Thomas Crump - A Brief History of Science - Little, Brown Book Group

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Books in this series

A Brief History of Science

through the development of scientific instruments

By Thomas Crump

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

A fascinating exploration of scientific advances

From earliest pre-history, with the dawning understanding of fire and its many uses, up to the astonishing advances of the twenty-first century, Thomas Crump traces the ever more sophisticated means employed in our attempts to understand the universe. The result is a vigorous and readable account of how our curious nature has continually pushed forward the frontiers of science and, as a consequence, human civilization.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781841195520
  • Publication date: 26 Sep 2002
  • Page count: 464
  • Imprint: Robinson
Abacus

Superhuman

Rowan Hooper
Authors:
Rowan Hooper

This is a book about what it feels like to be exceptional - and what it takes to get there. Why can some people achieve greatness when others can't, no matter how hard they try? What are the secrets of long life and happiness? Just how much potential does our species have?In this inspirational book, New Scientist Managing Editor Rowan Hooper takes us on a tour of the peaks of human achievement. We sit down with some of the world's finest minds, from a Nobel-prize winning scientist to a double Booker-prize winning author; we meet people whose power of focus has been the difference between a world record and death; we learn from international opera stars; we go back in time with memory champions, and we explore the transcendent experience of ultrarunners. We meet people who have rebounded from near-death, those who have demonstrated exceptional bravery, and those who have found happiness in the most unexpected ways.Drawing on interviews with a wide range of superhumans as well as those who study them, Hooper assesses the science of peak potential, reviewing the role of genetics alongside the famed 10,000 hours of practice.For anyone who ever felt that they might be able to do something extraordinary in life, for those who simply want to succeed, and for anyone interested in incredible human stories, Superhuman is a must-read.

Robinson

Ten Women Who Changed Science, and the World

Catherine Whitlock, Rhodri Evans
Authors:
Catherine Whitlock, Rhodri Evans

With a foreword by Athene Donald, Professor of Experimental Physics, University of Cambridge and Master of Churchill College.Ten Women Who Changed Science tells the moving stories of the physicists, biologists, chemists, astronomers and doctors who helped to shape our world with their extraordinary breakthroughs and inventions, and outlines their remarkable achievements.These scientists overcame significant obstacles, often simply because they were women their science and their lives were driven by personal tragedies and shaped by seismic world events. What drove these remarkable women to cure previously incurable diseases, disprove existing theories or discover new sources of energy? Some were rewarded with the Nobel Prize for their pioneering achievements - Madame Curie, twice - others were not and, even if they had, many are not household names.Despite living during periods when the contribution of women was disregarded, if not ignored, these resilient women persevered with their research, whether creating life-saving drugs or expanding our knowledge of the cosmos. By daring to ask 'How?' and 'Why?' and persevering against the odds, each of these women, in a variety of ways, has made the world a better place.AstronomyHenrietta Leavitt (United States of America) (1868-1921) - discovered the period-luminosity relation(ship) for Cepheid variable stars, which enabled us to measure the size of our Galaxy and the Universe.PhysicsLise Meitner (Austria) (1878-1968) - fled Nazi Germany in 1938, taking with her the experimental results which showed that she and Otto Hahn had split the nucleus and discovered nuclear fission. Chien-Shiung Wu (United States of America) (1912-1997) - Chinese-American who disproved one of the most accepted 'laws of nature', that not all processes can be mirrored. She showed that the 'law of parity', the idea that a left-spinning and right-spinning sub-atomic particle would behave identically, was wrong.ChemistryMarie Curie (France) (1867-1934) - the only person in history to have won Nobel prizes in two different fields of science. Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (United Kingdom) (1910-1994) - British chemist who won the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 1964. Among the most prominent of a generation of great protein crystallographers. The field was revolutionized under her. She pioneered the X-ray study of large molecules of biochemical importance: the structures of cholesterol, penicillin, vitamin B12 and insulin, leading to DNA structure analysis by Franklin etc.MedicineVirginia Apgar (United States of America) (1909-1974) - of Apgar Score fame.Gertrude Elion (United States of America) (1918-1999) - won the Nobel Prize for Physiology/Medicine in 1988 for developing some important principles for drug development.BiologyRita Levi-Montalicini (Italy) (1909-2012) - the so-called 'Lady of the Cells'. She won the Nobel Prize for Physiology/Medicine in 1986 for her co-discovery in 1954 of NGF (nerve growth factor).Elsie Widdowson (United Kingdom) (1906-2000) - a pioneer of the science of nutrition who was instrumental in devising the WW2 diet, in part through self-experimentation.Rachel Carson (United States of America) (1907-1964) - marine biologist and author of Silent Spring who is credited with having advanced the environmental movement.

Robinson

Empty Planet

Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson
Authors:
Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson

'Riveting and vitally important' - Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment NowA radical, provocative argument that the global population will soon begin to decline, dramatically reshaping the social, political and economic landscape.For half a century, statisticians, pundits and politicians have warned that a burgeoning planetary population will soon overwhelm the earth's resources. But a growing number of experts are sounding a different kind of alarm. Rather than growing exponentially, they argue, the global population is headed for a steep decline. Throughout history, depopulation was the product of catastrophe: ice ages, plagues, the collapse of civilizations. This time, however, we're thinning ourselves deliberately, by choosing to have fewer babies than we need to replace ourselves. In much of the developed and developing world, that decline is already underway, as urbanisation, women's empowerment, and waning religiosity lead to smaller and smaller families. In Empty Planet, Ibbitson and Bricker travel from South Florida to Sao Paulo, Seoul to Nairobi, Brussels to Delhi to Beijing, drawing on a wealth of research and firsthand reporting to illustrate the dramatic consequences of this population decline - and to show us why the rest of the developing world will soon join in. They find that a smaller global population will bring with it a number of benefits: fewer workers will command higher wages; good jobs will prompt innovation; the environment will improve; the risk of famine will wane; and falling birthrates in the developing world will bring greater affluence and autonomy for women. But enormous disruption lies ahead, too. We can already see the effects in Europe and parts of Asia, as aging populations and worker shortages weaken the economy and impose crippling demands on healthcare and vital social services. There may be earth-shaking implications on a geopolitical scale as well. Empty Planet is a hugely important book for our times. Captivating and persuasive, it is a story about urbanisation, access to education and the empowerment of women to choose their own destinies. It is about the secularisation of societies and the vital role that immigration has to play in our futures.Rigorously researched and deeply compelling, Empty Planet offers a vision of a future that we can no longer prevent - but that we can shape, if we choose to.

Basic Books

A Nation Forged by Crisis

Jay Sexton
Authors:
Jay Sexton

Americans have long understood their history as a story of inevitable progress, of a steadily rising standard of living and of the gradual extension of rights and freedoms to previously disenfranchised groups. Thus recent developments-9/11, the 2008 financial crash, the election of Donald Trump-have arrived as great shocks, each seemingly a wrench in the gears of history. How are we to understand our nation's past from the perspective of our volatile present?With A Nation Forged by Crisis, Jay Sexton has written a concise history of America for our time. He contends that from the start our national narrative has been punctuated by underappreciated moments of disruption, and that the roots of these disruptions can be traced to shifts in the international system. Sexton shows that the Revolution was not the inevitable result of American exceptionalism, but a consequence of Atlantic integration. By the 1760s, immigration to the colonies had spiked, and among the new arrivals were people like Thomas Paine who brought radical ideas to the continent. While Sexton does not dispute that the Civil War was caused by slavery, he argues that a necessary precondition for the conflict was the absence, for the first time in decades, of foreign threats. Both North and South were emboldened-with horrific results. In a similar way, it is impossible to understand the emergence of the New Deal without examining the role of "white ethnics"-first and second generation Germans, Poles, and Irish-in transforming and overseeing the mid-century Democratic Party. Sexton closes by pointing out that if recent developments are any indication, the politics of the future appear set to look less like those of the twentieth century than those of the nineteenth century, which was dominated by questions of labor and race, markets and tariffs, immigration and citizenship, international rivalry and geopolitical instability.A razor-sharp and necessary revision of American history, A Nation Forged by Crisis forces us to reckon with the reality that the United States has been and will always be entwined with the world beyond its borders

Hachette Audio

An Orchestra of Minorities

Chigozie Obioma
Authors:
Chigozie Obioma
Corsair

Trinity

Louisa Hall
Authors:
Louisa Hall

From the acclaimed author of Speak comes a kaleidoscopic novel about Robert Oppenheimer - father of the atomic bomb - as told by seven fictional charactersJ. Robert Oppenheimer was a brilliant scientist, a champion of liberal causes, and a complex and often contradictory character. He loyally protected his Communist friends, only to later betray them under questioning. He repeatedly lied about love affairs. And he defended the use of the atomic bomb he helped create, before ultimately lobbying against nuclear proliferation.Louisa Hall, the acclaimed author of Speak, has returned with a kaleidoscopic novel about the father of the atomic bomb. Through narratives that cross time and space, a set of seven fictional characters bears witness to the life of Oppenheimer, from a secret service agent who tailed him in San Francisco, to the young lover of a colleague in Los Alamos, to a woman fleeing McCarthyism who knew him on St. John. As these men and women fall into the orbit of a brilliant but mercurial mind at work, all consider his complicated legacy while also uncovering deep and often unsettling truths about their own lives.In this stunning, elliptical novel, Louisa Hall has crafted a breathtaking and explosive story about the ability of the human mind to believe what it wants, about public and private tragedy, and about power and guilt. Blending science with literature and fiction with biography, Trinity asks searing questions about what it means to truly know someone, and about the secrets we keep from the world and from ourselves.

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? ... 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

Piatkus

The Discomfort Zone

Farrah Storr
Authors:
Farrah Storr

'Honest, witty and insightful' Emma Gannon'A brilliant, useful book' Dawn O'Porter'Farrah has written a book about the things no one wants to talk about: failure, discomfort, and how to deal with both' Sophia Amoruso, author of #GirlbossWhile it is human nature to shy away from things that are outside of our comfort zone, it is only by spending time in our discomfort zone that we can grow, and improve, and realise our full potential. Whether it's putting yourself forward for a new challenge, asking for difficult feedback, nailing a presentation or getting a dream job, in this book Farrah Storr shows how you have to push through what she calls "brief moments of discomfort" in order to get to where you need to be.Farrah describes these brief moments of discomfort as "like HIIT training for your life" - and shows how the more you force yourself into them, the easier it will get. This book is full of advice, practical exercises and examples both from Farrah's own life and career and from all sorts of other successful people, from athletes to entrepreneurs.By adopting the brief moments of discomfort, or BMD method, you will soon understand that nothing in life is an insurmountable challenge, only a series of small, uncomfortable tests that can easily be overcome. Once you have used Farrah's techniques to transform your fear into bite-size, manageable pieces, you'll be able to take on anything. In fact, in time, you'll even begin to enjoy these moments. When you explore your discomfort zone, you'll find that anything is possible.

Abacus

Fifty Things that Made the Modern Economy

Tim Harford
Authors:
Tim Harford

Based on the series produced for the BBC World ServiceWho thought up paper money? How did the contraceptive pill change the face of the legal profession? Why was the horse collar as important for human progress as the steam engine? How did the humble spreadsheet turn the world of finance upside-down?The world economy defies comprehension. A continuously-changing system of immense complexity, it offers over ten billion distinct products and services, doubles in size every fifteen years, and links almost every one of the planet's seven billion people. It delivers astonishing luxury to hundreds of millions. It also leaves hundreds of millions behind, puts tremendous strains on the ecosystem, and has an alarming habit of stalling. Nobody is in charge of it. Indeed, no individual understands more than a fraction of what's going on. How can we make sense of this bewildering system on which our lives depend?From the tally-stick to Bitcoin, the canal lock to the jumbo jet, each invention in Tim Harford's fascinating new book has its own curious, surprising and memorable story, a vignette against a grand backdrop. Step by step, readers will start to understand where we are, how we got here, and where we might be going next.Hidden connections will be laid bare: how the barcode undermined family corner shops; why the gramophone widened inequality; how barbed wire shaped America. We'll meet the characters who developed some of these inventions, profited from them, or were ruined by them. We'll trace the economic principles that help to explain their transformative effects. And we'll ask what lessons we can learn to make wise use of future inventions, in a world where the pace of innovation will only accelerate.

Abacus

Force of Nature

Jane Harper
Authors:
Jane Harper

The gripping new novel from the author of the Sunday Times top ten bestseller, Waterstones Thriller of the Month, Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year, CWA Gold Dagger Winner and Simon Mayo Radio 2 Book Club Choice, The Dry. SHORTLISTED FOR INTERNATIONAL WRITER OF THE YEAR, SPECSAVERS NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS 2018FIVE WENT OUT. FOUR CAME BACK...Is Alice here? Did she make it? Is she safe? In the chaos, in the night, it was impossible to say which of the four had asked after Alice's welfare. Later, when everything got worse, each would insist it had been them.Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.The hike through the rugged landscape is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case - and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.And if you loved Force of Nature and The Dry, pre-order The Lost Man by Jane Harper now

Little, Brown

The Incurable Romantic

Frank Tallis
Authors:
Frank Tallis
Abacus

Little Fires Everywhere

Celeste Ng
Authors:
Celeste Ng
Blackfriars

The Afterlives

Thomas Pierce
Authors:
Thomas Pierce

'Ridiculously good' (New York Times) author Thomas Pierce's debut novel is a brilliantly dazzling and poignant love story that answers the question: What happens after we die? (Lots of stuff, it turns out.) Will we meet again? I believe we will, but as for proof I can only offer my story, nothing more.Jim Byrd died. Technically. For a few minutes. The diagnosis: heart attack at age thirty. Revived with no memory of any tunnels, lights or angels, Jim wonders what - if anything - awaits us on the other side. Then a ghost shows up. Maybe. Jim and his new wife, Annie, find themselves tangling with holograms, psychics, messages from the beyond and a machine that connects the living and the dead. As Jim and Annie journey through history and fumble through faith, they confront the spectre of loss that looms for anyone who dares to fall in love. Funny, fiercely original and gracefully moving, The Afterlives will haunt you. In a good way.Praise for The Afterlives'A bracingly intelligent, beautifully rendered meditation on ghosts, technology, marriage, and the afterlife. This is a remarkable novel' Emily St. John Mandel'Inventive, romantic, and unsettling, The Afterlives is a story of two people who take extraordinary measures to answer the Big Questions: What is the soul? Do we ever really die? Flabbergastingly original and sublimely satisfying' Amity Gaige

Basic Books

War in 140 Characters

David Patrikarakos
Authors:
David Patrikarakos

A leading foreign correspondent looks at how social media has transformed the modern battlefield, and how wars are foughtModern warfare is a war of narratives, where bullets are fired both physically and virtually. Whether you are a president or a terrorist, if you don't understand how to deploy the power of social media effectively you may win the odd battle but you will lose a twenty-first century war. Here, journalist David Patrikarakos draws on unprecedented access to key players to provide a new narrative for modern warfare. He travels thousands of miles across continents to meet a de-radicalized female member of ISIS recruited via Skype, a liberal Russian in Siberia who takes a job manufacturing "Ukrainian" news, and many others to explore the way social media has transformed the way we fight, win, and consume wars-and what this means for the world going forward.

Fleet

Prairie Fires

Caroline Fraser
Authors:
Caroline Fraser

Millions of readers of Little House on the Prairie believe they know Laura Ingalls - the pioneer girl who survived blizzards and near-starvation on the Great Plains where 'as far as a man could go to the north in a day, or a week, or a whole month, there was nothing but woods. There were no houses'. Her books are beloved around the world.But the true story of her life has never been fully told. The Little House books were not only fictionalized but brilliantly edited, a profound act of myth-making and self-transformation. Now, drawing on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records, Caroline Fraser, the editor of the Library of America edition of the Little House series, masterfully fills in the gaps in Wilder's biography, setting the record straight regarding charges of ghostwriting that have swirled around the books and uncovering the grown-up story behind the most influential childhood epic of pioneer life.Set against nearly a century of epochal change, from the Homestead Act and the Indian Wars to the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, Wilder's dramatic life provides a unique perspective on American history and our national mythology of self-reliance. Settling on the frontier amidst land-rush speculation, Wilder's family encountered Biblical tribulations of locusts and drought, fire and ruin. Deep in debt after a series of personal tragedies, including the loss of a child and her husband's stroke, Wilder uprooted herself again, crisscrossing the country and turning to menial work to support her family. In middle age, she began writing a farm advice column, prodded by her self-taught journalist daughter. And at the age of sixty, after losing nearly everything in the Depression, she turned to children's books, recasting her hardscrabble childhood as a triumphal vision of homesteading - and achieving fame and fortune in the process, in one of the most astonishing rags-to-riches stories in American letters.Offering fresh insight and new discoveries about Wilder's life and times, Prairie Fires reveals the complex woman who defined the American pioneer character, and whose artful blend of fact and fiction grips us to this day.

Piatkus

Living in a Mindful Universe

Eben Alexander, Karen Newell
Authors:
Eben Alexander, Karen Newell
Little, Brown

The Influential Mind

Tali Sharot
Authors:
Tali Sharot

Selected as a best book of 2017 by Forbes, The Times, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, Greater Good Magazine, Stanford Business School and more.A cutting-edge, research-based inquiry into how we influence those around us, and how understanding the brain can help us change minds for the better.Part of our daily job as humans is to influence others; we teach our children, guide our patients, advise our clients, help our friends and inform our online followers. We do this because we each have unique experiences and knowledge that others may not. But how good are we at this role? It turns out we systematically fall back on suboptimal habits when trying to change other's beliefs and behaviors. Many of these instincts-from trying to scare people into action, to insisting the other is wrong or attempting to exert control-are ineffective, because they are incompatible with how the mind operates. The principle idea of this book is that an attempt to change will be successful if it is well-matched with the core elements that govern how our brain works. Sharot unveils the hidden power of influence, good and bad, and enables us to identify instances in which we fall prey to delusions. The book will search deep below the surface-relying on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology-to provide new insight into human behavior.

Fleet

The Burning Girl

Claire Messud
Authors:
Claire Messud

A bracing and hypnotic portrait of the complexities of female friendship from the New York Times bestselling author of The Woman Upstairs.Julia Robinson and Cassie Burnes have been friends since nursery school. They have shared everything, including their desire to escape the stifling limitations of their birthplace, the quiet town of Royston, Massachusetts. But as the two girls enter adolescence, their paths diverge: while Julia comes from a stable, happy, middle-class family, Cassie never knew her father, who died when she was an infant, and has an increasingly tempestuous relationship with her single mother, Bev. When Bev becomes involved with the mysterious Anders Shute, Cassie feels cruelly abandoned. Disturbed, angry and desperate for answers, she sets out on a journey that will put her own life in danger, and shatter her oldest friendship. Compact, compelling, and ferociously sad, The Burning Girl is at once a story about childhood, friendship and community, and a complex examination of the stories we tell ourselves about childhood and friendship. Claire Messud brilliantly mixes folklore and Bildungsroman, exploring the ways in which our made-up stories, and their consequences, become real.

Virago

I Was Told To Come Alone

Souad Mekhennet
Authors:
Souad Mekhennet
Abacus

The Dry

Jane Harper
Authors:
Jane Harper