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When was the last time you listened to someone, or someone really listened to you?
This life-changing book will transform your conversations forever
As a society, we’ve forgotten how to listen. Modern life is noisy and frenetic, and technology provides constant distraction. So we tune things out or listen selectively – even to those we love most. We’ve become scared of other people’s points of view, and of silence.
Now more than ever, we need to listen to those around us. New York Times contributor Kate Murphy draws on countless conversations she has had with everyone from priests to CIA interrogators, focus group moderators to bartenders, her great-great aunt to her friend's toddler, to show how only by listening well can we truly connect with others.
Listening is about curiosity and patience – about asking the right questions in the right way. Improvisational comedians and con men are much better at it than most of us. And the cleverest people can be the worst at it. Listening has the potential to transform our relationships and our working lives, improve our self-knowledge, and increase our creativity and happiness. While it may take some effort, it's a skill that can be learnt and perfected.
When all we crave is to understand and be understood, You're Not Listening shows us how.
We live in an age of perfectionism.
Every day, we’re bombarded with the beautiful, successful, slim, socially-conscious and extroverted individual that our culture has decided is the perfect self. We see this person constantly in shop windows, in newspapers, on the television, at the movies and all over our social media. We berate ourselves when we don’t match up to them – when we’re too fat, too old, too poor or too sad. This cycle can be extremely bad for us. In recent years, psychologists have even begun to think that many people take their own lives because of the impossible standards that are set for who they ought to be.
Will Storr began to wonder about this perfect self that torments so many of us. Who, actually, is this person? Why does it hold such power over us? Could it be humanity’s deadliest idea? And, if so, is there any way we can break its spell? To find out, Storr takes us on a journey from the shores of Ancient Greece, through the Christian Middle Ages, the encounter groups of 1960s California and self-esteem evangelists of the late twentieth century to modern-day America, where research suggests today’s young people are in the grip of an epidemic of narcissism. He’ll tell the strange story of the individualist Western self from its birth on the Aegean to the era of hyper-individualistic neoliberalism in which we find ourselves today.
Selfie reveals, for the first time, the epic tale of the person we all know so intimately . . . because it’s us.
When Edwin Hubble looked into his telescope in the 1920s, he was shocked to find that nearly all of the galaxies he could see through it were flying away from one another. If these galaxies had always been travelling, he reasoned, then they must, at some point, have been on top of one another. This discovery transformed the debate about one of the most fundamental questions of human existence - how did the universe begin?
Every society has stories about the origin of the cosmos and its inhabitants, but now, with the power to peer into the early universe and deploy the knowledge gleaned from archaeology, geology, evolutionary biology and cosmology, we are closer than ever to understanding where it all came from. In The Origin of (almost) Everything, New Scientist explores the modern origin stories of everything from the Big Bang, meteorites and dark energy, to dinosaurs, civilisation, timekeeping, belly-button fluff and beyond.
From how complex life evolved on Earth, to the first written language, to how humans conquered space, The Origin of (almost) Everything offers a unique history of the past, present and future of our universe.
From the best-selling, award-winning author of 1491 and 1493--an incisive portrait of the two little-known twentieth-century scientists, Norman Borlaug and William Vogt, whose diametrically opposed views shaped our ideas about the environment, laying the groundwork for how people in the twenty-first century will choose to live in tomorrow's world.
In forty years, Earth's population will reach ten billion. Can our world support that? What kind of world will it be? Those answering these questions generally fall into two deeply divided groups--Wizards and Prophets, as Charles Mann calls them in this balanced, authoritative, nonpolemical new book. The Prophets, he explains, follow William Vogt, a founding environmentalist who believed that in using more than our planet has to give, our prosperity will lead us to ruin. Cut back! was his mantra. Otherwise everyone will lose! The Wizards are the heirs of Norman Borlaug, whose research, in effect, wrangled the world in service to our species to produce modern high-yield crops that then saved millions from starvation. Innovate! was Borlaug's cry. Only in that way can everyone win!
Mann delves into these diverging viewpoints to assess the four great challenges humanity faces--food, water, energy, climate change--grounding each in historical context and weighing the options for the future. With our civilization on the line, the author's insightful analysis is an essential addition to the urgent conversation about how our children will fare on an increasingly crowded Earth.
What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us Sapiens? Yuval Noah Harari challenges everything we know about being human in the perfect read for these unprecedented times.
Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it: us.
In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we’re going.
‘I would recommend Sapiens to anyone who’s interested in the history and future of our species’ Bill Gates
‘Interesting and provocative… It gives you a sense of how briefly we’ve been on this Earth’ Barack Obama
‘We spend our whole lives in one body and yet most of us have practically no idea how it works and what goes on inside it. The idea of the book is simply to try to understand the extraordinary contraption that is us.’
Bill Bryson sets off to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up.
A wonderful successor to A Short History of Nearly Everything, this new book is an instant classic. It will have you marvelling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again.
‘What I learned is that we are infinitely more complex and wondrous, and often more mysterious, than I had ever suspected. There really is no story more amazing than the story of us.’ Bill Bryson
Brilliant but overlooked ideas you must know, as revealed by today’s most innovative minds
What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely known? That is the question John Brockman, publisher of the acclaimed science salon Edge.org (“The world’s smartest website”—The Guardian), presented to 205 of the world’s most influential thinkers from across the intellectual spectrum—award-winning physicists, economists, psychologists, philosophers, novelists, artists, and more. From the origins of the universe to the order of everyday life, This Idea Is Brilliant takes readers on a tour of the bold, exciting, and underappreciated scientific concepts that will enrich every mind.
The humble and industrious dung beetle is a marvellous beast: the 6 000 species identified so far are intricately entwined with human history and scientific endeavour.
These night-soil collectors of the planet have been worshipped as gods, worn as jewellery, and painted by artists. More practically, they saved Hawaii from ecological blight, and rescued Australia from plagues of flies. They fertilise soil, cleanse pastures, steer by the stars, and have a unique relationship with the African elephant (along with many other ungulates). Above all, they are the ideal subject for biological study in an evolving world.
In this sweeping history of more than 3 000 years, beginning with Ancient Egypt, scientist Marcus Byrne and writer, Helen Lunn capture the diversity of dung beetles and their unique behaviour patterns. Dung beetles’ fortunes have followed the shifts from a world dominated by a religion that symbolically incorporated them into some of its key concepts of rebirth, to a world in which science has largely separated itself from religion and alchemy.
With over 6 000 species found throughout the world, these unassuming but remarkable creatures are fundamental to some of humanity’s most cherished beliefs and have been ever present in religion, art, literature, science and the environment. They are at the centre of current gene research, play an important role in keeping our planet healthy, and some nocturnal dung beetles have been found to navigate by the starry skies. Outlining the development of science from the point of view of the humble dung beetle is what makes this charming story of immense interest to general readers and entomologists alike. This entertaining outline of the development of science from the the beetle’s perspective will enchant general readers and entomologists alike.
What are things made of? What is the sun? Why is there night and day, winter and summer? Why do bad things happen? Are we alone? Throughout history people all over the world have invented stories to answer profound questions such as these. Have you heard the tale of how the sun hatched out of an emu's egg? Or what about the great catfish that carries the world on its back? Has anyone ever told you that earthquakes are caused by a sneezing giant? These fantastical myths are fun - but what is the real answer to such questions?
The Magic of Reality, with its explanations of space, time, evolution and more, will inspire and amaze readers of all ages - young adults, adults, children, octogenarians. Teaming up with the renowned illustrator Dave McKean, Richard Dawkins answers all these questions and many more. In stunning words and pictures this book presents the real story of the world around us, taking us on an enthralling journey through scientific reality, and showing that it has an awe-inspiring beauty and thrilling magic which far exceed those of the ancient myths.
We encounter rainbows, our genetic ancestors, tsunamis, shooting stars, plants, animals, and an intriguing cast of characters in this extraordinary scientific voyage of discovery. Richard Dawkins and Dave McKean have created a dazzling celebration of our planet that will entertain and inform for years to come.
A journey through the history and science of epidemics and pandemics – from measles to coronavirus.
For centuries mankind has waged war against the infections that, left untreated, would have the power to wipe out communities, or even entire populations. Yet for all our advanced scientific knowledge, only one human disease – smallpox – has ever been eradicated globally. In recent years, outbreaks of Ebola and Zika have provided vivid examples of how difficult it is to contain an infection once it strikes, and the panic that a rapidly spreading epidemic can ignite.
But while we chase the diseases we are already aware of, new ones are constantly emerging, like the coronavirus that spread across the world in 2020. At the same time, anti-microbial resistance is harnessing infections that we once knew how to control, enabling them to thrive once more.
Meera Senthilingam presents a timely look at humanity’s ongoing battle against infection, examining the successes and failures of the past, along with how we are confronting the challenges of today, and our chances of eradicating disease in the future.
How to Draw a Map is a fascinating meditation on the centuries-old art of map-making, from the first astronomical maps to the sophisticated GPS guides of today. Maps have influenced humanity in many unexpected ways: life, death, sexual reproduction, espionage, war and peace. How to Draw a Map traces the story of mapmaking - cartography - from the first scratchings on the cave wall to the detailed high-tech 'navigator'. This is the story of human conceptions, often misconceptions, of our world. It is also a very personal story about a mapmaker's journey through life - the exciting new perspectives and the occasional misadventures. Over the last 5,000 years societies and empires have risen and fallen; most, if not all, attempt to record their own visions of our world. In the 15th century, Europeans developed a global reach with their oceanic ships, exploring outward into the world, revealing new possibilities, peoples and opportunities. Mapmakers recorded this journey, revealing to us a window into past triumphs and disasters. The story continues into our own day when diplomats carve up our globe, presenting what we now see as the 'modern' world. In How to Draw a Map, father and son cartographers Alexander and Malcolm Swanston demonstrate the skill, creativity and care involved in the timeless art of creating maps - and what these artefacts reveal about the legion of mapmakers who went before us.
`Inferior is more than just a book. It's a battle cry - and right now, it's having a galvanising effect on its core fanbase' Observer Are women more nurturing than men? Are men more promiscuous than women? Are males the naturally dominant sex? And can science give us an impartial answer to these questions? Taking us on an eye-opening journey through science, Inferior challenges our preconceptions about men and women, investigating the ferocious gender wars that burn in biology, psychology and anthropology. Angela Saini revisits the landmark experiments that have informed our understanding, lays bare the problem of bias in research, and speaks to the scientists finally exploring the truth about the female sex. The result is an enlightening and deeply empowering account of women's minds, bodies and evolutionary history. Interrogating what these revelations mean for us as individuals and as a society, Inferior unveils a fresh view of science in which women are included, rather than excluded.
'Brilliant and fascinating. No one is better at making the recondite accessible and exciting' Bill Bryson Britain's most famous mathematician takes us to the edge of knowledge to show us what we cannot know. Is the universe infinite? Do we know what happened before the Big Bang? Where is human consciousness located in the brain? And are there more undiscovered particles out there, beyond the Higgs boson? In the modern world, science is king: weekly headlines proclaim the latest scientific breakthroughs and numerous mathematical problems, once indecipherable, have now been solved. But are there limits to what we can discover about our physical universe? In this very personal journey to the edges of knowledge, Marcus du Sautoy investigates how leading experts in fields from quantum physics and cosmology, to sensory perception and neuroscience, have articulated the current lie of the land. In doing so, he travels to the very boundaries of understanding, questioning contradictory stories and consulting cutting edge data. Is it possible that we will one day know everything? Or are there fields of research that will always lie beyond the bounds of human comprehension? And if so, how do we cope with living in a universe where there are things that will forever transcend our understanding? In What We Cannot Know, Marcus du Sautoy leads us on a thought-provoking expedition to the furthest reaches of modern science. Prepare to be taken to the edge of knowledge to find out if there's anything we truly cannot know.
The Infinite Monkey Cage, the legendary BBC Radio 4 programme, brings you this irreverent celebration of scientific marvels. Join us on a hectic leap through the grand and bizarre ideas conjured up by human imagination, from dark matter to consciousness via neutrinos and earthworms. Professor Brian Cox and Robin Ince muse on multifaceted subjects involved in building a universe, with pearls of wisdom from leading scientists and comedians peppered throughout. Covering billions of concepts and conundrums, they tackle everything from the Big Bang to parallel universes, fierce creatures to extraterrestrial life, brain science to artificial intelligence. How to Build a Universe is an illuminating and inspirational celebration of science - sometimes silly, sometimes astounding and very occasionally facetious.
An enchanting biography of the most resonant - and most necessary - chemical element on Earth. Carbon. It is the building block of every cell that makes up every living thing. It is the essential component of the food we eat, the fuel we burn, the wood we use and the air we breathe. It is worth billions as a luxury and half a trillion as a necessity, but there are still mysteries to be solved about the element that can be both diamond and coal. Where does it come from, what does it do, and why, above all, does life need it? In Symphony in C, leading carbon scientist Robert M. Hazen takes us on a vibrant journey through the origin and evolution of life's most widespread element. The story unfolds in four movements - Earth, Air, Fire and Water - and transports us through nearly 14 billion years of cosmic history, explaining how carbon is formed in the hearts of stars and why all life forms - earthbound or alien - use it as the basis of their biology. Symphony in C is a sweeping chronicle of carbon from its birth amidst the stars to its unknowable life cycle deep within the Earth's core and its role in the evolution of all life in the universe.
From the Bible code to the Voynich manuscript, from subtly altered hieroglyphs carved into ancient Egyptian monuments to clues hidden in Renaissance paintings, we are surrounded by mysterious codes bearing hidden messages from the past. What does it take to write a fail-safe code? What does it take to break one? Taking in the full history of code making, from the scribes of ancient Egypt to modern-day computer programmers, The Story of Codesprovides a fascinating insight into this most secret and mysterious of crafts. It shows just how Julius Caesar obscured the meaning of vital wartime messages using a method of shifting letters and explains the way that Sir Francis Walsingham was able to use coded letter to foil plots against Elizabeth I. It gives an account of the ever-more complicated ciphers that were devised - and cracked - during the Cold War and investigates how codebreaking is being used today to fight crime and terrorism. And it shows you how to decipher codes from all periods of history, including many that are still employed today.
'Another terrific book by Rob Eastaway' SIMON SINGH 'A delightfully accessible guide to how to play with numbers' HANNAH FRY How many cats are there in the world? What's the chance of winning the lottery twice? And just how long does it take to count to a million? Learn how to tackle tricky maths problems with nothing but the back of an envelope, a pencil and some good old-fashioned brain power. Join Rob Eastaway as he takes an entertaining look at how to figure without a calculator. Packed with amusing anecdotes, quizzes, and handy calculation tips for every situation, Maths on the Back of an Envelope is an invaluable introduction to the art of estimation, and a welcome reminder that sometimes our own brain is the best tool we have to deal with numbers.
Worldwide, depression will be the single biggest cause of disability in the next 20 years. But treatment for it has not changed much in the last three decades. In the world of psychiatry, time has apparently stood still... until now. In this game-changing book, Professor Edward Bullmore reveals the breakthrough new science on the link between depression and inflammation. He explains how and why mental disorders can have their roots in the immune system and explores a whole new way of looking at how mind, brain and body all work together in a sometimes misguided effort to help us survive in a hostile world.
The Sunday Times Bestseller In Wonders of the Solar System - the book of the acclaimed BBC TV series - Professor Brian Cox will take us on a journey of discovery where alien worlds from your imagination become places we can see, feel and visit. The Wonders of the Solar System - from the giant ice fountains of Enceladus to the liquid methane seas of Titan and from storms twice the size of the Earth to the tortured moon of Io with its giant super-volcanoes - is the Solar System as you have never seen it before. In this series, Professor Brian Cox will introduce us to the planets and moons beyond our world, finding the biggest, most bizarre, most powerful natural phenomena. Using the latest scientific imagery along with cutting edge CGI and some of the most spectacular and extreme locations on Earth, Brian will show us Wonders never thought possible. Employing his trademark clear, authoritative, yet down-to-earth approach, Brian will explore how these previously unseen phenomena have dramatically expanded our horizons with new discoveries about the planets, their moons and how they came to be the way they are.
Psychology: 50 Ideas in 500 Words sheds light on these and other crucial questions by examining the ideas and work of fifty of the world's greatest psychologists. From B. F. Skinner to Noam Chomsky, Sigmund Freud to Abraham Maslow, this beautifully concise, richly informative little book discusses the ideas and experiments that have defined the course of psychology as it has developed over the last 150 years. Beginning with psychology's iconic founders, Wundt and William James, and concluding with features on contemporary psychiatrists, Aaron Beck and Robin Murray, the guide is presented chronologically, giving readers a distinct sense of the development of psychology and a coherent overview of the field.
Congratulations! You're the proud owner of the most complex information processing device in the known universe. The human brain comes equipped with all sorts of useful design features, but also many bugs and weaknesses. Problem is you don't get an owner's manual. You have to just plug and play. As a result, most of us never properly understand how our brains work and what they're truly capable of. We fail get the best out of them, ignore some of their most useful features and struggle to overcome their design faults. Featuring witty essays, enlightening infographics and fascinating 'try this at home' experiments, New Scientist take you on a journey through intelligence, memory, creativity, the unconscious and beyond. From the strange ways to distort what we think of as 'reality' to the brain hacks that can improve memory, The Brain: A User's Guide will help you understand your brain and show you how to use it to its full potential.
30-Second Biology presents the 50 most thought-provoking theories of our ecosystem and ourselves, each explained in half a minute. At a time when discoveries in DNA allow us to feel more connected than ever to the natural world, this is the fastest route to an understanding of the tree of life. This book dissects the hot topics of biological science, delving into the 50 most significant theories and developments that have shaped our understanding of the world around us: * Life on earth * Genes * Growth and reproduction * Energy and nutrition * Evolution * Ecology Whether you're dipping into the gene pool, unlocking cells or conversing on biodiversity, this is all the knowledge you need to bring life to the dinner-party debate. If you like this, you might also be interested in 30-Second Anatomy,30-Second Ecologyand 30-Second Evolution.
'It is hard to imagine a more timely book ... much of the modern world will make more sense having read it.' The Times
'Brilliant and authoritative' - Alex Bellos, author of Alex's Adventures in Numberland
A deadly virus suddenly explodes into the population. A political movement gathers pace, and then quickly vanishes. An idea takes off like wildfire, changing our world forever. We live in a world that's more interconnected than ever before. Our lives are shaped by outbreaks - of disease, of misinformation, even of violence - that appear, spread and fade away with bewildering speed. To understand them, we need to learn the hidden laws that govern them. From 'superspreaders' who might spark a pandemic or bring down a financial system to the social dynamics that make loneliness catch on, The Rules of Contagion offers compelling insights into human behaviour and explains how we can get better at predicting what happens next.
Along the way, Adam Kucharski explores how innovations spread through friendship networks, what links computer viruses with folk stories - and why the most useful predictions aren't necessarily the ones that come true.
From Galileo’s stargazing to quantum teleportation, from Newton’s experiments with optics to the splitting of the atom, Schrödinger’s Cat tells the story of natural science through fifty of its greatest experiments.
Featuring engaging writing and clear explanations, Schrödinger’s Cat introduces the reader to the scientific experiments that have changed the world. In each case, the experimental procedure is fully described, and the results and implications are carefully considered, allowing the reader to g ain a strong sense of the process and methodology of scientific investigation.
Albert Einstein was an unparalleled scientific genius whose ideas and theories were so shockingly revolutionary, he changed the way the Universe was imagined on multiple occasions. A prodigy in his 20s and a Nobel Prize winner, Einstein was not only a brilliant physicist, but also a human rights campaigner, a political activist and the iconic archetype of the mad professor that still leads to our obsession with the man behind the world's most famous equation, E=mc2 30-Second Einstein provides you with a day in the company of a colossus from the world of science, and you will soon have his whole story - both his scientific attainments and his extraordinary life - in your head. With each page packed full of essential information, the 50 engaging entries get you to grips with his work, life and legacy, from atom to atomic bomb, at approximately the speed of light.
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