By 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.
By Maryn McKenna
'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 LifePlucked! 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.
No Need for Geniuses
By Steve Jones
Paris at the time of the French Revolution was the world capital of science. Its scholars laid the foundations of today's physics, chemistry and biology. They were true revolutionaries: agents of an upheaval both of understanding and of politics. Many had an astonishing breadth of talents. The Minister of Finance just before the upheaval did research on crystals and the spread of animal disease. After it, Paris's first mayor was an astronomer, the general who fought off invaders was a mathematician while Marat, a major figure in the Terror, saw himself as a leading physicist. Paris in the century around 1789 saw the first lightning conductor, the first flight, the first estimate of the speed of light and the invention of the tin can and the stethoscope. The metre replaced the yard and the theory of evolution came into being. The city was saturated in science and many of its monuments still are. The Eiffel Tower, built to celebrate the Revolution's centennial, saw the world's first wind-tunnel and first radio message, and first observation of cosmic rays.Perhaps the greatest Revolutionary scientist of all, Antoine Lavoisier, founded modern chemistry and physiology, transformed French farming, and much improved gunpowder manufacture. His political activities brought him a fortune, but in the end led to his execution. The judge who sentenced him - and many other researchers - claimed that 'the Revolution has no need for geniuses'. In this enthralling and timely book Steve Jones shows how wrong this was and takes a sideways look at Paris, its history, and its science, to give a dazzling new insight into the City of Light.
By Wallace J. Nichols
Blue Mind paints a fascinating picture of our relationship to the planet's most omnipresent resource - water. Grounded in cutting-edge studies in neurobiology, cognitive psychology, economics, and medicine, and made real by stories of innovative scientists, doctors, athletes, artists, environmentalists, businesspeople and lovers of nature - stories that fascinate the mind and touch the heart - Blue Mind will awaken readers to the vital importance of water to the health and happiness of us all.
By Colin Tudge
The astonishing new discovery that could change everything . . . Lying inside a high-security vault, deep within the heart of one of the world's leading natural history museums, is the scientific find of a lifetime - a perfectly fossilized early primate, older than the previously most famous primate fossil, Lucy, by an astonishing forty-four million years. A secret until now, the fossil - 'Ida'- is the most complete early primate fossil ever found. Forty-seven million years old, Ida rewrites what we've assumed about the earliest primate origins. Her completeness is unparalleled. With exclusive access to the first scientists to study her, the award-winning science writer Colin Tudge tells the history of Ida and her place in the world. The Link offers a wide-ranging investigation into Ida and our earliest origins - and the magnificent, cutting-edge scientific detective story that followed her discovery. At the same time it opens a stunningly evocative window into our past and changes what we know about primate evolution and, ultimately, our own.
Hockney On Art
By David Hockney
David Hockney is as fascinating as he is articulate on ways of seeing, and in this impressive book he leads us on an artistic journey where anything is possible. He considers the influence of Picasso and Rembrandt and speaks of Eastern conventions and perspective and of their relevance to his work. He points to Laurel and Hardy's lasting appeal in his conviction that popularity and art are not incompatible. Hockney and his work have long been the subjects of controversy; few twentieth century artists have so successfully surmounted their cult image for three decades, and he remains one of our most relentlessly dedicated, versatile and original painters.
By Robert Frenay
Bridges made with spider silk; ships that swim like fish; rubber as supple as a dragonfly's wing ... innovations like these are at the forefront of the concept of 'the new biology'. A way of using nature as a model for human designs, the new biology is a growing force in many different fields, and will have enormous impact on the development of the twenty-first century. Companies like IBM, Volvo and AT&T are already exploring how we can learn from and use properties that exist in nature, and how to improve cost-efficiency by using concepts like 'design for disassembly', whereby each component of a product can be recycled at the end of the product's natural life. Waste products, too, are increasingly being used as raw materials, so one industry's rubbish is another's power. Creating 'industrial ecologies' like these lies at the heart of the new biology: a new way of thinking for a new millennium.The essential introduction to this idea, PULSE is a fascinating look at how we might be living in the twenty-first century.
Vincent By Himself
By Vincent Van Gogh, Bernard Bruce, Bruce Bernard
The universal appeal of Vincent's paintings and drawings, those that are little known as well as those familiar and much loved images, is enhanced by his own account of his life and thought contained in his letters. In quantity and quality of writing they are unique among those of great artists. Most were written to Theo - his brother, patron and anchor and to him we owe an enormous debt for encouraging, supporting and preserving the writings and works of a troubled genius who, in a tragically brief ten years, progressed to a climax of highly original and productive creativity.This selection of extracts from the letters and more than 230 paintings and drawings - many reproduced for the first time - has been designed for all lovers of Vincent's work. It will appeal equally to those who are familiar with it and his life and who no longer need biographical or analytical texts to complete their enjoyment of the pictures as well as to the many with less knowledge who feel no less intensely the power of his art.