Cyril Aydon - A Brief Guide to Charles Darwin - Little, Brown Book Group

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A Brief Guide to Charles Darwin

By Cyril Aydon

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

The highly-acclaimed introduction to the life and ideas of the father of Evolution from the author of best selling The Story of Man and Scientific Curiosities

Charles Darwin has become one of the most important men in history. The quiet, unsure polymath who avoided confrontation, ensconced in his family home at Down House in Kent, was also a revolutionary who developed his idea of Natural Selection in isolation. Cyril Aydon's short biography is considered one of the best introductions to the life and ideas of Darwin.

With Darwin's legacy still in contention and the forthcoming anniversary of the publication of The Origins Species, Aydon's book is a perfect guide to the ideas as well as the man who was recently voted one of the greatest Britons of all time, and certainly one of the most influential thinkers ever.

Biographical Notes

Cyril Aydon is the author of internationally acclaimed Scientific Curiosities and The Story of Man. He lives in Reading.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781472107534
  • Publication date: 07 Feb 2013
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Robinson
A marvelous and immensely readable introduction to both the man and his ideas. — Good Book Guide
A shrewd guide to the life of a scientific genius. — BBC History Magazine
Aydon has given an accurate and engaging account of Darwin's life... — Country Illustrated
A masterly introduction to the world of Charles Darwin — - - Professor Ernst Mayr, Harvard University
Robinson

Stranger in the Mirror

Robert Levine
Authors:
Robert Levine
Robinson

Talk

Elizabeth Stokoe
Authors:
Elizabeth Stokoe

We spend much of our days talking. Yet we know little about the conversational engine that drives our everyday lives. We are pushed and pulled around by language far more than we realize, yet are seduced by stereotypes and myths about communication.This book will change the way you think about talk. It will explain the big pay-offs to understanding conversation scientifically. Elizabeth Stokoe, a social psychologist, has spent over twenty years collecting and analysing real conversations across settings as varied as first dates, crisis negotiation, sales encounters and medical communication. This book describes some of the findings of her own research, and that of other conversation analysts around the world. Through numerous examples from real interactions between friends, partners, colleagues, police officers, mediators, doctors and many others, you will learn that some of what you think you know about talk is wrong. But you will also uncover fresh insights about how to have better conversations - using the evidence from fifty years of research about the science of talk.

Hachette Audio

The Anxiety Epidemic

Graham Davey
Authors:
Graham Davey
Robinson

Rule Makers, Rule Breakers

Michele J. Gelfand
Authors:
Michele J. Gelfand

"A groundbreaking analysis of what used to be an impenetrable mystery: how and why do cultures differ? Gelfand shows that a wide range of divides of class, culture, and coalition are traceable to an intriguing source. Anyone interested in our cultural divides will find tremendous insight in Rule Makers, Rule Breakers." - Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment NowWhy are clocks in Germany always correct, while those in Brazil are frequently wrong? Why are Singaporeans jailed for selling gum? Why do women in New Zealand have three times the sex of females worldwide? Why was the Daimler-Chrysler merger ill-fated from the start? And why does each generation of Americans give their kids weirder and weirder names? Curious about the answers to these and other questions, award-winning social psychologist Michele Gelfand has spent two decades studying both tight societies (with clearly stated rules and codes of ethics) and loose societies (more informal communities with weak or ambiguous norms). Putting each under the microscope, she conducted research in more than fifty countries and collaborated with political scientists, neuroscientists, computer scientists, anthropologists, and archaeologists. Her fascinating conclusion: behaviour seems largely dependent on perceived threats. It's why certain nations seem predisposed to tangle with others; some American states identify as "Red" and others as "Blue"; and those attending a sports contest, health club, or school function behave in prescribed ways. Rule Makers, Rule Breakers reveals how to predict national variations around the globe, why some leaders innovate and others don't, and even how a tight vs. loose system can determine happiness. Consistently riveting and always illuminating, Michele Gelfand's book helps us understand how a single cultural trait dramatically affects even the smallest aspects of our lives."Fascinating and profound...It's quite possibly this year's best book on culture." Roy F. Baumeister, bestselling co-author of Willpower and author of The Cultural Animal"This brilliant book is full of well-documented insights that will change the way you look at yourself and at the world around you." Barry Schwartz, bestselling author of The Paradox of Choice, Practical Wisdom, and Why We Work

Robinson

The Disordered Mind

Eric R. Kandel
Authors:
Eric R. Kandel

'[Kandel's discoveries] have truly changed our understanding of brain function' - Citation for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine'[Eric Kandel is] one of the preeminent neuroscientists in the world' - Sue Halpern, The New York Review of Books Neurological and psychiatric disorders have long been regarded as fundamentally different, depending on whether they appear to affect the brain or the mind. In reality, the brain and the mind are inseparable. Both types of disorder can affect every aspect of brain function: from perception, action, memory and emotion to empathy, social interaction, attention and consciousness. It is easy to view brain disorders as simply tragic or frightening. However, studying where these functions go wrong provides a window on the workings of the healthy brain, and makes it more likely that scientists and clinicians will be able to develop effective treatments or preventative strategies. As individuals, and as a society, we are also able to better empathise with people with disorders of the mind.Building on his pioneering research, Eric R. Kandel illustrates how breakthrough studies of brain disruptions can deepen our understanding of thought, feeling, behaviour, memory and creativity, and perhaps in the future will transform medical care and lead to the development of a unified theory of mind.

Piatkus

Oestrogen Matters

Dr Avrum Bluming, Carol Tavris PhD
Authors:
Dr Avrum Bluming, Carol Tavris PhD

'I believe it is an ethical imperative for all clinicians who treat women in menopause or women with breast cancer to alert their patients to this book' Michael Baum, MD, Professor Emeritus of Surgery and visiting professor of Medical Humanities, University College London'A thorough, careful and unbiased assessment . . . This extremely valuable message deserves to be widely disseminated' Lord Turnberg, former President of the Royal College of PhysiciansA compelling defence of hormone replacement therapy, exposing the faulty science behind its fall from prominence and empowering readers to make informed decisions about their health. For years, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was hailed as a miracle. Study after study showed that HRT, if initiated at the onset of menopause, could ease symptoms ranging from hot flushes to memory loss; reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, and some cancers; and even extend a woman's overall life expectancy. But when a large study by the Women's Health Initiative announced results showing an uptick in breast cancer among women taking HRT, the winds shifted abruptly, and HRT, officially deemed a carcinogen, was abandoned.Now, sixteen years after HRT was left for dead, Dr Bluming, a medical oncologist, and Dr Tavris, a social psychologist, track its strange history and present a compelling case for its resurrection. They investigate what led the public -- and much of the medical establishment -- to accept the Women's Health Initiative's often exaggerated claims, while also providing a fuller picture of the science that supports HRT. A sobering and revelatory read, Oestrogen Matters sets the record straight on this beneficial treatment and provides an empowering path to wellness for women everywhere.

Robinson

Elemental

Tim James
Authors:
Tim James

The Universe came into being 13.8 billion years ago. At this point, all of existence could be summed up as an endless soup of particles frothing at temperatures many times hotter than the Sun. It was chaos. Fortunately, as the Universe expanded, everything began to cool and the particles stabilised. It was around this time, as disorder gave way to order, that the elements were born. Fast forward to June 2016 and the periodic table of elements was finally completed with the discovery and addition of four new elements. At last we could identify all the ingredients necessary to make a world. But it doesn't stop there. Human ingenuity knows no bounds; we have even begun to invent our own elements and have created an entire science devoted to their study: chemistry. When it comes to chemistry, Tim James knows his stuff. In Elemental he tells the story of the periodic table from its ancient Greek roots, when you could count the number of elements humans were aware of on one hand, to the modern alchemists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, who have used nuclear chemistry and physics to generate new elements and complete the periodic table. In addition to this, James answers questions such as: What is the chemical symbol for a human?What would happen if all of the elements were mixed together?How many bananas can you stand next to before you die of radiation sickness?Which liquid can teleport through walls?Why is the medieval dream of transmuting lead into gold now a reality?

Piatkus

Your Superstar Brain

Kaja Nordengen
Authors:
Kaja Nordengen
Robinson

Mismatch

Ronald Giphart, Mark van Vugt
Authors:
Ronald Giphart, Mark van Vugt
Robinson

Good For Nothing

Abigail Marsh
Authors:
Abigail Marsh
Abacus

Einstein's Greatest Mistake

David Bodanis
Authors:
David Bodanis

Widely considered the greatest genius of all time, Albert Einstein revolutionised our understanding of the cosmos with his general theory of relativity and helped to lead us into the atomic age. Yet in the final decades of his life he was also ignored by most working scientists, his ideas opposed by even his closest friends. This stunning downfall can be traced to Einstein's earliest successes and to personal qualities that were at first his best assets. Einstein's imagination and self-confidence served him well as he sought to reveal the universe's structure, but when it came to newer revelations in the field of quantum mechanics, these same traits undermined his quest for the ultimate truth. David Bodanis traces the arc of Einstein's intellectual development across his professional and personal life, showing how Einstein's confidence in his own powers of intuition proved to be both his greatest strength and his ultimate undoing. He was a fallible genius. An intimate and enlightening biography of the celebrated physicist, Einstein's Greatest Mistake reveals how much we owe Einstein today - and how much more he might have achieved if not for his all-too-human flaws.

Robinson

Can't Just Stop

Sharon Begley
Authors:
Sharon Begley

'Filled with emotionally resonant stories, Can't Just Stop helps us understand not only the underpinnings of some forms of mental illness, but also the everyday worries that drive so much of our behaviour. A fascinating peek into the human mind in our age of anxiety.'David Kessler, author of Capture: Unraveling the Mystery of Mental Suffering Do you check your smartphone continuously for messages? Or perhaps do the weekly shop with military precision? Maybe you always ensure the cutlery is perfectly lined up on the table?Compulsion is something most of us have witnessed in daily life. But compulsions exist along a broad continuum, and at the opposite end of these mild forms are life-altering disorders.Sharon Begley's meticulously researched book is the first of its kind to examine the science behind both mild and extreme compulsive behaviour; using fascinating case studies to understand their deeper meaning and reveal the truth about human compulsion - that it is a coping response to varying degrees of anxiety.Through the personal stories of dozens of interviewees exhibiting behaviours such as OCD, hoarding, compulsive acquiring, exercise or even altruism, Begley employs genuine compassion and gives meaningful context to their plight. Along the way she explores the role of compulsion in our fast paced culture, the neuroscience behind it, and strange manifestations of the behaviour throughout history. Can't Just Stop makes compulsion comprehensible and accessible, exploring how we can realistically grapple with it in ourselves and in those we love.

Sphere

The Mice Who Sing For Sex

Lliana Bird, Jack Lewis
Authors:
Lliana Bird, Jack Lewis

Lliana Bird and Dr Jack Lewis tackle the strange and surreal phenomena from the depths of the oceans to the limits of the far flung universe; the dark corners of your laundry basket to the forgotten compartments of your fridge. Packed with unusual facts and stories of the absurd each of the fascinating insights is told with the Geek Chic team's inimitable humour and wit.An hilarious exploration all things bizarre from the world of science, The Mice Who Sing for Sex takes on weighty issues including heavy metal loving sharks, life-threatening skinny jeans, our impending jellyfish apocalypse and of course, the singing mice of the title.

Constable

A Slice of Pi

Liz Strachan
Authors:
Liz Strachan

A new look at maths without the Boring Bits . . .How many trillions are there in a googol? Which fractions are vulgar? What famous mathematician refused to eat beans? And which one never travelled without his pet spider in an ivory box?Mathematical theorems and equations are inextricably entangled with the great, and often eccentric thinkers who made breakthrough discoveries. Teacher and numbers expert Liz Strachan takes readers beyond the classroom, combining anecdotes, proofs and party tricks to reveal the foundations of algebra, geometry and trigonometry in a clear and entertaining style.From the Difference Engine to magic squares and from the Fibonacci rabbits to Fermat's Last Theorem, this fascinating tour of the weird world of numbers, imaginary, real or infinite, will appeal to anyone with an enquiring mind.

Little, Brown

No Need for Geniuses

Steve Jones
Authors:
Steve Jones
Constable

I Had to Survive

Dr. Roberto Canessa, Pablo Vierci
Authors:
Dr. Roberto Canessa, Pablo Vierci

On 12 October 1972, a Uruguayan Air Force plane carrying members of the 'Old Christians' rugby team (and many of their friends and family members) crashed into the Andes mountains. I Had to Survive offers a gripping and heartrending recollection of the harrowing brink-of-death experience that propelled survivor Roberto Canessa to become one of the world's leading paediatric cardiologists.Canessa, a second-year medical student at the time, tended to his wounded teammates amidst the devastating carnage of the wreck and played a key role in safeguarding his fellow survivors, eventually trekking with a companion across the hostile mountain range for help.This fine line between life and death became the catalyst for the rest of his life.This uplifting tale of hope and determination, solidarity and ingenuity gives vivid insight into a world famous story. Canessa also draws a unique and fascinating parallel between his work as a doctor performing arduous heart surgeries on infants and unborn babies and the difficult life-changing decisions he was forced to make in the Andes. With grace and humanity, Canessa prompts us to ask ourselves: what do you do when all the odds are stacked against you?

Sphere

The Aliens Are Coming!

Ben Miller
Authors:
Ben Miller

Discover the fascinating and cutting-edge science behind the greatest question of all: is there life beyond Earth? For millennia, we have looked up at the stars and wondered whether we are alone in the universe. In the last few years, scientists have made huge strides towards answering that question. In The Aliens are Coming!, comedian and bestselling science writer Ben Miller takes us on a fantastic voyage of discovery, from the beginnings of life on earth to the very latest search for alien intelligence. What soon becomes clear is that the hunt for extra-terrestrials is also an exploration of what we actually mean by life. What do you need to kickstart life? How did the teeming energy of the Big Bang end up as frogs, trees and quantity surveyors? How can evolution provide clues about alien life? What might it look like? (Probably not green and sexy, sadly.) As our probes and manned missions venture out into the solar system, and our telescopes image Earth-like planets with ever-increasing accuracy, our search for alien life has never been more exciting - or better funded. The Aliens are Coming! is a comprehensive, accessible and hugely entertaining guide to that search, and our quest to understand the very nature of life itself.

Robinson

The Social Brain

Richard Crisp
Authors:
Richard Crisp

Is conflict caused by an inherently hostile human nature? Are efforts to promote peaceful co-existence fated to fail? Is the story of human history destined to play out a clash of civilizations?These are the questions framing contemporary debate over diversity, immigration and multiculturalism. The Social Brain provides an entirely new psychological perspective on this debate. It argues that diversity is critical to our very survival as a species; that contact with different cultures was, and is, the essential element that fuels our creativity, innovation and growth. It asserts that diversity was the key to our intellectual evolution and will be integral to helping us tackle the most pressing social, political and economic concerns of our time.The Social Brain ties the origins of the modern mind to the evolution of human society, and provides an entirely new insight into how we can harness the ingenuity and invention that reside within us all.

Robinson

An End To Murder

Colin Wilson, Damon Wilson
Authors:
Colin Wilson, Damon Wilson

Creatively and intellectually there is no other species that has ever come close to equalling humanity's achievements, but nor is any other species as suicidally prone to internecine conflict. We are the only species on the planet whose ingrained habit of conflict constitutes the chief threat to our own survival. Human history can be seen as a catalogue of cold-hearted murders, mindless blood-feuds, appalling massacres and devastating wars, but, with developments in forensic science and modern psychology, and with raised education levels throughout the world, might it soon be possible to reign in humanity's homicidal habits? Falling violent crime statistics in every part of the world seem to indicate that something along those lines might indeed be happening. Colin and Damon Wilson, who between them have been covering the field of criminology for over fifty years, offer an analysis of the overall spectrum of human violence. They consider whether human beings are in reality as cruel and violent as is generally believed and they explore the possibility that humankind is on the verge of a fundamental change: that we are about to become truly civilised. As well as offering an overview of violence throughout our history - from the first hominids to the twenty-first century, touching on key moments of change and also indicating where things have not changed since the Stone Age - they explore the latest psychological, forensic and social attempts to understand and curb modern human violence. To begin with, they examine questions such as: Were the first humans cannibalistic? Did the birth of civilisation also lead to the invention of war and slavery? Priests and kings brought social stability, but were they also the instigators of the first mass murders? Is it in fact wealth that is the ultimate weapon? They look at slavery and ancient Roman sadism, but also the possibility that our own distaste for pain and cruelty is no more than a social construct. They show how the humanitarian ideas of the great religious innovators all too quickly became distorted by organised religious structures. The book ranges widely, from fifteenth-century Baron Gilles de Rais, 'Bluebeard', the first known and possibly most prolific serial killer in history, to Victorian domestic murder and the invention of psychiatry and Sherlock Holmes and the invention of forensic science; from the fifteenth-century Taiping Rebellion in China, in which up to 36 million died to the First and Second World Wars and more recent genocides and instances of 'ethnic cleansing', and contemporary terrorism. They conclude by assessing the very real possibility that the internet and the greater freedom of information it has brought is leading, gradually, to a profoundly more civilised world than at any time in the past.

Constable

They Laughed at Galileo

Albert Jack
Authors:
Albert Jack

From the wireless to the computer, and from hula hoops to interplanetary travel, inventions and discoveries have changed our lifestyles in ways that would have astounded our ancestors. Each of them was originally developed by visionaries who dreamt of the seemingly impossible, but who were opposed by an array of experts publicly declaring that 'It cannot be done.' Well, yes it could . . . And here's the story of how those dreamers overcame the odds against them.