Books

Big Questions In Science

Harriet Swain

What is life about? How are men and women different? How did the universe begin? We all ponder these questions from time to time but some scientists spend their lives investigating them. Are they anywhere near finding answers? In this exciting new book, leading scientific thinkers address twenty of the really big questions that people have been asking for hundreds of years. The contributors include: John Sulston, who led the British side of the Human Genome Project and who offers his views on whether we can ever end disease; Susan Greenfield, Oxford University professor of pharmacology, who describes what she thinks is a thought; John Barrow, Cambridge professor of mathematical sciences, who tells us what is time; and American psychologist David Buss, who suggests why we fall in and out of love. Their answers are each put into context by more general commentaries discussing the differing views of other leading contemporary scientists and looking at how people have tackled the question in the past. The result is a breathtaking tour of scientific thought through the ages and a peek at some of the most cutting-edge and controversial research today. Packed with fascinating insights, it shows how science is investigating problems that affect us all on a large scale and suggests that we are closer to finding solutions to some of life's big questions than we might think.

Big Questions In History

Harriet Swain

Drawing on examples ranging from ancient Greece to Tony Blair's Britain, leading historical thinkers address 20 of the really big questions that have been asked over the centuries about the course of human events.

Each essay is put into context by a more general commentary that discusses the differing views of other leading thinkers, today and in the past. The result is a stimulating ride over continents and across centuries in search of answers that are sometimes surprising, often controversial, and all of great relevance to how we live today.

Includes writing by: Richard. J. Evans, Ian Kershaw, Vernon Bogdanor, Fred Halliday, Thomas Palaima, Jeremy Black, Colin Renfrew, Anthony Pagden, Lisa Jardine, Sheila Rowbotham, Joanna Bourke, Benjamin Barber, Felipe Fern√°ndez-Armesto and others.

Biography

Harriet Swain is the deputy features editor at the Times Higher Educational Supplement.