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The million copy international bestseller, critically acclaimed and translated into over 25 languages. As influential today as when it was first published, The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. Professor Dawkins articulates a gene's eye view of evolution - a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for their replication. This imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant work not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience, but galvanized the biology community, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research. Forty years later, its insights remain as relevant today as on the day it was published. This 40th anniversary edition includes a new epilogue from the author discussing the continuing relevance of these ideas in evolutionary biology today, as well as the original prefaces and foreword, and extracts from early reviews. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.
In How to be a Human, Ruby Wax tries to come up with some answers to that niggling question about who we are. With the input of a monk (an expert on our inner lives) and a neuroscientist (an expert on the brain), Ruby explores how to find happiness in the modern world - despite the constant bombardment of bad news, the need to choose between 5,000 different types of toothpaste, and the loneliness of having hundreds of friends who we've never met and don't know us. Filled with witty anecdotes from Ruby's own life, and backed up by scientific authority, How to be a Human is the only guide you need for building a healthy, happy relationship with yourself.
'Species' are central to understanding the origin and dynamics of biological diversity; explaining why lineages split into multiple distinct species is one of the main goals of evolutionary biology. However the existence of species is often taken for granted, and precisely what is meant by species and whether they really exist as a pattern of nature has rarely been modelled or critically tested. This novel book presents a synthetic overview of the evolutionary biology of species, describing what species are, how they form, the consequences of species boundaries and diversity for evolution, and patterns of species accumulation over time. The central thesis is that species represent more than just a unit of taxonomy; they are a model of how diversity is structured as well as how groups of related organisms evolve. The author adopts an intentionally broad approach, stepping back from the details to consider what species constitute, both theoretically and empirically, and how we detect them, drawing on a wealth of examples from microbes to multicellular organisms.
The rate of species and natural habitat loss across our planet is steadily accelerating. This book argues that existing practises of plant conservation are inadequate and firmly supports the placement of ecological restoration at the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation. The author unifies different aspects of conservation into one coherent concept, including natural area protection, ex situ conservation and in situ interventions through either population management or ecological restoration. Assisted colonization, experimentation, and utilization of threatened plant species are raised as crucial elements in restoration, with partly novel ecosystems being among its major target areas. Covering a wide spectrum of plant conservation examples, and offering practical methodologies alongside the theoretical context, this is a vital resource for students, research scientists and practitioners in conservation biology and restoration ecology.
How do we explain the remarkably abrupt changes that sometimes occur in nature and society--and can we predict why and when they happen? This book offers a comprehensive introduction to critical transitions in complex systems--the radical changes that happen at tipping points when thresholds are passed.
Marten Scheffer accessibly describes the dynamical systems theory behind critical transitions, covering catastrophe theory, bifurcations, chaos, and more. He gives examples of critical transitions in lakes, oceans, terrestrial ecosystems, climate, evolution, and human societies. And he demonstrates how to deal with these transitions, offering practical guidance on how to predict tipping points, how to prevent "bad" transitions, and how to promote critical transitions that work for us and not against us. Scheffer shows the time is ripe for understanding and managing critical transitions in the vast and complex systems in which we live. This book can also serve as a textbook and includes a detailed appendix with equations. Provides an accessible introduction to dynamical systems theory Covers critical transitions in lakes, oceans, terrestrial ecosystems, the climate, evolution, and human societies Explains how to predict tipping points Offers strategies for preventing "bad" transitions and triggering "good" ones Features an appendix with equations
Neuroscience, with its astounding new technologies, is uncovering the workings of the brain and with this perhaps the mind. The 'neuro' prefix spills out into every area of life, from neuroaesthetics to neuroeconomics, neurogastronomy and neuroeducation. With its promise to cure physical and social ills, government sees neuroscience as a tool to increase the 'mental capital' of the children of the deprived and workless. It sets aside intensifying poverty and inequality, instead claiming that basing children's rearing and education on brain science will transform both the child's and the nation's health and wealth. Leading critic of such neuropretensions, neuroscientist Steven Rose and sociologist of science Hilary Rose take a sceptical look at these claims and the science underlying them, sifting out the sensible from the snake oil. Examining the ways in which science is shaped by and shapes the political economy of neoliberalism, they argue that neuroscience on its own is not able to bear the weight of these hopes.
An insider account of how researchers unraveled the mystery of the thawing Arctic In the 1990s, researchers in the Arctic noticed that floating summer sea ice had begun receding. This was accompanied by shifts in ocean circulation and unexpected changes in weather patterns throughout the world. The Arctic's perennially frozen ground, known as permafrost, was warming, and treeless tundra was being overtaken by shrubs. What was going on? Brave New Arctic is Mark Serreze's riveting firsthand account of how scientists from around the globe came together to find answers. In a sweeping tale of discovery spanning three decades, Serreze describes how puzzlement turned to concern and astonishment as researchers came to understand that the Arctic of old was quickly disappearing--with potentially devastating implications for the entire planet. Serreze is a world-renowned Arctic geographer and climatologist who has conducted fieldwork on ice caps, glaciers, sea ice, and tundra in the Canadian and Alaskan Arctic. In this must-read book, he blends invaluable insights from his own career with those of other pioneering scientists who, together, ushered in an exciting new age of Arctic exploration. Along the way, he accessibly describes the cutting-edge science that led to the alarming conclusion that the Arctic is rapidly thawing due to climate change, that humans are to blame, and that the global consequences are immense. A gripping scientific adventure story, Brave New Arctic shows how the Arctic's extraordinary transformation serves as a harbinger of things to come if we fail to meet the challenge posed by a warming Earth.
Over a decade ago, as the Human Genome Project completed its mapping of the entire human genome, hopes ran high that we would rapidly be able to use our knowledge of human genes to tackle many inherited diseases, and understand what makes us unique among animals. But things didn't turn out that way. For a start, we turned out to have far fewer genes than originally thought - just over 20,000, the same sort of number as a fruit fly or worm. What's more, the proportion of DNA consisting of genes coding for proteins was a mere 2%. So, was the rest of the genome accumulated 'junk'? Things have changed since those early heady days of the Human Genome Project. But the emerging picture is if anything far more exciting. In this book, John Parrington explains the key features that are coming to light - some, such as the results of the international ENCODE programme, still much debated and controversial in their scope. He gives an outline of the deeper genome, involving layers of regulatory elements controlling and coordinating the switching on and off of genes; the impact of its 3D geometry; the discovery of a variety of new RNAs playing critical roles; the epigenetic changes influenced by the environment and life experiences that can make identical twins different and be passed on to the next generation; and the clues coming out of comparisons with the genomes of Neanderthals as well as that of chimps about the development of our species. We are learning more about ourselves, and about the genetic aspects of many diseases. But in its complexity, flexibility, and ability to respond to environmental cues, the human genome is proving to be far more subtle than we ever imagined.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER. Science in the Soul is a kaleidoscopic argument for the power and glory of science: the wonder of scientific discovery; the practical necessity of scientific endeavour to society; and the importance of the scientific way of thinking - particularly in today's `post-truth' world. With an introduction and new commentary by the author in dialogue with himself across the years, the essays, journalism, lectures and letters gathered here range over subjects from evolution and Darwinian natural selection to the role of scientist as prophet, whether science is itself a religion, the probability of alien life in other worlds, and the beauties, cruelties and oddities of earthly life in this one. A sparkling showcase for his rapier wit, the clarity, precision and vigour he brings to an argument, the beauty of his prose, the depth of his feeling and his capacity for joy, Science in the Soul is further evidence of Richard Dawkins' status as one of science's all-time great communicators.
Genes have a huge impact on who we are, from defining us as humans, to governing how we behave. Whether controlling our cells or creating new forms of life, discover how DNA makes each of us unique. In The Secret Life of Genes, you'll learn all about the past, present and future of the human genome. Filled with colourful, graphic illustrations to help you to understand the world of genetics, from the basics to the most complex theories, this book brings the inner workings of the human body to life. Derek Harvey answers the biggest questions, from the nature of inheritance, evolution and reproduction, to how genes are arranged and how DNA is read. Take a trip through the history of the world's DNA and unlock the future of the field.
"The author makes an eloquent plea for marine biodiversity conservation."--Library Journal"Harvell seems to channel the devotion that motivated the Blaschkas."--The Guardian Winner of the 2016 National Outdoor Book Award, Environment Category It started with a glass octopus. Dusty, broken, and all but forgotten, it caught Drew Harvell's eye. Fashioned in intricate detail by the father-son glassmaking team of Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, the octopus belonged to a menagerie of unusual marine creatures that had been packed away for decades in a storage unit. More than 150 years earlier, the Blaschkas had been captivated by marine invertebrates and spun their likenesses into glass, documenting the life of oceans untouched by climate change and human impacts. Inspired by the Blaschkas' uncanny replicas, Harvell set out in search of their living counterparts. In A Sea of Glass, she recounts this journey of a lifetime, taking readers along as she dives beneath the ocean's surface to a rarely seen world, revealing the surprising and unusual biology of some of the most ancient animals on the tree of life. On the way, we glimpse a century of change in our ocean ecosystems and learn which of the living matches for the Blaschkas' creations are, indeed, as fragile as glass. Drew Harvell and the Blaschka menagerie are the subjects of the documentary Fragile Legacy, which won the Best Short Film award at the 2015 Blue Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit. Learn more about the film and check out the trailer here.
Willi Hennig (1913-76), founder of phylogenetic systematics, revolutionised our understanding of the relationships among species and their natural classification. An expert on Diptera and fossil insects, Hennig's ideas were applicable to all organisms. He wrote about the science of taxonomy or systematics, refining and promoting discussion of the precise meaning of the term 'relationship', the nature of systematic evidence, and how those matters impinge on a precise understanding of monophyly, paraphyly, and polyphyly. Hennig's contributions are relevant today and are a platform for the future. This book focuses on the intellectual aspects of Hennig's work and gives dimension to the future of the subject in relation to Hennig's foundational contributions to the field of phylogenetic systematics. Suitable for graduate students and academic researchers, this book will also appeal to philosophers and historians interested in the legacy of Willi Hennig.
This book was developed to help students and researchers in the fields of economics, finance, law and other social science areas to understand and apply neuroscience. With the use of neuroscience technologies, it is now possible to understand how people make decisions in practice, using friendly and ecological experimental setups. The first half of the book studies the decision-making process and explains how the brain is organized. It presents the brain as a distributed processing system, shows how to record brain activities, and how to combine neurosciences and statistical tools to design experiments. In the last chapters, experiments on stock market decision, dilemma judgment, vote decision and understanding of media propaganda are described and discussed.
There is a growing crisis in scientific research characterized by failures to reproduce experimental results, fraud, lack of innovation, and burn-out. In Science and Christian Ethics, Paul Scherz traces these problems to the drive by governments and business to make scientists into competitive entrepreneurs who use their research results to stimulate economic growth. The result is a competitive environment aimed at commodifying the world. In order to confront this problem of character, Scherz examines the alternative Aristotelian and Stoic models of reforming character, found in the works of Alasdair MacIntyre and Michel Foucault. Against many prominent virtue ethicists, he argues that what individual scientists need is a regime of spiritual exercises, such as those found in Stoicism as it was adopted by Christianity, in order to refocus on the good of truth in the face of institutional pressure. His book illuminates pressing issues in research ethics, moral education, and anthropology.
Colin Farrelly contemplates the various ethical and social quandaries raised by the genetic revolution. Recent biomedical advances such as genetic screening, gene therapy and genome editing might be used to promote equality of opportunity, reproductive freedom, healthy aging, and the prevention and treatment of disease. But these technologies also raise a host of ethical questions: Is the idea of "genetically engineering" humans a morally objectionable form of eugenics? Should parents undergoing IVF be permitted to screen embryos for the sex of their offspring? Would it be ethical to alter the rate at which humans age, greatly increasing longevity at a time when the human population is already at potentially unsustainable levels? Farrelly applies an original virtue ethics framework to assess these and other challenges posed by the genetic revolution. Chapters discuss virtue ethics in relation to eugenics, infectious and chronic disease, evolutionary biology, epigenetics, happiness, reproductive freedom and longevity. This fresh approach creates a roadmap for thinking ethically about technological progress that will be of practical use to ethicists and scientists for years to come. Accessible in tone and compellingly argued, this book is an ideal introduction for students of bioethics, applied ethics, biomedical sciences, and related courses in philosophy and life sciences.
Educational neuroscience is one of the most hotly debated areas of research and is often misrepresented with grand claims for what it means for teaching and learning. Is each side of the brain responsible for different types of mental activity? Can listening to Mozart improve long-term brain function? Can neuroscience help with reading, or student motivation? In this book, teacher, education consultant and researcher Jon Tibke fact-checks prevailing 'neuromyths' by shining a light on what scientific research is truly relevant for the classroom and exploring the current limits of our understanding. Evidence-informed and complemented by thought-provoking practical tasks, this book will challenge readers to think critically about the human body's most complex organ.
All humans share certain components of tooth structure, but show variation in size and morphology around this shared pattern. This book presents a worldwide synthesis of the global variation in tooth morphology in recent populations. Research has advanced on many fronts since the publication of the first edition, which has become a seminal work on the subject. This revised and updated edition introduces new ideas in dental genetics and ontogeny and summarizes major historical problems addressed by dental morphology. The detailed descriptions of 29 dental variables are fully updated with current data and include details of a new web-based application for using crown and root morphology to evaluate ancestry in forensic cases. A new chapter describes what constitutes a modern human dentition in the context of the hominin fossil record.
Thinking whimsically makes serious science accessible. That's a message that should be taken to heart by all readers who want to learn about evolution. Do Elephants Have Knees? invites readers into serious appreciation of Darwinian histories by deploying the playful thinking found in children's books. Charles R. Ault Jr. weds children's literature to recent research in paleontology and evolutionary biology. Inquiring into the origin of origins stories, Ault presents three portraits of Charles Darwin-curious child, twentysomething adventurer, and elderly worm scientist. Essays focusing on the origins of tetrapods, elephants, whales, and birds explain fundamental Darwinian concepts (natural selection, for example) with examples of fossil history and comparative anatomy.The imagery of the children's story offers a way to remember and recreate scientific discoveries. By juxtaposing Darwin's science with tales for children, Do Elephants Have Knees? underscores the importance of whimsical storytelling to the accomplishment of serious thinking. Charles Darwin mused about duck beaks and swimming bears as he imagined a pathway for the origin of baleen. A "bearduck" chimera may be a stretch, but the science linking not just cows but also whales to moose through shared ancestry has great merit. Teaching about shared ancestry may begin with attention to Bernard Wiseman's Morris the Moose. Morris believes that cows and deer are fine examples of moose because they all have four legs and things on their heads. No whale antlers are known, but fossils of four-legged whales are. By calling attention to surprising and serendipitous echoes between children's stories and challenging science, Ault demonstrates how playful thinking opens the doors to an understanding of evolutionary thought.
Swearing, it turns out, is an incredibly useful part of our linguistic repertoire. Not only has some form of swearing existed since the earliest humans began to communicate, but it has been shown to reduce physical pain, help stroke victims recover their language, and encourage people to work together as a team. Swearing Is Good For You is a spirited and hilarious defence of our most cherished dirty words, backed by historical case studies and cutting-edge research. From chimpanzees creating their own curse words, to a man who lost half his brain in a mining accident experiencing a new-found compulsion to swear - Dr Emma Byrne outlines the fascinating science behind swearing; how it affects us both physically and emotionally, and how it is more natural and beneficial than we are led to believe.
From the bestselling author of A More Beautiful Question, hundreds of big and small questions that harness the magic of inquiry to tackle challenges we all face--at work, in our relationships, and beyond.
When confronted with almost any demanding situation, the act of questioning can help guide us to smart decisions. By asking questions, we can analyze, learn, and move forward in the face of uncertainty. But "questionologist" Warren Berger says that the questions must be the right ones; the ones that cut to the heart of complexity or enable us to see an old problem in a fresh way.
In The Book of Beautiful Questions, Berger shares illuminating stories and compelling research on the power of inquiry. Drawn from the insights and expertise of psychologists, innovators, effective leaders, and some of the world's foremost creative thinkers, he presents the essential questions readers need to make the best choices when it truly counts, with a particular focus in four key areas: decision-making, creativity, leadership, and relationships.
The powerful questions in this book can help you:
- Identify opportunities in your career or industry
- Generate fresh ideas in business or in your own creative pursuits
- Check your biases so you can make better judgments and decisions
- Do a better job of communicating and connecting with the people around you
Thoughtful, provocative, and actionable, these beautiful questions can be applied immediately to bring about change in your work or your everyday life.
So many of us believe that we are free to shape our own destiny. But what if free will doesn't exist? What if our lives are largely predetermined, hardwired in our brains - and our choices over what we eat, who we fall in love with, even what we believe are not real choices at all? Neuroscience is challenging everything we think we know about ourselves, revealing how we make decisions and form our own reality, unaware of the role of our unconscious minds. Leading neuroscientist Hannah Critchlow draws vividly from everyday life and other experts in their field to show the extraordinary potential, as well as dangers, which come with being able to predict our likely futures - and looking at how we can alter what's in store for us. Lucid, illuminating, awe-inspiring The Science of Fate revolutionises our understanding of who we are - and empowers us to help shape a better future for ourselves and the wider world.
Cognitive Science combines the interdisciplinary streams of cognitive science into a unified narrative in an all-encompassing introduction to the field. This text presents cognitive science as a discipline in its own right, and teaches students to apply the techniques and theories of the cognitive scientist's 'toolkit' - the vast range of methods and tools that cognitive scientists use to study the mind. Thematically organized, rather than by separate disciplines, Cognitive Science underscores the problems and solutions of cognitive science, rather than those of the subjects that contribute to it - psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, etc. The generous use of examples, illustrations, and applications demonstrates how theory is applied to unlock the mysteries of the human mind. Drawing upon cutting-edge research, the text has been updated and enhanced to incorporate new studies and key experiments since the first edition. A new chapter on consciousness has also been added.
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