Why cooperate? This may be the most important scientific question we have ever, and will ever, face.
The science of cooperation tells us not only how we got here, but also where we might end up. Cooperation explains how strands of DNA gave rise to modern-day nation states. It defines our extraordinary ecological success as well as many of the most surprising features of what make us human: not only why we live in families, why we have grandmothers and why women experience the menopause, but also why we become paranoid and jealous, and why we cheat.
Nichola Raihani also introduces us to other species who, like us, live and work together. From the pied babblers of the Kalahari to the cleaner fish of the Great Barrier Reef, they happen to be some of the most fascinating and extraordinarily successful species on this planet. What do we have in common with these other species, and what is it that sets us apart?
Written at a time of global pandemic, when the challenges and importance of cooperation have never been greater, The Social Instinct is an exhilarating, far-reaching and thought-provoking journey through all life on Earth, with profound insights into what makes us human and how our societies work.
A phenomenally important book. The story of why we humans evolved to become such a wonderfully cooperative, social species, and what that means for the world today. Nichola Raihani will change the way you think about ourselves.
Vibrant science about a topic that could not be more important: How did our superpower of cooperation evolve against the odds? This engaging book wears its strong scientific credentials lightly. I could not put it down.
In this captivating book, Nichola Raihani ... provides a compelling argument that cooperation is the secret of human success and yet has never been as crucial as it is now, during a global pandemic and with the threat of the climate crisis. I found this intriguing and beautifully written book hard to put down.
This is a glorious book, with an insight on every page. Above all it taught me that while our individual bodies and brains might reward comparison with our primate relatives, in understanding our social relations we would be much better off comparing the meerkat. And the naked mole-rat. And the bower bird. And the cleaner-fish.
If you've ever wondered why people aren't as cooperative as they ought to be, you'll find the answer right here - mapped out in detail that is full of surprises at every page-turn.