193 results 1-20

Blood and Guts

Roy Porter (Author)

Mankind's battle to stay alive is the greatest of all subjects. This brief, witty and unusual book by Britain's greatest medical historian compresses into a tiny span a lifetime spent thinking about millennia of human ingenuity in the quest to cheat death. Each chapter sums up one of these battlefields (surgery, doctors, disease, hospitals, laboratories and the human body) in a way that is both frightening and elating. Startlingly illustrated, A SHORT HISTORY OF MEDICINE is the ideal presentfor anyone who is keenly aware of their own mortality and wants to do something about it. It is also a wonderful memorial to one of Penguin's greatest historians.

The Blind Watchmaker

Richard Dawkins (Author)

***30th Anniversary Edition***

Cover note: Each copy of the anniversary edition of The Blind Watchmaker features a unique biomorph. No two covers are exactly alike.

Acclaimed as the most influential work on evolution written in the last hundred years, The Blind Watchmaker offers an inspiring and accessible introduction to one of the most important scientific discoveries of all time. A brilliant and controversial book which demonstrates that evolution by natural selection - the unconscious, automatic, blind yet essentially non-random process discovered by Darwin - is the only answer to the biggest question of all: why do we exist?

The Filter Bubble

Eli Pariser (Author)

Imagine a world where all the news you see is defined by your salary, where you live, and who your friends are. Imagine a world where you never discover new ideas. And where you can't have secrets.

Welcome to 2011.

Google and Facebook are already feeding you what they think you want to see. Advertisers are following your every click. Your computer monitor is becoming a one-way mirror, reflecting your interests and reinforcing your prejudices.

The internet is no longer a free, independent space. It is commercially controlled and ever more personalised. The Filter Bubble reveals how this hidden web is starting to control our lives - and shows what we can do about it.

The Invention of Air

Stephen T Johnson (Author)

From the bestselling author of Everything Bad is Good for You, Steven Johnson's The Invention of Air tells the incredible story of scientist and radical Joseph Priestley, who invented soda water, discovered oxygen, and incited rioting with his political views.

In 1794, Joseph Priestley - amateur scientist, ordained minister and radical thinker - set sail for America to escape persecution. Steven Johnson tells his incredible story: the discovery of oxygen, the invention of a science, the founding of a church, and, with the great minds of his time, the development of the United States itself. But Priestley's revolutionary ideas put him in terrible danger.

Johnson uses the progress of Priestley and his colleagues not merely to describe the wonder of discovery, but to show us how we have come to understand the world, how far we have travelled with the power of human enquiry - and how one man's curiosity can help build an entire country.

'A shot of the purest oxygen'
  Simon Winchester

'Packed with excellent stuff'
  Russell Davies

'Entertaining ... clear-sighted and intelligent'
  New Yorker

'As full of ingenuity and as delightful as its subject'
  Financial Times

'Brilliant'
  The New York Times

'Johnson paints Priestley not as a man of the past but precisely the sort of figure the world needs more than ever'
  New York Post

Steven Johnson is the author of the acclaimed books Everything Bad is Good for You, Mind Wide Open, Where Good Ideas Come From, The Ghost Map, Emergence and Interface Culture. His writing appeared in the Guardian, the New Yorker, Nation and Harper's, as well as the op-ed pages of The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He is a Distinguished Writer In Residence at NYU's School Of Journalism, and a Contributing Editor to Wired.

Emergence

Steven Johnson (Author)

Steven Johnson's Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software is a fascinating look at how self-organising systems are changing the world.

  • Why do people cluster together in neighborhoods?
  • How do internet communities spring up from nowhere?
  • Why is a brain conscious even though no single neuron is?
  • What causes a media frenzy?

The answer, as Steven Johnson's groundbreaking book shows, is emergence: change that occurs from the bottom up. When enough individual elements interact and organize themselves, the result is collective intelligence - even though no-one is in charge. It is a phenomenon that exists at every level of experience, and will

revolutionize the way we see the world.

'Exhilarating'
  J.G. Ballard

'A dizzying, dazzling romp through fields as disparate as urban planning, computer-game design, neurology and control theory'
  Economist

'Mind-expanding ... intelligent, witty and tremendously thought-provoking ... Popular science books interesting enough to read twice don't come along all that often'
  Guardian

'Not just a fascinating quirk of science: it's the future'
  The New York Times

Steven Johnson is the author of the acclaimed books Everything Bad is Good for You, Mind Wide Open, Where Good Ideas Come From, Emergence and Interface Culture. His writing appeared in the Guardian, the New Yorker, Nation and Harper's, as well as the op-ed pages of The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He is a Distinguished Writer In Residence at NYU's School Of Journalism, and a Contributing Editor to Wired.

Darwin

Adrian Desmond (Author) , James R Moore (Author)

This biography of Charles Darwin attempts to capture the private unknown life of the real man - the gambling and gluttony at Cambridge, his gruelling trip round the globe, his intimate family life, worries about persecution and thoughts about God. Central to all of this, his pioneering efforts on the theory of evolution now that recent studies have overturned the commonplace views of Darwin that have held for more than a century.

The Age of Earthquakes

Shumon Basar (Author), Douglas Coupland (Author), Hans Ulrich Obrist (Author)

Planet Earth needs a self-help book, and this is it

The future is happening to us far faster than we thought it would and this book explains why

Fifty years after Marshall McLuhan's ground breaking book on the influence of technology on culture The Medium is the Massage, Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist extend the analysis to today, touring the world that's redefined by the Internet, decoding and explaining what they call the 'extreme present'.

The Age of Earthquakes is a quick-fire paperback, harnessing the images, language and perceptions of our unfurling digital lives. The authors invent a glossary of new words to describe how we are truly feeling today; and 'mindsource' images and illustrations from over 30 contemporary artists. Wayne Daly's striking graphic design imports the surreal, juxtaposed, mashed mannerisms of screen to page. It's like a culturally prescient, all-knowing email to the reader: possibly the best email they will ever read.

Welcome to The Age of Earthquakes, a paper portrait of Now, where the Internet hasn't just changed the structure of our brains these past few years, it's also changing the structure of the planet. This is a new history of the world that fits perfectly in your back pocket.

We Are Our Brains

Dick Swaab (Author)

Everything we think, do and refrain from doing is determined by our brain. From religion to sexuality, it shapes our potential, our desires and our characters. Taking us through every stage in our lives, from the womb to falling in love to old age, Dick Swaab shows that we don't just have brains: we are our brains.

'A blockbuster about the brain ... provocative, fascinating, remarkable' Clive Cookson, Financial Times

'A giant in the field' Zoe Williams, Guardian

'Engrossing, intriguing and enlightening' Robin Ince

'Enchantingly written' The Times Higher Education

'Wide-ranging, fun and informative ... as an ice-breaker at parties, it is unmatched' Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

Anatomies

Hugh Aldersey-Williams (Author)

The Sunday Times Science Book of the Year, Anatomies by Hugh Aldersey-Williams, author of bestseller Periodic Tales, is a splendidly entertaining journey through the art, science, literature and history of the human body.

'Magnificent, inspired. He writes like a latter-day Montaigne. Stimulating scientific hypotheses, bold philosophic theories, illuminating quotations and curious facts. I recommend it to all' Telegraph *****

'Splendid, highly entertaining, chock-full of insights ... It inserts fascinating scientific snippets and anecdotes about our organs into the wider history of our changing understanding of our bodies' Sunday Times

'A relentlessly entertaining cultural history of the human body ... brims with fascinating details, infectious enthusiasm ... the terrain he covers is so richly brought to life' Guardian

'Elegant and informative ... For Aldersey-Williams, [the body] is a thing of wonder and a repository of fascinating facts' Mail on Sunday ****

In Anatomies, bestselling author Hugh Aldersey-Williams investigates that marvellous, mysterious form: the human body. Providing a treasure trove of surprising facts, remarkable stories and startling information drawn from across history, science, art and literature - from finger-prints to angel physiology, from Isaac Newton's death-mask to the afterlife of Einstein's brain - he explores our relationship with our bodies and investigates our changing attitudes to the extraordinary physical shell we inhabit.

'More than a science book - it's also history, biography and autobiography - Anatomies is writing at its most refined, regardless of genre' Sunday Times

Praise for Periodic Tales:

'Science writing at its best ... fascinating and beautiful ... if only chemistry had been like this at school ... to meander through the periodic table with him ... is like going round a zoo with Gerald Durrell ... a rich compilation of delicious tales, but it offers greater rewards, too' Matt Ridley

'Immensely engaging and continually makes one sit up in ­surprise' Sunday Times

'Splendid ... enjoyable and polished' Observer

'Full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well ... an agreeable jumble of anecdote, reflection and information' Sunday Telegraph

'Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes ... sharp and often witty' Financial Times

Hugh Aldersey-Williams studied natural sciences at Cambridge. He is the author of several books exploring science, design and architecture and has curated exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Wellcome Collection. His previous book Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements was a Sunday Times bestseller and has been published in many languages around the world. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and son.

Deep Simplicity

John Gribbin (Author)

Simplifying chaos and complexity theory for the perplexed, John Gribbin's Deep Simplicity: Chaos, Complexity and the Emergence of Life brilliantly illuminates the harmony underlying our existence.

The world around us can be a complex, confusing place. Earthquakes happen without warning, stock markets fluctuate, weather forecasters seldom seem to get it right - even other people continue to baffle us. How do we make sense of it all?

In fact, John Gribbin reveals, our seemingly random universe is actually built on simple laws of cause and effect that can explain why, for example, just one vehicle braking can cause a traffic jam; why wild storms result from a slight atmospheric change; even how we evolved from the most basic materials. Like a zen painting, a fractal image or the pattern on a butterfly's wings, simple elements form the bedrock of a sophisticated whole.

'The master of popular science writing'
  Sunday Times

'What makes Deep Simplicity different from other books on complexity theory is that Gribbin ... goes back to the fundamentals'
  Daily Telegraph

'One is left feeling even more - if this is possible - filled with admiration for science and delight at the world it investigates'
  Financial Times

John Gribbin is one of today's greatest writers of popular science and the author of bestselling books, including In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, Stardust, Science: A History and In Search of the Multiverse. Gribbin trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

Our Mathematical Universe

Max Tegmark (Author)

In Our Mathematical Universe, Max Tegmark, one of the most original physicists at work today, leads us on an astonishing journey to explore the mysteries uncovered by cosmology and to discover the nature of reality

Part-history of the cosmos, part-intellectual adventure, Our Mathematical Universe travels from the Big Bang to the distant future via parallel worlds, across every possible scale - from the sub-atomic to the intergalactic - showing how mathematics provides the answers to our questions about the world. Where do we come from? What makes the universe the way it is? In essence, why are we here? With dazzling clarity, Max Tegmark ponders these deep mysteries and allows us to grasp the most cutting-edge and mind-boggling theories of physics. What he proposes is an elegant and fascinating idea: that our physical world not only is described by mathematics, but that it is mathematics.

'Our Mathematical Universe is nothing if not impressive. Brilliantly argued and beautifully written, it is never less than thought-provoking about the greatest mysteries of our existence' - New York Times

'An amazing ride through the rich landscape of contemporary cosmology... Physics could do with more characters like Tegmark... an imaginative intellect and a charismatic presence' - Clive Cookson, Financial Times

Max Tegmark is author or co-author of more than 200 technical papers, twelve of which have been cited more than 500 times. He has featured in dozens of science documentaries, and his work with the SDSS collaboration on galaxy clustering shared the first prize in Science magazine's "Breakthrough of the Year: 2003". He holds a Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a physics professor at MIT.

Universal

Brian Cox (Author) , Jeff Forshaw (Author)

'Inspirational' Buzz Aldrin

When exactly did life begin? What really happened during the big bang - and before it? Is the universe expanding? Is dark matter real? Do we live in one of many worlds? What's more, how can we prove any of this?

This book is all about how we - any of us - can gain an understanding of the Universe in all its awe-inspiring glory. Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw take us on an epic journey of scientific exploration, revealing how the biggest questions - from the size of the earth to the distance to the stars - are answerable from our own back gardens.

You don't need a Large Hadron Collider or a Hubble Space Telescope to explore the cosmos. You just need this book.

Don't Swallow Your Gum

Aaron Carroll (Author) , Rachel Vreeman (Author)

Men with big feet have big penises
You should drink at least eight glasses of water a day
Sugar makes kids hyper
Eating at night makes you fat
Chewing gum stays in your stomach for seven years
You lose 40% of your body heat through your head

Every day, you hear or think things about your body and health that are just not true. Maybe you saw them on TV, read them in magazines or heard them from friends (or even a doctor). This book is for anyone who has wondered about the truth behind these myths.

Funny, wacky and full of fascinating facts, Don't Swallow Your Gum explains why so many of those weird and worrisome things we think about our bodies are mistaken.

Fooled by Randomness

Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Author)

Everyone wants to succeed in life. But what causes some of us to be more successful than others? Is it really down to skill and strategy - or something altogether more unpredictable?

This book is the bestselling sensation that will change the way you think about business and the world. It is all about luck: more precisely, how we perceive luck in our personal and professional experiences. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the markets - we hear an entrepreneur has 'vision' or a trader is 'talented', but all too often their performance is down to chance rather than skill. It is only because we fail to understand probability that we continue to believe events are non-random, finding reasons where none exist.

'One of the smartest books of all time' Fortune

'An iconoclastic tour de force ... nothing escapes his Exocets' Evening Standard

'Brilliant' John Kay

'Excellent and thought-provoking ... an entertaining book' Financial Times

'Wall Street's principal dissident' Malcolm Gladwell

The Brain’s Way of Healing

Norman Doidge (Author)

'This is a book of miracles. Fascinating... An absorbing compendium of unlikely recoveries from physical and mental ailments offers evidence that the brain can heal... brings Oliver Sacks to mind' Lisa Appignanesi, Observer

The Brain's Way of Healing explores the astonishing advances in the discovery of neuroplasticity, showing that the brain has its own unique way of healing, only recently uncovered. Norman Doidge discusses a series of remarkable recoveries: patients told they would never improve have years of chronic pain alleviated or damage from debilitating strokes undone, and symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, brain injury, autism or learning disorders are reversed. He also shows how the risk of dementia can be lowered by 60%. Using stories to present cutting-edge science, Doidge illustrates principles that everyone can apply to improve their brain's performance.

Beyond Human Nature

Jesse J. Prinz (Author)

We are constantly told that human traits - from aggression to gender differences - are 'hardwired'. In Beyond Human Nature Jesse J. Prinz reveals that it is the societies we live in, not our genes, that determine how we think and feel.

From why mental illness differs so widely between cultures to how geography influences morals, from our sexual preferences to how we learn languages, he proves that the vast diversity of behaviour is not ingrained. This is a book about humanity's power to transcend nature; and one that, ultimately, celebrates our differences.

Jesse J. Prinz is currently a Distinguished Professor of philosophy at the City University of New York and an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he taught until January 2009. He works primarily in the philosophy of psychology and has produced books and articles on emotion, moral psychology, aesthetics and consciousness.

'From start to finish this book is a fine, balanced, enormously learned and informative blast on the trumpet of common sense and humane understanding ... wonderful' Simon Blackburn, New Statesman

'The nature versus nurture tussle has been running for centuries, and into this fervid arena steps Jesse J. Prinz ... he explores the origins of knowledge, language, thought and emotion and argues that there is not one human nature, but many' Carl Wilkinson, Financial Times

'Jesse Prinz wants to call a halt to the "century of the gene" ... in a backlash against the tyranny of DNA' Sydney Morning Herald

The Essential Difference

Simon Baron-Cohen (Author)

Simon Baron-Cohen's The Essential Difference: Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain is an unflinching look at the scientific evidence behind the innate sex differences of the mind.

Men and women have always seemed to think in entirely different ways, from conversation and communication to games and gadgets. But are these differences created by society, or do our minds come ready-wired one way or another, with female brains tending towards interaction and male towards organisation? And could this mean that autism - rather than being a mental anomaly - is in fact simply an extreme male brain?

Why are female brains better at empathasing? How are male brains designed to analyse systems? And what really makes men and women different? Simon Baron-Cohen explores list-making, lying and two decades of research in a ground-breaking examination of how our brains can be male or female but always completely fascinating.

'Compelling ... Inspiring'
  Guardian

'This is no Mars/Venus whimsy, but the conclusion from twenty years of experiment'
  Evening Standard

'A devastating contribution to the gender debate'
  Mail on Sunday

'A fascinating, thought-provoking book'
  Observer

Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor at Cambridge University in the fields of psychology and psychiatry. He is also the Director of Cambridge's internationally renowned Autism Research Centre. He has carried out research into social neuroscience over a career spanning twenty years. He is the author of Mindblindness and Zero Degrees of Empathy.

Birds, Beasts and Relatives

Gerald Durrell (Author)

The follow up to My Family and Other Animals and the second book in The Corfu Trilogy, the beloved books that inspired ITV's television series The Durrells.

Just before the Second World War the Durrell family decamped to the glorious, sun-soaked island of Corfu where the youngest of the four children, ten-year-old Gerald, discovered his passion for animals: toads and tortoises, bats and butterflies, scorpions and octopuses. Through glorious silver-green olive groves and across brilliant-white beaches Gerry pursued his obsession . . . causing hilarity and mayhem in his ever-tolerant family.

The Garden of the Gods

Gerald Durrell (Author)

The third book in The Corfu Trilogy (after My Family and Other Animals and Birds, Beasts and Relatives), the beloved books that inspired ITV's television series The Durrells.

Just before the Second World War the Durrell family decamped to the glorious, sun-soaked island of Corfu where the youngest of the four children, ten-year-old Gerald, discovered his passion for animals: toads and tortoises, bats and butterflies, scorpions and octopuses. Through glorious silver-green olive groves and across brilliant-white beaches Gerry pursued his obsession . . . causing hilarity and mayhem in his ever-tolerant family.

A Farewell to Ice

Peter Wadhams (Author)

'Astonishing ... beautiful, compelling and terrifying' Observer

'Wadhams' writing sparkles ... a lyrical sense of wonder at the natural world ... essential reading ... may be the best reader-friendly account of the greenhouse effect available to date' John Burnside, New Statesman

Ice is beautiful and complex. It regulates our planet's temperature. And it is vanishing - fast. Peter Wadhams, the world's leading expert on sea ice, draws on his lifetime's research in the Arctic region to illuminate what is happening, what it means for the future, and what can be done.

'This most experienced and rational scientist states what so many other researchers privately fear but cannot publicly say' John Vidal, Guardian

'Wadhams brings huge expertise to his subject - and he is an excellent writer' Martin Rees

'Utterly extraordinary' Jonathon Porritt

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