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Why do we do the things we do? Robert Sapolsky attempts to answer that question, looking at it from every angle. He hops back in time, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its evolutionary legacy. The result is a dazzling tour of the science of human , a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do-- for good and for ill.
Heart of a Lion by
Heart of a Lion is a story of one heroic creature pitting instinct against towering odds, coming home to a society deeply divided over his return. It is a testament to the resilience of nature, and a test of humanity's willingness to live again beside the ultimate symbol of wildness.
The Invention of Nature by
A portrait of the German naturalist reveals his ongoing influence on humanity's relationship with the natural world today, discussing such topics as his views on climate change, conservation, and nature as a resource for all life.
Lab Girl by
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Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist.
Mama's Last Hug by
The influential primatologist draws on renowned primate studies in an exploration of animal emotions that touches on such subjects as expressions, animal sentience, and free will.
The Revolutionary Genius of Plants by
Every page of The Revolutionary Genius of Plants bubbles over with Stefano Mancuso's infectious love for plants and for the eye-opening research that makes it more and more clear how remarkable our fellow inhabitants on this planet really are. In his hands, complicated science is wonderfully accessible, and he has loaded the book with gorgeous photographs that make for an unforgettable reading experience. The Revolutionary Genius of Plants opens the doors to a new understanding of life on earth.
The Sixth Extinction by
Provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
The Soul of an Octopus by
The intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees was only recently accepted by scientists, who now are establishing the intelligence of the octopus, watching them solve problems and deciphering the meaning of their color-changing camouflage techniques. Montgomery chronicles this growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.
The Disappearing Spoon by
The periodic table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, greed, betrayal, and obsession. The fascinating tales in The Disappearing Spoon follow elements on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine, and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them.
The Electric War by
In the mid- to late-nineteenth century, a burgeoning science called electricity promised to shine new light on a rousing nation. Inventive and ambitious minds were hard at work. Soon that spark was fanned, and a fiery war was under way to be the first to light--and run--the world with electricity. Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of direct current (DC), engaged in a brutal battle with Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse, the inventors of alternating current (AC). There would be no ties in this race--only a winner and a loser. The prize: a nationwide monopoly in electric current.Brimming with action, suspense, and rich historical and biographical information about these inventors, here is the rousing account of one of the world's defining scientific competitions.
Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition by
An account of the previously unheralded but pivotal contributions of NASA's African-American women mathematicians to America's space program describes how they were segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws in spite of their groundbreaking successes.
Packing for Mars by
Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human.From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA's new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by
The "resident paleontologist" for BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs presents a narrative scientific history of the dinosaur eras that examines their origins, habitats, extinction and living legacy, chronicling nearly 200 million years of their evolution from small shadow dwellers through the emergences of prehistoric ancestors that became more than 10,000 modern bird species.
Rise of the Rocket Girls by
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For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women -- known as "human computers" -- who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we've been, and the far reaches of space to which we're heading.
What If? by
Millions of people visit xkcd.com each week to read Randall Munroe's iconic webcomic. His stick-figure drawings about science, technology, language, and love have a large and passionate following.Fans of xkcd ask Munroe a lot of strange questions. What if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live?The book features new and never-before-answered questions, along with updated and expanded versions of the most popular answers from the xkcd website.