscientists, cognitive scientists, psychologists, and examining the practices of educators, managers, and leaders who are already reaping the benefits of thinking outside the brain. She excavates the untold history of how artists, scientists, and authors–from Jackson Pollock to Jonas Salk to Robert Caro–have used mental extensions to solve problems, make discoveries, and create new works. In the tradition of Howard Gardner’s Frames of Mind or Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence, The Extended Mind offers a dramatic new view of how our minds work, full of practical advice on how we can all think better.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Our earliest experiences shape our lives far down the road, and What Happened to You? provides powerful scientific and emotional insights into the behavioral patterns so many of us struggle to understand. “Through this lens we can build a renewed sense of personal self-worth and ultimately recalibrate our responses to circumstances, situations, and relationships. It is, in other words, the key to reshaping our very lives.”—Oprah Winfrey This book is going to change the way you see your life. Have you ever wondered “Why did I do that?” or “Why can’t I just control my behavior?” Others may judge our reactions and think, “What’s wrong with that person?” When questioning our emotions, it’s easy to place the blame on ourselves; holding ourselves and those around us to an impossible standard. It’s time we started asking a different question. Through deeply personal conversations, Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain and trauma expert Dr. Bruce Perry offer a groundbreaking and profound shift from asking “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” Here, Winfrey shares stories from her own past, understanding through experience the vulnerability that comes from facing trauma and adversity at a young age. In conversation throughout the book, she and Dr. Perry focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves. It’s a subtle but profound shift in our approach to trauma, and it’s one that allows us to understand our pasts in order to clear a path to our future—opening the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way.
An exhilarating exploration of the science and wonder of global bird migration. In the past two decades, our understanding of the navigational and physiological feats that enable birds to cross immense oceans, fly above the highest mountains, or remain in unbroken flight for months at a stretch has exploded. What we’ve learned of these key migrations—how billions of birds circumnavigate the globe, flying tens of thousands of miles between hemispheres on an annual basis—is nothing short of extraordinary. Bird migration entails almost unfathomable endurance, like a sparrow-sized sandpiper that will fly nonstop from Canada to Venezuela—the equivalent of running 126 consecutive marathons without food, water, or rest—avoiding dehydration by “drinking” moisture from its own muscles and organs, while orienting itself using the earth’s magnetic field through a form of quantum entanglement that made Einstein queasy. Crossing the Pacific Ocean in nine days of nonstop flight, as some birds do, leaves little time for sleep, but migrants can put half their brains to sleep for a few seconds at a time, alternating sides—and their reaction time actually improves. These and other revelations convey both the wonder of bird migration and its global sweep, from the mudflats of the Yellow Sea in China to the remote mountains of northeastern India to the dusty hills of southern Cyprus. This breathtaking work of nature writing from Pulitzer Prize finalist Scott Weidensaul also introduces readers to those scientists, researchers, and bird lovers trying to preserve global migratory patterns in the face of climate change and other environmental challenges. Drawing on his own extensive fieldwork, in A World on the Wing Weidensaul unveils with dazzling prose the miracle of nature taking place over our heads.
The world recoiled at the notion of a woman doctor, yet Elizabeth Blackwell persisted–in 1849, she became the first woman in America to receive an MD. Her achievement made her an icon–“I am convinced that a new & nobler era is dawning, for Medicine,” she wrote–but her sister Emily, eternally eclipsed, was the more brilliant physician. Together they founded the first hospital staffed entirely by women, in New York City. Both sisters were tenacious and visionary, but their convictions did not always align with the emergence of women’s rights–or with each other. “Doubt is disease,” Elizabeth insisted. They prevailed against fierce resistance from the male establishment, moving among Britain, France, and America during a tumultuous time of scientific discovery and civil war. This major new biography celebrates two complicated pioneers who exploded the limits of possibility. As Elizabeth predicted, “a hundred years hence, women will not be what they are now.”
“Hart’s argument that we need to drastically revise our current view of illegal drugs is both powerful and timely . . . when it comes to the legacy of this country’s war on drugs, we should all share his outrage.” —The New York Times Book Review From one of the world’s foremost experts on the subject, a powerful argument that the greatest damage from drugs flows from their being illegal, and a hopeful reckoning with the possibility of their use as part of a responsible and happy life Dr. Carl L. Hart, Ziff Professor at Columbia University and former chair of the Department of Psychology, is one of the world’s preeminent experts on the effects of so-called recreational drugs on the human mind and body. Dr. Hart is open about the fact that he uses drugs himself, in a happy balance with the rest of his full and productive life as a colleague, husband, father, and friend. In Drug Use for Grown-Ups, he draws on decades of research and his own personal experience to argue definitively that the criminalization and demonization of drug use–not drugs themselves–have been a tremendous scourge on America, not least in reinforcing this country’s enduring structural racism. Dr. Hart did not always have this view. He came of age in one of Miami’s most troubled neighborhoods at a time when many ills were being laid at the door of crack cocaine. His initial work as a researcher was aimed at proving that drug use caused bad outcomes. But one problem kept cropping up: the evidence from his research did not support his hypothesis. From inside the massively well-funded research arm of the American war on drugs, he saw how the facts did not support the ideology. The truth was dismissed and distorted in order to keep fear and outrage stoked, the funds rolling in, and Black and brown bodies behind bars. Drug Use for Grown-Ups will be controversial, to be sure: the propaganda war, Dr. Hart argues, has been tremendously effective. Imagine if the only subject of any discussion about driving automobiles was fatal car crashes. Drug Use for Grown-Ups offers a radically different vision: when used responsibly, drugs can enrich and enhance our lives. We have a long way to go, but the vital conversation this book will generate is an extraordinarily important step.
From the New York Times-bestselling author of How Not to Be Wrong—himself a world-class geometer—a far-ranging exploration of the power of geometry, which turns out to help us think better about practically everything How should a democracy choose its representatives? How can you stop a pandemic from sweeping the world? How do computers learn to play Go, and why is learning Go so much easier for them than learning to read a sentence? Can ancient Greek proportions predict the stock market? (Sorry, no.) What should your kids learn in school if they really want to learn to think? All these are questions about geometry. For real. If you’re like most people, geometry is a sterile and dimly remembered exercise you gladly left behind in the dust of ninth grade, along with your braces and active romantic interest in pop singers. If you recall any of it, it’s plodding through a series of miniscule steps only to prove some fact about triangles that was obvious to you in the first place. That’s not geometry. Okay, it is geometry, but only a tiny part, which has as much to do with geometry in all its flush modern richness as conjugating a verb has to do with a great novel. Shape reveals the geometry underneath some of the most important scientific, political, and philosophical problems we face. Geometry asks: Where are things? Which things are near each other? How can you get from one thing to another thing? Those are important questions. The word “geometry,” from the Greek for “measuring the world.” If anything, that’s an undersell. Geometry doesn’t just measure the world—it explains it. Shape shows us how.
‘A spicy educational treat to be savoured: a delight.’ Tim Spector The book will take you on a joint culinary and scientific journey through the gut. It is an unapologetic celebration of what I believe to be the most amazing organ of the body, that will enhance and enlighten the way you cook and eat. Saliha Mahmood Ahmed Written by a gastroenterologist and award-winning food writer, Foodology offers a unique perspective on the joy of eating. Explaining the process of digestion and how the food we eat influences the way we feel, Saliha draws on the latest science and her own experiences as both a doctor and a cook, to bring the subject to life. From childhood memories of devouring Indian street food to why munching on a jam doughnut brings gastronomic happiness, Saliha also offers 50 new, simple, delicious and mostly vegetarian recipes to help you explore your gut health and find your own gastronomic happiness. Foodology takes you on a journey from the first smell of food and bite of goodness through to the time it takes for food to leave the system, and all the processes in between. Have you ever thought about why certain smells can make your mouth water, how the texture of food can impact your taste and why some foods can make you bloat? Saliha takes you on an extensive journey through the gut to show you the true joy of food and why gastronomic happiness is so important to our lives. ‘A great book for anyone who wants to cook a very tasty supper that hits the spot and also get to know their bodies, moods and emotions better. Foodology is both fascinating and full of delicious meals to enjoy cooking.’ Melissa Hemsley ‘This is a book in the finest tradition of narrative recipe writing. It’s a heavenly mix of whimsy, life and science, grounded in solid technique and blissful flavour.’ William Sitwell
‘THE MOTHERHOOD COMPLEX does for mothers in particular what INVISIBLE WOMEN did for women as a whole: exposes the myriad ways in which the system is stacked against us, while celebrating the strengths and successes we achieve in spite of it all’ Leah Hazard ‘A welcome, refreshing and clear-eyed look at the twenty-first century expectations of motherhood’ Gina Rippon Enriched with discoveries from biology, psychology and social science, THE MOTHERHOOD COMPLEX is a journey to the heart of what it means to become a mother. Melissa Hogenboom examines how the suite of changes we experience during pregnancy and motherhood influence our sense of self, both physically and from the wider world. From the way our brain changes during pregnancy and the psychological impact of our changing body, to the true cost of the motherhood workplace penalty and the intrusion of technology on family life, Hogenboom reveals how external events and society at large shape the way we see ourselves and impacts upon the choices we make. Interweaving her personal experience as a mother of two young children with the latest research, Hogenboom confronts the modern myth of maternal perfection and highlights the importance of understanding how and why we change for our physical and emotional health.
‘Delightfully insightful and intensely readable […] There is an energy and drama to Rory’s writing which nonetheless leaves space for us, the reader, to make up our minds’ – Stephen Fry We live at a time when billions have access to unbelievably powerful technology. The most extraordinary tool that has been invented in the last century, the smartphone, is forcing radical changes in the way we live and work – and unlike previous technologies it is in the hands of just about everyone. Coupled with the rise of social media, this has ushered in a new era of deeply personal technology, where individuals now have the ability to work, create and communicate on their own terms, rather than wait for permission from giant corporations or governments. At least that is the optimistic view. This book takes readers on a hectic ride through this turbulent era, as related by an author with a ringside seat to the key moments of the technology revolution. We remember the excitement and wonder that came with the arrival of Apple’s iPhone with all the promise it offered. We see tech empires rise and fall as these devices send shockwaves through every industry and leave the corporate titans of the analogue era floundering in their wake. We see that early utopianism about the potential of the mobile social revolution to transform society for the better fade, as criminals, bullies and predators poison the well of social media. And we hear from those at the forefront of the tech revolution, including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Tim Berners-Lee, Martha Lane-Fox and Jimmy Wales, to gain their unique insights and predictions for what may be to come. Always On immerses the reader in the most important story of our times – the dramatic impact of hyperconnectivity, the smartphone and social media on everything from our democracy to our employment and our health. The final section of the book draws on the author’s own personal experience with technology and medicine, considering how COVID-19 made us look again to computing in our battle to confront the greatest challenge of modern times.
From cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Christian Jarrett, a fascinating book exploring the science of personality and how we can change ourselves for the better. What if you could exploit the plasticity of personality to change yourself in specific ways? Would you choose to become less neurotic? More self-disciplined? Less shy? Until now, we’ve been told that we’re stuck with the personality we were born with: The introvert will never break out of their shell, the narcissist will be forever trapped gazing into the mirror. In Be Who You Want, Dr. Christian Jarrett takes us on a thrilling journey, as he not only explores the ways that life changes us, but shows how we can deliberately shape our personalities to influence the course of our lives. Dr. Jarrett draws on the latest research to provide evidence-based ways to change each of the main five personality traits, including how to become more emotionally stable, extraverted, and open-minded. Dr. Jarrett features compelling stories of people who have achieved profound personality change such as a gang-leader turned youth role model, a drug addict turned ultra-runner, and a cripplingly shy teenager turned Hollywood mega-star. He also delves into the upsides of the so-called Dark Triad of personality traits—narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy—and how we might exploit their advantages without ourselves going over to the dark side. Filled with quizzes and interactive exercises to help us better understand the various aspects of our personalities, life stories, and passions, Be Who You Want will appeal to anyone who has ever felt constrained by how they’ve been characterized and wants to pursue lasting change.
The hidden costs of artificial intelligence, from natural resources and labor to privacy and freedom What happens when artificial intelligence saturates political life and depletes the planet? How is AI shaping our understanding of ourselves and our societies? In this book Kate Crawford reveals how this planetary network is fueling a shift toward undemocratic governance and increased inequality. Drawing on more than a decade of research, award-winning science, and technology, Crawford reveals how AI is a technology of extraction: from the energy and minerals needed to build and sustain its infrastructure, to the exploited workers behind “automated” services, to the data AI collects from us. Rather than taking a narrow focus on code and algorithms, Crawford offers us a political and a material perspective on what it takes to make artificial intelligence and where it goes wrong. While technical systems present a veneer of objectivity, they are always systems of power. This is an urgent account of what is at stake as technology companies use artificial intelligence to reshape the world.
A renowned climate scientist shows how fossil fuel companies have waged a thirty-year campaign to deflect blame and responsibility and delay action on climate change, and offers a battle plan for how we can save the planet. Recycle. Fly less. Eat less meat. These are some of the ways that we’ve been told can slow climate change. But the inordinate emphasis on individual behavior is the result of a marketing campaign that has succeeded in placing the responsibility for fixing climate change squarely on the shoulders of individuals. Fossil fuel companies have followed the example of other industries deflecting blame (think “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”) or greenwashing (think of the beverage industry’s “Crying Indian” commercials of the 1970s). Meanwhile, they’ve blocked efforts to regulate or price carbon emissions, run PR campaigns aimed at discrediting viable alternatives, and have abdicated their responsibility in fixing the problem they’ve created. The result has been disastrous for our planet. In The New Climate War, Mann argues that all is not lost. He draws the battle lines between the people and the polluters-fossil fuel companies, right-wing plutocrats, and petrostates. And he outlines a plan for forcing our governments and corporations to wake up and make real change, including: a common-sense, attainable approach to carbon pricing- and a revision of the well-intentioned but flawed currently proposed version of the Green New Deal; allowing renewable energy to compete fairly against fossil fuels debunking the false narratives and arguments that have worked their way into the climate debate and driven a wedge between even those who support climate change solutions combatting climate doomism and despair-mongering With immensely powerful vested interests aligned in defense of the fossil fuel status quo, the societal tipping point won’t happen without the active participation of citizens everywhere aiding in the collective push forward. This book will reach, inform, and enable citizens everywhere to join this battle for our planet.
‘It’s a little book of wonder, it’s fantastic’ Chris Evans ‘A fabulously sparky, wide-ranging and horizon-broadening little study … joyously unboring’ Sunday Times Friends do it, strangers do it and so do chimpanzees – and it’s not just deeply embedded in our history and culture, it may even be written in our DNA. The humble handshake, it turns out, has a rich and surprising history. So let’s join palaeoanthropologist Ella Al-Shamahi as she embarks on a funny and fascinating voyage of discovery – from the handshake’s origins (at least seven million years ago) all the way to its sudden disappearance in March 2020. Drawing on new research, anthropological insights and first-hand experience, she’ll reveal how this most friendly of gestures has played a role in everything from meetings with uncontacted tribes to political assassinations – and what it tells us about the enduring power of human contact. Because the story of the handshake … is far from over.
From one of the world’s leading neuroscientists: a succinct, illuminating, wholly engaging investigation of how biology, neuroscience, psychology, and artificial intelligence have given us the tools to unlock the mysteries of human consciousness In recent decades, many philosophers and cognitive scientists have declared the problem of consciousness unsolvable, but Antonio Damasio is convinced that recent findings across multiple scientific disciplines have given us a way to understand consciousness and its significance for human life. In the forty-eight brief chapters of Feeling & Knowing, and in writing that remains faithful to our intuitive sense of what feeling and experiencing are about, Damasio helps us understand why being conscious is not the same as sensing, why nervous systems are essential for the development of feelings, and why feeling opens the way to consciousness writ large. He combines the latest discoveries in various sciences with philosophy and discusses his original research, which has transformed our understanding of the brain and human behavior. Here is an indispensable guide to understanding how we experience the world within and around us and find our place in the universe.
Understand the Virus — Explore the Immune System — Discover a Vaccine — Develop Vaccines — Evaluate the Contenders — Don’t Count on the Magic Bullet — Overcome the Hurdles — Embrace Many Solutions.
From the world-leaders in strategic thinking and the multi-million copy bestselling authors of Thinking Fast and Slow and Nudge, the next big book to change the way you think. Wherever there is human judgment, there is noise.
An illustrated tour of the structures and patterns we call “math” The only numbers in this book are the page numbers. Math Without Numbers is a vivid, conversational, and wholly original guide to the three main branches of abstract math—topology, analysis, and algebra—which turn out to be surprisingly easy to grasp. This book upends the conventional approach to math, inviting you to think creatively about shape and dimension, the infinite and infinitesimal, symmetries, proofs, and how these concepts all fit together. What awaits readers is a freewheeling tour of the inimitable joys and unsolved mysteries of this curiously powerful subject. Like the classic math allegory Flatland, first published over a century ago, or Douglas Hofstadter’s Godel, Escher, Bach forty years ago, there has never been a math book quite like Math Without Numbers. So many popularizations of math have dwelt on numbers like pi or zero or infinity. This book goes well beyond to questions such as: How many shapes are there? Is anything bigger than infinity? And is math even true? Milo Beckman shows why math is mostly just pattern recognition and how it keeps on surprising us with unexpected, useful connections to the real world. The ambitions of this book take a special kind of author. An inventive, original thinker pursuing his calling with jubilant passion. A prodigy. Milo Beckman completed the graduate-level course sequence in mathematics at age sixteen, when he was a sophomore at Harvard; while writing this book, he was studying the philosophical foundations of physics at Columbia under Brian Greene, among others.
“For anyone who is a mother, or who has a mother, [Mom Genes] is an eye-opening tour through the biology and psychology of a role that is at once utterly ordinary and wondrously strange.” —Annie Murphy Paul, author of Origins From the New York Times bestselling author of The Lion in the Living Room comes a fascinating and provocative exploration of the biology of motherhood. Everyone knows how babies are made, but scientists are only just beginning to understand the making of a mother. Mom Genes reveals the hard science behind our tenderest maternal impulses, tackling questions such as whether a new mom’s brain ever really bounces back, why mothers are destined to mimic their own moms (or not), and how maternal aggression makes females the world’s most formidable creatures. Part scientific odyssey, part memoir, Mom Genes weaves the latest research with Abigail Tucker’s personal experiences to create a delightful, surprising, and poignant portrait of motherhood. It’s vital reading for anyone who has ever wondered what rocks the hand that rocks the cradle.
A comprehensive, eye-opening exploration of what dreams are, where they come from, what they mean, and why we have them. Questions on the origins and meaning of dreams are as old as humankind, and as confounding and exciting today as when nineteenth-century scientists first attempted to unravel them. Why do we dream? Do dreams hold psychological meaning or are they merely the reflection of random brain activity? What purpose do dreams serve? When Brains Dream addresses these core questions about dreams while illuminating the most up-to-date science in the field. Written by two world-renowned sleep and dream researchers, it debunks common myths?that we only dream in REM sleep, for example—while acknowledging the mysteries that persist around both the science and experience of dreaming. Antonio Zadra and Robert Stickgold bring together state-of-the-art neuroscientific ideas and findings to propose a new and innovative model of dream function called NEXTUP—Network Exploration to Understand Possibilities. By detailing this model’s workings, they help readers understand key features of several types of dreams, from prophetic dreams to nightmares and lucid dreams. When Brains Dream reveals recent discoveries about the sleeping brain and the many ways in which dreams are psychologically, and neurologically, meaningful experiences; explores a host of dream-related disorders; and explains how dreams can facilitate creativity and be a source of personal insight. Making an eloquent and engaging case for why the human brain needs to dream, When Brains Dream offers compelling answers to age-old questions about the mysteries of sleep.
“This remarkable account of the 1961 race into space is a thrilling piece of storytelling….It is high definition history: tight, thrilling and beautifully researched.” (The Times, London, Front Page Lead Review) “Beyond has the exhilaration of a fine thriller, but it is vividly embedded in the historic tensions of the Cold War, and peopled by men and women brought sympathetically, and sometimes tragically, to life.”—Colin Thubron, author of Shadow of the Silk Road 09.07 am. April 12, 1961. A top secret rocket site in the USSR. A young Russian sits inside a tiny capsule on top of the Soviet Union’s most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile—originally designed to carry a nuclear warhead—and blasts into the skies. His name is Yuri Gagarin. And he is about to make history. Travelling at almost 18,000 miles per hour—ten times faster than a rifle bullet—Gagarin circles the globe in just 106 minutes. From his windows he sees the earth as nobody has before, crossing a sunset and a sunrise, crossing oceans and continents, witnessing its beauty and its fragility. While his launch begins in total secrecy, within hours of his landing he has become a world celebrity – the first human to leave the planet. Beyond tells the thrilling story behind that epic flight on its 60th anniversary. It happened at the height of the Cold War as the US and USSR confronted each other across an Iron Curtain. Both superpowers took enormous risks to get a man into space first, the Americans in the full glare of the media, the Soviets under deep cover. Both trained their teams of astronauts to the edges of the endurable. In the end the race between them would come down to the wire. Drawing on extensive original research and the vivid testimony of eyewitnesses, many of whom have never spoken before, Stephen Walker unpacks secrets that were hidden for decades and takes the reader into the drama of one of humanity’s greatest adventures – to the scientists, engineers and political leaders on both sides, and above all to the American astronauts and their Soviet rivals battling for supremacy in the heavens.
Last updated on October 17, 2021