We are born with the instinct to create and invent. Indeed, our ability to do so is what separates us from the rest of the animal world. But have our creative ideas always produced desirable results? Have they always served us well?
Bad Ideas? traces the fascinating history of our attempts at self-improvement but also questions their value. The dubious consequences of the development of weaponry, for example, is self-evident. But what of apparently more innocuous advances such as farming, writing and medicine? Science has produced huge good but has also had unforeseen consequences. Can science and scientists find solutions to the perils that now menace us?
We join Robert Winston on a thrilling journey from our earliest days to the present. We meet some key individuals along the way and share quirky anecdotes about their lives and brainwaves. Inspiring, unusual and at times controversial, Bad Ideas? assesses the past and looks forward to the opportunities of the future. In so doing it celebrates man's extraordinary capacity for achievement and offers a hopeful way forward to protect humanity against what sometimes seem like bad ideas.
A provocative inversion of traditional histories of scientific ingenuity ... by the end I realised that what Winston's own powerful and well-paced narration had opened my eyes to was the importance of the non-scientific being better informed.
With erudition and impeccable logic he traces the emergence of inventions through history ... His arguments are well presented and easily followed, while his conclusions are often as controversial as the inventions themselves.