Your cart is empty
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.
THE MILLION COPY BESTSELLER Fire gave us power. Farming made us hungry for more. Money gave us purpose. Science made us deadly. This is the thrilling account of our extraordinary history - from insignificant apes to rulers of the world. 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
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.
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.
How an unknown German and an Englishman on opposite sides of WWI created a scientific revolution In 1916, Arthur Eddington, a war-weary British astronomer, opened a letter written by an obscure German professor named Einstein. The neatly printed equations on the scrap of paper outlined his world-changing theory of general relativity. Until then, Einstein's masterpiece of time and space had been trapped behind the physical and ideological lines of battle, unknown. Many Britons were rejecting anything German, but Eddington realized the importance of the letter: perhaps Einstein's esoteric theory could not only change the foundations of science but also lead to international co-operation in a time of brutal war. Few recognize how the Great War, the industrialized slaughter that bled Europe from 1914 to 1918, shaped Einstein's life and work. While Einstein never held a rifle, he formulated general relativity blockaded in Berlin, literally starving. His name is now synonymous with 'genius', but it was not an easy road. This was, after all, the first complete revision of our conception of the universe since Isaac Newton. Its victory was far from sure. Einstein spent a decade creating relativity and his ascent to global celebrity, which saw him on front pages around the world, also owed much to against-the-odds international collaboration, including Eddington's crucial, globe-spanning expedition of 1919 - which was still two years before they finally met - to catch a fleeting solar eclipse for a rare opportunity to confirm Einstein's bold prediction that light has weight. We usually think of scientific discovery as a flash of individual inspiration, but here we see it is the result of hard work, gambles and wrong turns. Einstein's War is a celebration of how bigotry and nationalism can be defeated and of what science can offer when they are. Using previously unknown sources and written like a thriller, it sheds light on science through history: we see relativity built brick-by-brick in front of us, as it happened 100 years ago.
The highly anticipated new book from Malcolm Gladwell, No.1 international bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw and David and Goliath.
In July 2015, a young black woman named Sandra Bland was pulled over for a minor traffic violation in rural Texas. Minutes later she was arrested and jailed. Three days later, she committed suicide in her cell. What went wrong? Talking To Strangers is all about what happens when we encounter people we don't know, why it often goes awry, and what it says about us. How do we make sense of the unfamiliar? Why are we so bad at judging someone, reading a face, or detecting a lie? Why do we so often fail to 'get' other people? Through a series of puzzles, encounters and misunderstandings, from little-known stories to infamous legal cases, Gladwell takes us on a journey through the unexpected.
You will read about the spy who spent years undetected at the highest levels of the Pentagon, the man who saw through the fraudster Bernie Madoff, the suicide of the poet Sylvia Plath and the false conviction of Amanda Knox. You will discover that strangers are never simple.
No one shows us who we are like Malcolm Gladwell. Here he sets out to understand why we act the way we do, and how we all might know a little more about those we don't.
An enchanting biography of the most resonant - and most necessary - chemical element on Earth. Carbon. It's in the fibres in your hair, the timbers in your walls, the food that you eat and the air that you breathe. It's worth billions as a luxury and half a trillion as a necessity, but there are still mysteries yet 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? With sparkling prose and engaging narrative, earth scientist Robert Hazen leads us on a vibrant journey through the origin and evolution of life's most ubiquitous element. The story unfolds in four movements - Earth, Air, Fire and Water - and transports us through 14 billion years of cosmic history. From the outer reaches of the universe to the cliffs of Scotland and into the precious-metal mines of Namibia, Symphony in C is a sweeping chronicle of carbon: the most essential element on Earth.
A cutting-edge examination of what it means to be human and to have a 'self' in the face of new scientific developments in genetic editing, cloning and neural downloading. After seeing his own cells used to grow clumps of new neurons - essentially mini-brains - Philip Ball begins to examine the concepts of identity and consciousness. Delving into humanity's deep evolutionary past to look at how complex creatures like us emerged from single-celled life, he offers a new perspective on how humans think about ourselves. In an age when we are increasingly encouraged to regard the 'self' as an abstract sequence of genetic information, or as a pattern of neural activity that might be 'downloaded' to a computer, he return us to the body - to flesh and blood - and anchors a conception of personhood in this unique and ephemeral mortal coil. How to Build a Human brings us back to ourselves - but in doing so, it challenges old preconceptions and values. It asks us to rethink how we exist in the world.
`Roundly debunks racism's core lie - that inequality is to do with genetics, rather than political power' Reni Eddo-Lodge For millennia, dominant societies have had the habit of believing their own people to be the best, deep down: the more powerful they become, the more power begins to be framed as natural, as well as cultural. When you see how power has shaped the idea of race, then you can start to understand its meaning. In the twenty-first century, we like to believe that we have moved beyond scientific racism, that most people accept race as a social construct, not a biological one. But race science is experiencing a revival, fuelled by the misuse of science by certain political groups. Even well-intentioned scientists, through their use of racial categories in genetics and medicine, betray their suspicion that race has some basis in biology. In truth, it is no more real than it was hundreds of years ago, when our racial hierarchies were devised by those in power. In Superior, award-winning author Angela Saini explores the concept of race, from its origins to the present day. Engaging with geneticists, anthropologists, historians and social scientists from across the globe, Superior is a rigorous, much needed examination of the insidious and destructive nature of race science.
'Mind-blowing ... It is a hugely important book ... His story is crucial' Matt Ridley, The Times One of the world's top behavioural geneticists argues that we need a radical rethink about what makes us who we are The blueprint for our individuality lies in the 1% of DNA that differs between people. Our intellectual capacity, our introversion or extraversion, our vulnerability to mental illness, even whether we are a morning person - all of these aspects of our personality are profoundly shaped by our inherited DNA differences. In Blueprint, Robert Plomin, a pioneer in the field of behavioural genetics, draws on a lifetime's worth of research to make the case that DNA is the most important factor shaping who we are. Our families, schools and the environment around us are important, but they are not as influential as our genes. This is why, he argues, teachers and parents should accept children for who they are, rather than trying to mould them in certain directions. Even the environments we choose and the signal events that impact our lives, from divorce to addiction, are influenced by our genetic predispositions. Now, thanks to the DNA revolution, it is becoming possible to predict who we will become, at birth, from our DNA alone. As Plomin shows us, these developments have sweeping implications for how we think about parenting, education, and social mobility. A game-changing book by a leader in the field, Blueprint shows how the DNA present in the single cell with which we all begin our lives can impact our behaviour as adults.
The first edition of Darryl Cunningham's Science Tales was published in 2012 and shortlisted for the British Comics Awards: Best Book. It was updated in 2013 to include a new chapter on fracking. This new paperback edition unites it as a series with Darryl Cunningham's other best selling titles with Myriad: Graphic Science and Supercrash. They will be joined in November 2019 by Cunningham's latest graphic expose, Billionaires. A graphic milestone of investigative reporting, Cunningham's essays explode the lies, hoaxes and scams of popular science, debunking media myths and decoding some of today's most fiercely-debated issues: climate change, electroconvulsive therapy, the moon landing, the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine, homeopathy, chiropractic, evolution, science denialism and fracking. Thoroughly researched and sourced, Cunningham's clear narrative, graphic lines and photographic illustration explain complicated and controversial issues with deceptive ease. Shortly available in a new flapped paperback edition, along with Cunningham's other best-selling books, Supercrash and Graphic Science.
By the author of the best-selling, prize-winning Stuff Matters 'A truly delightful read' Jim Al-Khalili, author of Paradox 'Exciting, anarchic and surprising' Katy Guest, The Guardian This fascinating new book by the bestselling scientist and engineer Mark Miodownik is an expert tour of the world of the droplets, heartbeats and ocean waves that we come across every day. Structured around a plane journey which sees encounters with substances from water and glue to coffee and wine, he shows how these liquids can bring death and destruction as well as wonder and fascination. From Laszlo Biro's revolutionary pen and Abraham Gesner's kerosene to cutting-edge research on self-repairing roads and liquid computers, Miodownik uses his winning formula of scientific storytelling to bring the everyday to life. He reveals why liquids can flow up a tree but down a hill, why oil is sticky, how waves can travel so far, and how to make the perfect cup of tea. Here are the secret lives of substances that we rely on but rarely understand. 'An exhilarating, eye-opening ride' Philip Ball, science writer and author of H2O 'A thrilling read, from start to finish' Tim Radford, author of The Consolations of Physics
What if we're living inside a black hole? What if we've already found extraterrestrial life? What if the dinosaurs died in a nuclear war? What if Jesus Christ was actually a mushroom? In Psychedelic Apes, bestselling author Alex Boese will delve into the curious scientific subculture of weird theories. Thoroughly bizarre and contrary to the established norm, these ideas are often vehemently rejected by the intellectual community. From the creation of the universe to the evolution of humans, the birth of civilization right through to our more recent past, Psychedelic Apes explores some of the craziest ideas from science and history and shows that, sometimes, even the weirdest theories may be proved true . . .
The 50 most thought-provoking theories of life, each explained in half a minute. 30-Second Biology tackles the vital science of life, dissecting the 50 most thought-provoking theories of our ecosystem and ourselves. 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. 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. An internationally bestselling series presents essential concepts in a mere 30 seconds, 300 words, and one image; The 50 most important ideas and innovations in biology dissected and explained clearly without the clutter; The fastest way to learn about cells, reproduction, animals, plants, evolution and ecosystems.
**The First Ever Maths Book to be a No.1 Bestseller** 'Wonderful ... superb' Daily Mail What makes a bridge wobble when it's not meant to? Billions of dollars mysteriously vanish into thin air? A building rock when its resonant frequency matches a gym class leaping to Snap's 1990 hit I've Got The Power? The answer is maths. Or, to be precise, what happens when maths goes wrong in the real world. As Matt Parker shows us, our modern lives are built on maths: computer programmes, finance, engineering. And most of the time this maths works quietly behind the scenes, until ... it doesn't. Exploring and explaining a litany of glitches, near-misses and mishaps involving the internet, big data, elections, street signs, lotteries, the Roman empire and a hapless Olympic shooting team, Matt Parker shows us the bizarre ways maths trips us up, and what this reveals about its essential place in our world. Mathematics doesn't have good 'people skills', but we would all be better off, he argues, if we saw it as a practical ally. This book shows how, by making maths our friend, we can learn from its pitfalls. It also contains puzzles, challenges, geometric socks, jokes about binary code and three deliberate mistakes. Getting it wrong has never been more fun.
'Reading [Tell Me What You Want] may be the best thing you ever do for your sex life, your relationships and your self-acceptance' - Geoffrey Miller, author of The Mating Mind, Spent, and Mate What do we really want when it comes to sex? How can we break the barriers that prevent us from communicating about our desires? Justin J. Lehmiller, a leading expert on human sexuality and author of the popular blog Sex and Psychology, has made it his career's ambition to answer these questions. Based on his monumental two-year study of sexual fantasies involving more than 4,000 people from all walks of life, Tell Me What You Want offers an unprecedented look into our fantasy worlds and what they reveal about us. It will help you to understand your own sexual desires and how to attain them within your relationships, but also to appreciate why your partner may have sexual proclivities that are so different from your own. Appreciating the incredible diversity of human sexual desire and why this diversity exists in the first place can help you to overcome distress, anxiety and shame about your own sexual fantasies; ultimately enhancing your sex life. Breaking down barriers to discussing sexual fantasies and allowing them to become a part your sexual reality is the pathway to maintaining more satisfying relationships.
What robot and AI systems are being built and imagined right now? What do they say about us, their creators? Will they usher in a fantastic new future, or destroy us? What do some of our greatest thinkers, from physicist Brian Greene and futurist Kevin Kelly to inventor Dean Kamen, geneticist George Church, and filmmaker Tiffany Shlain, anticipate for our human-robot future? For even as robots and AI intrigue us and make us anxious about the future, our fascination with robots has always been about more than the potential of the technology - it's also about what robots tell us about being human. From present-day Facebook and Amazon bots to near-future 'intimacy' bots and 'the robot that stole my job' bots, bestselling American popular science writer David Ewing Duncan's Talking to Robots is a wonderfully entertaining and insightful guide to possible future scenarios about robots, both real and imagined. These scenarios are informed by interviews with actual engineers, scientists, artists, philosophers, futurists and others, who share with us their ideas, hopes and fears about robots. In the future, we will all remember when the robots truly arrived. Perhaps a robot surgeon saved your child's life, or maybe your inaugural robot moment will be more banal, when you realised with relief that the machines had taken over all the tasks you used to hate - taking out the rubbish, changing nappies, paying bills . . . Perhaps your recollection will be less benign, a memory of when a robot turned against you: the robot that threatened to seize your assets over a tax dispute. You might also remember when the robots began campaigning for equal rights with humans, and for an end to robot slavery, abuse and exploitation. Or when robots became so smart that they became our benign overlords, treating us like cute and not very bright pets. Or when the robots grew tired of us and decided to destroy us, turning our own robo-powered weapons of mass destruction against us. Further into the future we will remember when robots became organic, created in a lab from living tissue to look and be just like us, only better and more resilient. Even further in the future, we will recall when we first had the option of becoming robots ourselves, by downloading our minds into organic-engineered beings that could theoretically live forever. And yet . . . will we feel that something is missing as the millennia pass? Will we grow weary of being robots, invulnerable and immortal? Mostly we love our technology as it whisks us across and over continents and oceans at 35,000 feet, or summons us rides in someone else's Prius or connects us online to long-lost friends. Yet deep down, many of us fear that a robo-Apocalypse is all too possible. We seem obsessed with robots, as we embrace contrasting visions of robo-utopia and robo-dystopia that titillate, bring hope and scare the hell out of us.
Every physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity's finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr's students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favoured practical experiments over philosophical arguments. As a result, questioning the status quo long meant professional ruin. And yet, from the 1920s to today, physicists like John Bell, David Bohm, and Hugh Everett persisted in seeking the true meaning of quantum mechanics. What is Real? is the gripping story of this battle of ideas and the courageous scientists who dared to stand up for truth.
A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR The No.1 bestselling author of The Future of the Mind brings us a stunning new vision of our future in space Human civilization is on the verge of living beyond Earth. But how will it happen? World-renowned physicist Michio Kaku takes us on a journey to the future, introducing the mind-boggling developments in robotics, nanotechnology and biotechnology that will one day enable us to make our homes among the stars. 'With admirable clarity and ease, Kaku explains how we might colonize not only Mars but some of the rocky moons of the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn . . . The book has an infectious, can-do enthusiasm' Steven Poole, The Wall Street Journal 'Kaku grounds his readers in science happening right now, while throwing open the windows to imagine where it might lead in a thousand years' Adam Frank, The New York Times Book Review 'Kaku is an international treasure and a man of infectious enthusiasm' The Times
Darwin's theory of evolution was a monumental achievement, but there was much he did not know. In his `survival of the fittest' model each step must go forward, life always progressing up the slope towards an evolutionary peak. There is no turning back. So what happens when there is more than one slope, and life finds itself on the wrong one? World-leading biologist Andreas Wagner reveals that life does not, as Darwin believed, only walk - it also leaps. Drawing on pioneering research, Wagner explores life's creative process and how it bears a striking resemblance to how we humans work. A beguiling symmetry links Picasso struggling through forty versions of Guernica and the way evolution transformed a dinosaur's claw into a condor's wing. This new understanding is already revolutionising our approach to problem-solving across the sciences. In the near future, applied in spheres as diverse as the economy and education, it will enable us to do so much more. Thought-provoking and deeply hopeful, Life Finds a Way reminds us that no matter how many times we have to turn back, we can still reach the highest peaks.
The third volume in Leonard Susskind's one-of-a-kind physics series cracks open Einstein's special relativity and field theory In the first two books in his wildly popular The Theoretical Minimum series, world-class physicist Leonard Susskind provided a brilliant first course in classical and quantum mechanics, offering readers not an oversimplified introduction, but the real thing - everything you need to start doing physics, and nothing more. Now, thankfully, Susskind and his former student Art Friedman are back, this time to introduce readers to special relativity and classical field theory. At last, waves, forces and particles will be demystified. Using their typical brand of relatively simple maths, enlightening sketches and the same fictional counterparts, Art and Lenny, Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory takes us on an enlightening journey through a world now governed by the laws of special relativity. Starting in their new watering hole, Hermann's Hideaway, with a lesson on relativity, Art and Lenny walk us through the complexities of Einstein's famous theory. Combining rigor with humour, Susskind and Friedman guarantee that Special Relativity and Classical Field Theory will become part of the reader's physics toolbox.
'This is an important book. You can't understand the radical cheapening of food, with all its unpleasant effects, for farm animals and our most cherished rural landscapes, until you begin to understand the industrialisation of chicken. Industrial chicken is now displacing many more sustainable farming systems, driving them out of business. This book explains how that happened and why we should all be worried about it and demand change' James Rebanks, author of The Shepherd's Life Plucked! examines everything that has gone wrong in the modern agricultural system: overuse of antibiotics, threats to the environment, violations of animal welfare, destruction of farming communities, disruption of international trade and delivery of over-processed, obesity-promoting, nutritionally hollow food. Drawing on years of research into the 'big chicken' industry, acclaimed science writer Maryn McKenna uncovers the people searching for solutions and seeking to return chicken to a sustainable and honoured place on our plate and asking whether, with reform, chicken can safely feed the world. Rich with characters who together propelled the story of chicken's unintended consequences, Plucked! will reveal how the antibiotic era created modern agriculture. It is an eye-opening exploration of how the world's most popular meat came to define so much more than just chicken nuggets.
The genetic history of the dog is a sensational example of the co-evolution of two species, man and wolf, to each other's mutual benefit. But how did this ancient partnership begin? To answer this question, Professor Bryan Sykes identifies tantalising clues in the recently mapped genetic makeup of both species. Sykes paints a vivid picture of the dog as an ancient and essential ally. While undoubtedly it was the mastery of fire, language and agriculture that propelled Homo sapiens from a scarce, medium-sized primate to the position we enjoy today, Sykes crucially credits a fourth element for this success: the transformation of the wolf into the multi-purpose helpmate that is the dog. Drawing upon archaeology, history and genetics, Sykes shows how humans evolved to become the dominant species on Earth, but only with the help of our canine companions.
You may like...
Dava Sobel Paperback
The Astronaut Selection Test Book - Do…
Tim Peake, The European Space Agency Paperback (1)
The Order of Time
Carlo Rovelli Paperback (1)
Science - A History in 100 Experiments
John Gribbin Hardcover (1)
The Code Book - The Secret History of…
Simon Singh Paperback (3)
Homage to Gaia - The Life of an…
James Lovelock Paperback (1)
Every Breath You Take - A User's Guide…
Mark Broomfield Paperback (1)
Homo Deus - A Brief History of Tomorrow
Yuval Noah Harari Paperback (2)
18 Miles - The Epic Drama of the…
Christopher Dewdney Hardcover (1)
Brief Answers to the Big Questions
Stephen Hawking Hardcover (1)