Hunting down the universe
                       a select science and literature bibliography




The public appetite for learning about the scientific world we live in and trying to make sense
of its rapid...
The British Council
10 Spring Gardens
Tel +44 (0)20 7389 3...
Introduction by Margaret Drabble

                         Hunting Down the Universe
We live in a brave new era of science...
apocalyptic endings haunt us all. Mathematicians, cosmologists and microbiologists offer
enthralling and alarming new mate...
What is this thing called science?

Plenty of good books confine themselves to a single scientific discipline. But the
A short history of nearly everything
Bill Bryson
Doubleday 2003 £20.00
ISBN 0-385-40818-8 hbk non-fiction
Bill Bryson desc...
bears any weight. To that he adds Darwinian theory, Alan Turing’s principles of computation
and Karl Popper’s philosophy o...
Enduring love
Ian McEwan
Vintage 1998 £6.99
ISBN 0-09-927658-5 pbk fiction
Booker Prize winning novelist’s tale of a chanc...
Discourses: poems for the Royal Institution
Jo Shapcott (ed)
The Royal Institution of Great Britain 2002 £5.00
ISBN 0-9034...
scholarly book which is still accessible to serious readers with little or no background
knowledge – just the interest to ...
Hunting down the universe
Astronomy and cosmology

Our sense of the age and scale of the cosmos expanded enormously during...
BBC Consumer Publishing (Books) 2003 £14.99
ISBN 0-563-48893-X pbk non-fiction
The story of the exploration of deep space ...
Penguin Books 2002 £6.99
ISBN 0-14-029015-X pbk biography
Jago’s first book is a poignant portrayal of the brilliant Norwe...
Phoenix 2001 £6.99
ISBN 0-7538-1022-0 pbk non-fiction
Britain’s Astronomer Royal offers a short and lucid introduction to ...
Mapping the mind
The brain, mind and consciousness

The human brain may be small, yet its exploration is a complex and fas...
The Oxford companion to the mind
Richard Gregory
Oxford University Press 1998 £25.00
ISBN 0-19-860224-3 pbk non-fiction
Vintage 2001 £8.99
ISBN 0-09-928824-9 pbk non-fiction
The theory that the elaborate cultures developed by humankind, inclu...
Dear Mr Darwin
The story of genes and evolution

In 1953 Crick and Watson revealed the double helix structure of DNA, and ...
Two novellas capture the tensions between science and spirituality in the Victorian era. In
Morpho, Byatt interleaves fict...
Hearing Eye 2000 £6.00
ISBN 1-870841-65-4 pbk poetry
An anthology produced as part of Gene genie: making choices about gen...
John McCabe
Black Swan 2002 £6.99
ISBN 0-552-99873-7 pbk fiction
Darren White, a substandard geneticist from Man...
When Bridget Donnelly dies after a last meal of eggs and temazepan, her closest friends
refuse to accept that she killed h...
Nature and mortality
Mary Warnock
Continuum 2002 £18.99
ISBN 0-8264-5940-4 hbk non-fiction
Mary Warnock is, by professiona...
A passion for plants - ecology, biodiversity and natural history

Plants and animals need a working ecosystem. From an evo...
in a Norfolk village, but divided by a century of time.

The blind watchmaker
Richard Dawkins
Penguin 2000 £6.99
ISBN 0140...
Maurice Riordan
Faber 2000 £7.99,
ISBN 0-571-20462-7 pbk poetry
Scientific ideas make themselves at home in Maurice Riorda...
The invention of clouds – geology and earth science

Planets, especially ours, are where the most interesting things in th...
Fourth Estate 2002 £7.99
ISBN 1-84115-118-1 pbk non-fiction
The search for the beginning of time was caught up from the ve...
Krakatoa: the day the world exploded
Simon Winchester
Viking 2003 £16.99
ISBN 0-670-91126-7 hbk
Viking 2003 £10.99
ISBN 0-...
The pleasures of counting – mathematics

The problem with school mathematics, apart from the way in which it puts most pe...
It must be beautiful: great equations of modern science
Graham Farmello (ed)
Granta 2002 £20.00
ISBN 1-86207-479-8 hbk
This is Tom Stoppard's award-winning play, set in Derbyshire. In a Regency room overlooking
the gardens is Lady Croom's br...
The quantum universe – physical science

From Einstein's E=mc2 to Schrodinger's kittens, blackholes to the Big Bang not
Colin Bruce adopts the Sherlock Holmes stories as a starting point for an investigation into
the mysteries of modern physi...
less unusual gift - a Victorian writing box. It is opened, but its contents resist interpretation.

Nature’s building bloc...
Simon Garfield brings the story of mauve to life, from the circumstances of its discovery to the
remarkable consequences o...
In his best-selling work of popular science, one of the world’s leading mathematical physicists
marshals a vast range of a...
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  1. 1. Hunting down the universe a select science and literature bibliography Contents Introduction Introduction by Margaret Drabble What is this thing called science? Hunting down the universe Mapping the mind Dear Mr Darwin A passion for plants The invention of clouds The pleasure of counting The quantum universe Pills, potions and poisons A brief history of the future 1
  2. 2. Introduction The public appetite for learning about the scientific world we live in and trying to make sense of its rapid advancements, has led to a vast increase in the publication of books for the general reader - as opposed to the student or academic. Hunting Down The Universe is a bibliography offering a selection of some of the best, liveliest and most informative writing on popular science coming out of the UK. However the bibliography does not confine itself to non-fiction. As Margaret Drabble says in her excellent introduction, ' ... the most advanced concepts of science have permeated our literature. The two cultures are moving close together again and inspiring one another'. And for this reason, we have included many fiction titles, as well as poetry and drama, which link in and complement the other works. The bibliography is divided into 11 themes ranging from the general and wide ranging to the specific and more esoteric: from philosophical discussion and historical perspective to individual biography and analyses of concepts or processes. All books are in print at the time of publication (August 2003). The bibliographic details of the original hardback or paperback edition are given if still in print and also the subsequent paperback edition, At the end of the bibliography we have included a section on obtaining British books. Acknowledgements. The following people who helped in the inauguration, compilation and production of the bibliography: Dr Gavin Alexander (British Council) Dr Sylvia Davidson (Consultant) Dr Jenny Gristock (Consultant) Suzanne Joinson (British Council) Dr Kate Price (Consultant) Sinead Russell (British Council) Peter Tallack (Consultant) Dr John Turney (Consultant) Judith Wheeler (British Council) Juliet Wragge-Morely (British Council) For further information the work of the British Council’s science work or contact British Council Bridgewater House 58 Whitworth Street Manchester M1 6BB UK Telephone +44 (0)161 957 7755 Fax +44 (0)161 957 7762 Minicom +44 (0)161 957 7188 For further information on the British Council’s literature work or contact 2
  3. 3. The British Council 10 Spring Gardens London SW1A 2BN Enquiries: Tel +44 (0)20 7389 3166/3051 Fax +44 (0)20 7389 3175 3
  4. 4. Introduction by Margaret Drabble Hunting Down the Universe We live in a brave new era of science writing. For decades the acceleration of scientific discovery seemed to outstrip our everyday understanding, and many of us resigned ourselves to living in an increasingly incomprehensible world. That has changed. A new genre of excellent and accessible science books aimed at a broad readership has been established, in response to our needs, and this bibliography illustrates how thoroughly the most advanced concepts of science have permeated our literature. The two cultures are moving closer together again, and inspiring one another. Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, (1988) offers a useful marker in the chronology of this success story, for this book created more of a sensation even than James Watson’s The Double Helix in 1968. Its unexpected popularity offered encouragement to scientists and editors alike, and convinced them that the public has an appetite for science book - even for hard science books. The last fifteen years have seen an exhilarating proliferation of works by writers such as Richard Dawkins, John Gribbin, Steve Jones, Roy Porter, Steven Rose, Matt Ridley, and Robert Winston, all in their different ways aimed at the common reader. Simon Singh’s mathematical detective story, Fermat’s Last Theorem (1997) proudly described itself as ‘The Number 1 Bestseller’, and many have tried to emulate its narrative skill. Novelists, poets, biographers and playwrights have enthusiastically adopted the opportunities of this democratic new vision. There is little excuse left for ignorance. Like many women of my generation, I am innumerate and scientifically illiterate. The sciences, apart from biology, were not well taught in our school, and we specialized too early. The new wave of science writing has been of enormous benefit to readers like myself. I have long been interested in the life sciences, and have followed the impassioned and at times inflamed debates about nature, nurture, evolutionary biology and genetic inheritance which raged during early days of the post-war Women’s Movement. But I had always thought the cosmos was too vast and its mathematics too complex for my attempts at understanding. I was wrong. I had underestimated the powers of the writers who followed Hawking’s lead. They have made it possible for all of us to follow the unfolding story of our discovery of where we live now, in space and in time. The fall-out from this communication revolution has been remarkable. Victorians were fascinated and appalled by Darwin, and our parents by Einstein. We are gripped by dark matter, dark energy, genetic destiny and the mysteries of language and consciousness. Science fiction used to be considered a separate and specialist genre, dedicated to creating an unlikely and usually dystopian future, but we are all writing a form of science fiction now. The complaint that the arts ignore the sciences could not be further from the truth, as this bibliography bears witness. Images of the Big Bang and unimaginably remote galaxies have made their way into our poetry and our prose, and the organization of insects and the DNA of dinosaurs have inspired our plots. Clones and robots no longer seem very fanciful, and 4
  5. 5. apocalyptic endings haunt us all. Mathematicians, cosmologists and microbiologists offer enthralling and alarming new material. The realm of the literary imagination, like the universe itself, is expanding. Margaret Drabble July 29, 2003 5
  6. 6. What is this thing called science? Plenty of good books confine themselves to a single scientific discipline. But the universe does not come in neat disciplinary packages, and nor do all those questions people ask about science in general. How does it work? Why should we believe it? Or even, what does it all mean? Here is a selection of books, including novels and poetry, which examine the scientific process, or its implications, from a wide and diverse range of perspectives. Fragile science: the reality behind the headlines Robin Baker Macmillan 2001 £15.99 ISBN 0-333-90102-0 hbk Pan 2002 £7.99 ISBN 0-330-48093-6 pbk non-fiction Facing up to scientific uncertainty poses huge problems for politicians and private citizens alike. Robin Baker's message is that fragile is the word for the science which informs many issues in the news – from global warming to BSE. As he works through them he tackles another hard problem: how to write a popular book which doesn't just trade in scientific facts, but shows how we can spot when they aren't really facts at all. The end of time: the next revolution in our understanding of the Universe Julian Barbour Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1999 £20.00 ISBN 0-297-81985-2 hbk Phoenix 2000 £7.99 ISBN 0-7538-1020-4 pbk non fiction Barbour, an independent English physicist, has spent 35 years contemplating the basics of cosmology. Dispensing with time and motion, he insists that all that is needed to describe everything are the solutions to a universal wave function, which regulates the probabilities of particular arrangements in an abstract configuration space which he calls Platonia. A speculative argument and a serious challenge to metaphysical assumptions most of us take for granted in making sense of our everyday world. On giants’ shoulders: great scientists and their discoveries from Archimedes to DNA Melvyn Bragg Sceptre 1999 £7.99 ISBN 0-340-71260-0 pbk non-fiction Bragg is a great enthusiast for modern science, and its popularisers. Here he investigates its origins, in a book based on a radio series which brought together scientists and historians to discuss great work from the past. The book restores much from the original interviews, and offers a useful beginners guide to many of the great figures of science. The next fifty years John Brockman (ed) Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2002 £12.99 ISBN 0-297-82925-4 hbk non-fiction Over the last 50 years, a bewildering number of scientific achievements, from Dolly the sheep, the first animal successfully cloned from an adult cell, to the discovery of planets outside our own solar system have impacted on, and shifted our perception of our view of ourselves, our world and our place in it. Developments in many fields, and the controversy that sometimes surrounds them, affect the lives of everyone on this planet. This title features a panel of some of the world's leading scientists who address such questions as: How will developments in science affect us? How will these advances change our understanding of who and what we are? What will scientists be thinking about 50 years from now? Written for both a scientific and popular audience, the book covers topics as diverse as disease, depression, artificial intelligence, theoretical physics and extraterrestrial life. 6
  7. 7. A short history of nearly everything Bill Bryson Doubleday 2003 £20.00 ISBN 0-385-40818-8 hbk non-fiction Bill Bryson describes himself as a reluctant traveller, but even when he stays safely in his own study at home, he can't contain his curiosity about the world around him. This book is his quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilisation. Bill Bryson's challenge is to take subjects such as geography, chemistry and particle physics, we normally find boring and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who think they are not interested in science. It's not so much about what we know, as about how we know what we know. How do we know what is in the centre of the Earth, or what a black hole is, or where the continents were 600 million years ago? On his travels through time and space, he encounters a splendid collection of astonishingly eccentric, competitive, obsessive and foolish scientists and in the company of such extraordinary people, Bill Bryson takes us with him on and reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before. The Faber book of science John Carey Faber and Faber 1996 £12.99 ISBN 0-571-17901-0 pbk non-fiction Great science writing, from the scientific revolution up to the present day. Carey’s emphasis is historical, and he prefers scientists’ writing to outsiders’ accounts, arguing that they can tell us how it really was. And, from Leonardo and Galileo to Richard Dawkins and Steve Jones, that is what they do. The universe next door: twelve mind-blowing ideas from the cutting edge of science Marcus Chown Headline £14.99 ISBN 0-7472-3528-7 pbk non-fiction An exuberant book focussing on the stranger ideas emerging from physics and cosmology. Time reversal, parallel universes, wandering planets, fridge-sized black holes, the construction of new universes by ultra-intelligent beings: all are seriously discussed. In this book Chown offers a beguiling portrait of science as creative play. Unweaving the rainbow: science, delusion and the appetite for wonder Richard Dawkins Penguin Books 1999 £8.99 ISBN 0-14-026408-6 pbk non-fiction Dawkins’ sole effort to convey something of the fascination of science beyond evolution. He takes poets to task for neglecting or, worse, attacking science, and mounts a passionate defence of natural knowledge as adding to our appreciation of the wonders of nature. He often draws on other writers to make his points, at times giving us an enjoyably ruthless debunking of pseudoscience. A devil’s chaplain and other selected essays Richard Dawkins Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2003 £16.99 ISBN 0-297-82973-4 hbk non-fiction A collection of articles, book reviews and lectures by the author, a distinguished scientist over the past 25 years. Whether writing on the many aspects of evolution or on science in general, the importance of science, the fact that science is inspiring (or ought to be), Dawkins is often provocative, sometimes outrageous and always influential. The fabric of reality David Deutsch Penguin Books 1998 £8.99 ISBN 0-14-014690-3 pbk non-fiction Deutsch’s book is a dazzling synthesis of science and philosophy, beginning with his strong advocacy of the ‘many worlds’ interpretation of quantum mechanics as the only one which 7
  8. 8. bears any weight. To that he adds Darwinian theory, Alan Turing’s principles of computation and Karl Popper’s philosophy of science – arguing that all four fit together to contain all we can know about reality. The trouble with science Robin Dunbar Faber and Faber 1996 £7.99 ISBN 0-571-17448-5 pbk non-fiction A primatologist’s reflections on science, Dunbar works hard to defend science with a more loosely connected set of ruminations on research and its place in society. Dunbar draws freely on history and philosophy and on his own scientific experience to weave his account of science as an important but vulnerable institution. A world where news travelled slowly Lavinia Greenlaw Faber and Faber 1997 £7.99 ISBN 0-571-19160-6 pbk poetry The central theme of Greenlaw's second collection is the unpredictable act of communication, from the mechanical to the miraculous. Other poems are concerned with attempts at preservation - plundered relics, the stately home, an iron lung. The title poem won the Forward Prize in 1998. Eureka! the birth of science Andrew Gregory Icon Books 2001 £9.99 ISBN 1-84046-289-2 hbk non-fiction The scientific attitude does not enter human thought instinctively. So how did it begin? The Greek philosopher-scientists were a small group who began to think about the world in a different way. Theirs was a tolerant society that encouraged debate and had no centralised religion, allowing them to reject supernatural explanations and develop theories of nature as an orderly cosmos instead. Almost everyone’s guide to science John Gribbin Orion 1999 £7.99 ISBN 0-7538-0769-6 pbk non-fiction An introduction to the central facts, evidence and issues of modern science. It takes the reader through the basics and the fundamental issues of the crucial areas of modern science, from the birth of the universe to the evolution of our own species, the nature of human behaviour and the workings of our minds. It does not only provide an overview, but explains how these areas link up, what evolutionary theory has to say about the way we think, how sub-atomic particles came into being in the Big Bang, and atoms in the stars. Moonlight into marzipan Sunetra Gupta Phoenix 1996 £5.99 ISBN 1857994221 pbk fiction A novel that tells the story of an experiment in a garage laboratory in Calcutta that leads Promothesh and Esha to a strange new life in England. Supported by an eccentric millionaire, Promothesh remains unable to reproduce his miracle. Hostage to fortune: the troubled life of Francis Bacon Lisa Jardine and Alan Stewart Phoenix 1999 £14.99 ISBN 0-7538-0853-6 pbk biography Francis Bacon had ambitious plans for establishing a great system of scientific inquiry that would transform learning and bring him fame and riches. But life in the shadow of Queen Elizabeth’s throne was one deadly political intrigue after another, and these hampered his intellectual pursuits. Jardine and Stewart explore the tangles between these two aspects of Bacon’s career, revealing a life of brilliance and mistakes. 8
  9. 9. Enduring love Ian McEwan Vintage 1998 £6.99 ISBN 0-09-927658-5 pbk fiction Booker Prize winning novelist’s tale of a chance meeting at the scene of a fatal ballooning incident sends shockwaves through the life of Joe Rose, a successful science writer. Reason is pitted against belief as Joe attempts to escape the obsessive love of Jed Parry, to save his marriage and make sense of his life. Science and poetry Mary Midgley Routledge 2000 £30.00 ISBN 0-415-23732-7 hbk Routledge 2002 £8.99 ISBN 0-415-27632-2 pbk non-fiction Mary Midgley describes philosophy as like plumbing: a philosopher is someone you call in about the conceptual smell on the landing. Here, the smell is given off by wrong-headed ideas about science and identity. This book is about how scientific and artistic views of the world complement each other, and how poetic-seeming ideas can find a place in science, with Gaia theory as the most important recent example. Of science David Morley and Andy Brown (eds) Worple Press 2001 £6.00 ISBN 0-9530947-4-X pbk poetry A sampler of twenty-six poems written by scientists who have trained in a range of fields, from biology and ecology to mathematics and computing. The poems are presented anonymously, to focus attention on language rather than individuals; yet these poets emerge as thoroughly human beings, their science propelled into a world of familiar preoccupations. Our final century: the 50/50 threat to humanity’s survival Martin Rees Heinemann 2003 £17.99 ISBN 0-434-00809-5 hbk non-fiction It is suggested that we may be on the verge of destroying the planet on which we live. Whilst discussing various topics, including genetically engineered viruses, nanotechnology and pollution-induced environmental catastrophe, Sir Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal demonstrates the risks we are taking, as well as the enormous difficulties of imposing limits upon them. On science Brian Ridley Routledge 2001 £40.00 ISBN 0-415-24979-1 hbk Routledge 2001 £7.99 ISBN 0-415-24980-5 pbk non-fiction A physicist’s reflection on science, embracing a critique of scientism – the view that science can answer all the questions worth asking. Unusual in its emphasis on the continuities between magic and science, though it ends with a more conventional argument for the ‘two cultures’ to be seen as complementary. A quark for Mister Mark: 101 poems about science Maurice Riordan and Jon Turney (eds) Faber and Faber 2000 £6.99 ISBN 0-571-20542-9 poetry A rhyming Trilobite and a Doctor of Starlight, the measures of the Moon and Magnetic mockeries: A Quark for Mister Mark is stuffed with tempting thoughts. The range and readability of these poems, from classic to contemporary, makes this an excellent introduction to the poetic energy generated by scientific ideas. 9
  10. 10. Discourses: poems for the Royal Institution Jo Shapcott (ed) The Royal Institution of Great Britain 2002 £5.00 ISBN 0-903496-07-0 pbk poetry Nine poets respond to a recent public lecture on topical scientific issues, given as Friday evening discourses at the Royal Institution. Addressing such topics as artificial life, bioethics, the invention of colour and a pig’s heart, this collection gives a taste of the different forms and attitudes through which poets take inspiration from scientific research. Maxwell’s Rainbow Diana Syder Smith/Doorstop 2002 £6.95 ISBN 1-902382-38-2 pbk poetry In these poems scientific ideas and everyday, personal experience are set at ease with one another, giving rise to X-rayed arpeggios, ‘far-fetched chemistry’, and much more. Celebratory energy is released as Diana Syder ranges between scales, from a molecule to open moorland, the solar system or the human body, catching the universe in a series of striking poses. The science book Peter Tallack Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2003 £14.99 ISBN 0-297-84337-0 hbk non fiction Featuring 250 of the most significant milestones in the history of scientific discovery and presents them in short essays by some of the most important and well known contemporary scientists and science writers. Each is accompanied by a single striking image and together they offer a unique introduction to our unfolding view of the universe. The Lunar Men: the friends who made the future Jenny Uglow Faber and Faber 2002 £25.00 ISBN 0-571-19647-0 hbk Faber and Faber 2003 £9.99 ISBN 0-571-2610-2 pbk non-fiction The Lunar Society of Birmingham was a group of freethinking, self-made men who helped to push the world into the modern age. Building factories and steam engines, planning canals, discovering medicines and cataloguing plants, they contributed as much to the arts and agriculture as they did to science and industry. Jenny Uglow brings the age of Erasmus Darwin, James Watt, Josiah Wedgewood and their friends to life, with all the clamour and excitement of industrial revolution and social reform. The unnatural nature of science Lewis Wolpert Faber and Faber 1993 £8.99 ISBN 0-571-16972-4 pbk non-fiction A strongly-argued account of how science works by a biological scientist who abhors sociologists’ forays into his territory. For Wolpert, science began just once, with the Greeks, is wholly distinct from technology, and its most important feature is that it generates knowledge which contradicts common sense. This, he believes, is the main reason why much science is so difficult to grasp. Real science: what it is and what it means John Ziman Cambridge University Press 2000 £25.00 ISBN 0-521-77229-X hbk Cambridge University Press 2002 £16.95 ISBN 0-521-89310-0 pbk non-fiction Real Science means that Ziman pays attention to what scientists in modern laboratories actually do, as well as how what they do builds a picture of reality. This is that rare thing, a 10
  11. 11. scholarly book which is still accessible to serious readers with little or no background knowledge – just the interest to follow the argument. 11
  12. 12. Hunting down the universe Astronomy and cosmology Our sense of the age and scale of the cosmos expanded enormously during the last century, and popular science reflects our fascination with the new vistas opened up, and with first and last things. This list begins in the solar system, then moves farther out – in every sense. First light Peter Ackroyd Avalon Travel Publications 2001 £9.99 ISBN 0-8021-3481-5 pbk non-fiction An eccentric group of characters – archaeologists, astronomers and civil servants – gather at the excavation site of a neolithin, astronomically aligned grave in Dorset. The result is an exhilarating combination of cosmic awe, ancient beings and creepy underground tunnels in a humorous suspense story as cleverly paced as a Hitchcock thriller. Non-stop Brian Aldiss Gollancz 2000 £6.99 ISBN 1-85798-998-8 pbk fiction Curiosity was discouraged in the Greene tribe, who lived out their lives in cramped quarters, having forgotten where they were. Roy Complain decides to find out and, with a renegade priest, moves into unmapped territory, making a series of discoveries which turn their universe upside down. Non-stop is a classic science fiction novel of discovery and exploration. Einstein’s monsters Martin Amis Vintage £6.99 ISBN 0-09-976891-7 pbk fiction A collection of five short stories creating perplexing visions of the post-nucleaar holocaust world. The stories in this collection form a unity and reveal a deep preoccupation: ‘Einstein's Monsters refers to nuclear weapons but also to ourselves,' writes Amis in his enlightening introductory essay, 'We are Einstein's monsters: not fully human, not for now.' Look to windward Iain M Banks Orbit 2001 £7.99 ISBN 1-84149-059-8 pbk fiction It was one of the less glorious incidents of the Idiran wars that led to the destruction of two suns and the billions of lives they supported. Now, 800 years later, the light from the first of those deaths has reached the Culture's Masaq' Orbital. A Chelgrian emissary is dispatched to the Culture. The Eyre affair Jasper Fforde New English Library 2002 £6.99 ISBN 0-340-82576-6 pbk fiction There is another 1985, somewhere in the could-have-been, where dodos are regenerated in home-cloning kits and everyone is disappointed by the ending of Jane Eyre. But in this world there are policemen who can travel across time, a Welsh republic - and a woman called Thursday Next. Space: our final frontier John Gribbin BBC Consumer Publishing (Books) 2001 £19.99 ISBN 0-563-53713-2 hbk non-fiction 12
  13. 13. BBC Consumer Publishing (Books) 2003 £14.99 ISBN 0-563-48893-X pbk non-fiction The story of the exploration of deep space that has largely taken place in the final decades of the 20th century. Space probes have now visited all of the major planets of our Solar System. However, beyond the Solar System, across the final frontier of space, astronomers are now able to explore the Universe by proxy, using evidence from light, radio waves, X-rays and other information gathered by telescopes and satellites. Space provides an insight into the way that astronomers work, explaining how they make the discoveries that make headlines, as well as the stories behind those headlines. John Gribbin puts deep space into perspective with the aid of specially commissioned illustrations and photographs from astronomical telescopes. A brief history of time: from the Big Bang to Black Holes Stephen Hawking Bantam 1995 £7.99 ISBN 0-553-17521-1 pbk Bantam 1998 £16.99 ISBN 0-593-04316-2 hbk non-fiction One of the most famous books on cosmology ever written. Hawking’s account of the origins and development of the universe, and of our knowledge of it, ends with his hope for a ‘theory of everything’ which can be explained to non-cosmologists. The universe in a nutshell Stephen Hawking Bantam Press 2001 £20.00 ISBN 0-593-04815-6 hbk non-fiction Hawking, one of the most influential thinkers of our time, brings to us the cutting edge of theoretical physics, where truth is often stranger than fiction, and explains in layman's terms the principles that control our universe. He guides us on his search to uncover the secrets of the universe - from supergravity to supersymmetry, from quantum theory to M-theory, from holography to duality. In this exciting intellectual adventure he takes us to the wild frontiers of science where superstring theory and p-branes may hold the final clue to the puzzle. Hunting down the universe: the missing mass, primordial black holes and other dark matters Michael Hawkins Perseus Books 1968 £9.99 ISBN 0-7382-0037-9 pbk non-fiction A personal account, by a professional astronomer. Hawkins is as interested in how the scientific community treats new ideas – in this case that most of the mass of the universe is contained in small black holes – as in the ideas themselves. He uses his own research to illuminate a view of the philosophy and sociology of science which is a long way from the common notion that science somehow uncovers timeless truths about the cosmos. Moving heaven and earth: Copernicus and the solar system John Henry Icon Books 2001 £5.99 ISBN 1-84046-251-5 pbk non-fiction How did the idea that the earth is moving round the sun ever catch on? When Copernicus proposed his theory in 1543 the modern belief in scientific truth and progress had yet to be established. John Henry brings the classical and medieval ideas that preceded the Copernican theory within reach, showing how this new view of the universe revolutionised knowledge and laid the foundations of the modern scientific outlook. The Northern Lights: how one man sacrificed love, happiness and sanity to unlock the secrets of space Lucy Jago 13
  14. 14. Penguin Books 2002 £6.99 ISBN 0-14-029015-X pbk biography Jago’s first book is a poignant portrayal of the brilliant Norwegian physicist Kristian Birkeland, whose prescient theories of the origins of the Aurora went unrecognised in his lifetime, though are now seen as essentially correct. An unhappy tale, Birkeland took an overdose of sleeping pills in Tokyo in 1917, and his final treatise was lost at sea en route back to Norway. Zero gravity Gwyneth Lewis Bloodaxe Books 1998 £6.95 ISBN 1-85224-456-9 pbk poetry Gwyneth Lewis uses poetry to pick her way between the practical, emotional demands of life and the chinks in perspective that enable fantasy and magic to leak into the everyday world. Science and technology participate in the fantastic side as much as the practical side of this bargain. Patrick Moore on the moon Patrick Moore Cassell Illustrated 2002 £18.99 ISBN 0-304-35469-4 hbk non-fiction Patrick Moore is Britain’s best-known popular astronomer and this is his most recent account of everything we know about our nearest neighbour, and still the only other place in the solar system we have visited, the moon. Mapping Mars: science, imagination and the birth of a world Oliver Morton Fourth Estate 2003 £8.99 ISBN 1-84115-669-8 pbk non-fiction Part popular science, part cultural history, Morton offers a beautifully written meditation on the shifting meanings of the Red Planet as it has moved into sharper scientific focus through visits from space probes. An inspiring look outwards from Earth to another world. Flesh guitar Geoff Nicholson Orion 1999 £6.99 ISBN 0-575-40202-4 pbk fiction Into the Havoc Bar and Grill walks Jenny Slade, guitar heroine. Her misogynistic, drunk audience will take a lot of impressing. But the object she brings from her case is like no guitar they have ever seen - it is part deadly weapon, part creature from some alien lagoon. Our cosmic habitat Martin Rees Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2002 £14.99 ISBN 0-297-8-82901-7 hbk Phoenix 2003 £7.99 ISBN 0-7538-1404-8 pbk non-fiction Our universe seems strangely ‘biophilic’, or hospitable to life. Is this providence or coincidence? According to Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, the answer depends on the answer to another question, the one posed by Einstein's famous remark: ‘What interests me most is whether God could have made the world differently’. This book centres on the fascinating consequences of the answer being ‘yes’. Rees explores the notion that our universe is just part of a vast ‘multiverse’, or ensemble of universes, in which most of the other universes are lifeless. What we call the laws of nature would then be local bylaws, imposed in the aftermath of our own Big Bang. In this scenario, our cosmic habitat would be a special, possibly unique universe where the prevailing laws of physics allowed life to emerge. Just six numbers: the deep forces that shape the universe Martin Rees 14
  15. 15. Phoenix 2001 £6.99 ISBN 0-7538-1022-0 pbk non-fiction Britain’s Astronomer Royal offers a short and lucid introduction to modern cosmology. His main emphasis is on the startling feature of the universe: the more we understand about the forces shaping cosmic events, the more they seem designed to suit us. An exploration of attempting to understand what enables the cosmos to build long-lasting and complex structures like galaxies, planetary systems, or people. Chasm city Alistair Reynolds Gollancz 2001 £17.99 ISBN 0-575-07365-9 hbk Gollancz 2002 £6.99 ISBN 0-575-06877-9 pbk fiction Tanner Mirabel was a security specialist who never made a mistake - until the day a young woman in his care was blown away during an attack by a vengeful young postmortal. Tanner's pursuit of the murderer takes him across the universe from his home planet of Sky's Edge to Chasm City. Reynold’s universe has a strange feeling of being a wondrous place but you're not sure you'd actually want to live there but he effortlessly throws in the experience of living one's whole life on a spaceship, and an alien ecology. 15
  16. 16. Mapping the mind The brain, mind and consciousness The human brain may be small, yet its exploration is a complex and fascinating topic, with many disciplines merging to advance our understanding. How did language, symbols and cultures emerge? How does memory function? Where does artificial intelligence fit into the landscape of mind mapping? A range of authors tackle this section in an illuminating and extraordinary journey. The essential difference: men, women and the extreme male brain Simon Baron-Cohen Allen Lane 2003 £16.99 ISBN 0-7139-9671-4 hbk non-fiction Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge, shows that, indisputably, on average male and female minds are of a slightly different character. Men tend to be better at analysing systems (better systemisers), while women tend to be better at reading the emotions of other people (better empathisers). Baron- Cohen shows that this distinction arises from biology, not culture. He also introduces the extreme male brain theory of autism. Into the silent land: travels in neuropsychology Paul Broks Atlantic Books 2003 ISBN 1-903809-55-X hbk non-fiction Paul Broks draws on his 15 years as a neuropsychologist to present a narrative about memory and personal identity. Macabre yet humane, unsettling but affecting, he writes about the experiences of his patients and his experience as their psychologist. The stories are those of ordinary people whose extraordinary illnesses have much to say to everyone about who and what we are. They are also about chance, compassion, human fallibility and eccentricity Mapping the mind Rita Carter Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1999 £14.99 ISBN 1-84188-009-4 hbk Phoenix 2000 £8.99 ISBN 0-7538-1019-0 pbk non-fiction If you have ever wondered what happens inside the human brain when a joke is told or when a sad moment is recalled, this book will enlighten you. The author has intertwined studies of the brain with current models of the mind developed through evolutionary biology, psychology and studies of damaged brains, to give a fascinating and highly readable account of how the brain works and how behavioural eccentricities can be traced to abnormalities in an individual’s brain. The house of sleep Jonathan Coe Penguin Books 1998 £6.99 ISBN 0-14-025083-2 pbk fiction A wry look at the mind and sleep, this comedy about the powers we acquire and relinquish when we fall asleep, and when we fall in love is a heady read. It features Sarah who is narcoleptic, Terry, a disillusioned film critic for whom sleep is a memory, and for Dr Dunstan, sleep is nothing less than a global disease. The private life of the brain Susan Greenfield Penguin 2002 £7.99 ISBN 0-14-100720-6 pbk non-fiction Susan Greenfield addresses the question of how the human brain creates consciousness and a unique sense of self, in this volume in a manner readily accessible to the general reader. Calling upon personal anecdotes and cutting-edge research, she discusses the role that emotions and life experiences play in creating our unique mind. 16
  17. 17. The Oxford companion to the mind Richard Gregory Oxford University Press 1998 £25.00 ISBN 0-19-860224-3 pbk non-fiction The Oxford Companion to the Mind contains 1001 A-Z entries encompassing philosophy, psychology and the physiology of the brain. This companion ranges from brief entries to substantial essays for major topics, including articles on certain aspects of mental life by well- known writers. As we know it: coming to terms with an evolved mind Marek Kohn Granta 2000 £8.99 ISBN 1-86207-368-6 pbk non-fiction At some point in the distant past our ancestors moved from a world without language into the world of symbols, magic, culture and language, but how do we understand this transformation? Kohn has focused on the crafting of hand axes over millennia to assess this development of the human mind, and examines the influence of this ancient past on our own behaviour. Sunbathing in the rain Gwyneth Lewis Flamingo 2002 £14.99 ISBN 0-00-712061-3 hbk Flamingo 2003 £7.99 ISBN 0-00-71062-1 pbk autobiography This title tackles the subject of depression, an illness that seems to be the defining malaise of the early 21st century. The overall structure of the book moves from dark to light, telling the story of the author's recovery, its different strands allow a variety of tones and subjects to be explored, from the profound to the frivolous. Part memoir - drawing on her own experiences, both adverse and encouraging, as a depressive and an alcoholic - and part guide or companion, the author unpacks her dark memories, and re-embarks on a journey that nearly killed her first time round. She survives, again, and shows how others might, too. Going inside: a tour around a single moment of consciousness John McCrone Faber and Faber £20.00 ISBN 0-571-17319-5 hbk Faber and Faber £9.99 ISBN 0-571-20101-6 pbk non-fiction This book considers the continual high-speed decision-making that takes place in the brain, such that actions take place before the moment of awareness. McCrone assesses how such ‘single moments of consciousness’ reveal the complexities of consciousness. Right hand, left hand: the origins of asymmetry in brains, bodies, atoms and cultures Chris McManus Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2002 ISBN 0-297-64597-8 hbk non-fiction Chris McManus takes familiar, almost childish, questions and for the first time for a popular audience answers them: why do European languages go from left to right, while Arabic ones read the other way? Why do clocks go clockwise? Why are human bodies symmetrical on the outside, but not on the inside? Why don't identical twins always have the same dominant hand? What is the relatiship between handedness and speech disorders, such as stuttering? Why are male testicles unbalanced? Right hand, left hand uses sources as diverse as the paintings of Rembrandt and the sculpture of Michelangelo. The mating mind: how sexual choice shaped the evolution of human nature Geoffrey Miller Heinemann 2000 £20.00 ISBN 0-434-00741-2 hbk 17
  18. 18. Vintage 2001 £8.99 ISBN 0-09-928824-9 pbk non-fiction The theory that the elaborate cultures developed by humankind, including music, art and sports are evidence of the evolutionary power of sexual selection is expounded by evolutionary psychologist Miller in this formidable book. The book is enlivened with ideas on popular culture such as why men tip more than women. How the mind works Stephen Pinker Penguin Books 1999 £8.99 ISBN 0-14-024491-3 pbk non-fiction In this follow-up to The Language Instinct, the author extends the Darwinian cognitive approach of his previous book to the mind in general, covering its aspects from vision, memory and consciousness to humour, fear, lust and anger. The book attempts to explain current evolutionary psychology's understanding of the human mind. Aiding and abetting Muriel Spark Penguin Books 2001 £5.99 ISBN 0-14-100990-X pbk fiction Celebrated psychiatrist Dr Hildegard Wolf is approached in her Paris consulting rooms by two men, both claiming to be the Lord Lucan who vanished 25 years after the vicious murder of his children's nanny. Can she discover their true identities before her own dark secret is revealed? The ageing brain Lawrence Whalley Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2001 £16.99 ISBN 0-297-64587-0 hbk Phoenix 2002 £7.99 ISBN 0-7538-1361-0 pbk non-fiction An exploration of what happens to the brain as it ages, with at its core an account of research into Alzheimer’s disease. Essentially an optimistic book, it includes brain development, the influence of environmental factors, brain injury and disease, treatments and preventatives, and current strategies to slow brain ageing. The Bloomsbury book of the mind Stephen Wilson Bloomsbury 2003 £20.00 ISBN 0-7475-5378-5 hbk non-fiction Our concern with how the mind works and how the hurt mind can be healed has led to a massive growth of interest in popular psychology. The ideas of many post-Freudian psychologists are almost as familiar as those of the founders of psychology on whose pioneering work they all to some extent depend. With sections on perception, memory, emotion, thought, consciousness and the unconscious, this text brings together extracts from the key writings on the subject from all over the world from the first written accounts to the most up-to-date research. It is not a clinical work, but an imaginative bringing together of case notes, journals and letters as well as more formal writings that presents humanity's most significant attempts to understand the mind and the way the mind works The luck factor: a scientific study of the lucky mind Richard Wiseman Century 2003 £9.99 ISBN 0-7126-2388-4 pbk non-fiction Based on his own research, Richard Wiseman has written this accessible study of luck. He identifies ‘the luck factor’ as well as showing us how we can all bring more luck into our lives. 18
  19. 19. Dear Mr Darwin The story of genes and evolution In 1953 Crick and Watson revealed the double helix structure of DNA, and started a biological revolution. As the science of evolution and genetics has spawned new disciplines, many authors have adopted new approaches to the human and biological sciences involved, and the cultural and ethical implications with which they merge. Richard Dawkins has used the metaphor of a river of information flowing through time, encoded in DNA. He is one of many writers illuminating a theme of interest to us all. Michael Boulter Extinction, evolution and the end of man Fourth Estate 2002 £15.99 ISBN 1-84115-695-7 hbk Fourth Estate 2003 £7.99 ISBN 1-84115-696-5 pbk non-fiction Using contemporary science that revolutionises our understanding of evolution, Michael Boulter explains how we may be closer to our own extinction than imagined. Millions of years ago the dinosaurs were destroyed in a mass extinction event that could not have been predicted. Out of the devastation, new life developed and the world regained its natural equilibrium. Now, scientists, employing radically perspectives on the science of life, are beginning to uncover signs of a similar event on the horizon - the end of man. Through the story of the last 65 million years, Michael Boulter reveals extraordinary insights that scientists are only now beginning to understand about the past, the rise and fall of species and the nature of life. The eternal child Clive Bromhall Ebury Press 2003 £17.99 ISBN 0-09-088574-4 hbk non-fiction This is the story of a single evolutionary process, which has shaped the human species. The process, known as ‘neoteny’, has been underestimated by scientists until now. Bromhall attempts to unlock many of the mysteries of human behaviour by reassessing our thinking on human nature. Fly: an experimental life Martin Brookes Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2001 £16.99 ISBN 0-297-64589-7 hbk Phoenix 2002 £7.99 ISBN 0-7538-1327-0 pbk non-fiction From its role in pioneering studies of genes and chromosomes to more recent work on gene therapy and cloning, the fruit fly has proved itself a laboratory superstar. Martin Brooke brings us these exclusive snapshots of the fruit fly at home and abroad, busy breeding or modelling the very latest technological equipment. These bluff tales of radiation and cocaine will have you turning the pages in anticipation, and learning about modern genetics into the bargain. The Darwin wars: the scientific battle for the soul of man Andrew Brown Pocket Books 2000 £7.99 ISBN 0-684-85145-8 pbk non-fiction The war of the title is that between the exponents of post-Darwinian evolutionary theories, otherwise known in the book as the ‘Dawkinsians’ and the ‘Gouldians’. The theories of both sides are outlined, including the ‘selfish gene’ theory and memes, together with the misunderstandings they have produced, and the contending personalities. Angels & insects A.S. Byatt Vintage 1993 £6.99 ISBN 0-09-922431-3 pbk fiction 19
  20. 20. Two novellas capture the tensions between science and spirituality in the Victorian era. In Morpho, Byatt interleaves fiction and popular science, exploring the civilisation of ants alongside the dark corners of life on the Alabaster estate. The Conjugal Angel tells of spiritualist attempts to communicate with lost loved ones. The art of genes: how organisms make themselves Enrico Coen Oxford University Press 1999 £20.00 ISBN 0-19-850343-1 hbk Oxford Paperbacks 2000 £8.99 ISBN 0-19-286208-1 pbk non-fiction Through a synthesis of art and science, this book gives an account of the process by which the information in the genes becomes the organism. Coen uses the analogy of an artistic process, the creative genes reacting constructively to the appearance of the ‘canvas’ as it develops. Drawing on a wide range of examples - from flowers growing petals instead of sex organs, and flies that develop an extra pair of wings, to works of art by Leonardo and Magritte - he explains the language and meaning of genes. The selfish gene Richard Dawkins Oxford Paperbacks 1989 £8.99 ISBN 0-19-286092-5 pbk non-fiction Dawkins’ controversial and perhaps most famous book contains a re-evaluation of evolution which, put bluntly, is that genes build and maintain us in order to make more genes - evolution has never been thought of in the same way since. He introduces the concept of the meme or self-reproducing gene and holds out the hope that our species has the power to rebel against the designs of the selfish gene. Darwin Adrian Desmond and James Moore Penguin 1992 £12.99 ISBN 0-14-013192-2 pbk non-fiction This biography of Charles Darwin attempts to capture the private unknown life of the real man - the gambling and gluttony at Cambridge, his gruelling trip round the globe, his intimate family life, worries about persecution and thoughts about God. Central to all of this, his pioneering efforts on the theory of evolution now that recent studies have overturned the commonplace views of Darwin that have held for more than a century. Desmond and Moore sweep Darwin up into the society that made his ideas possible and controversial. Their gripping portrait explores the contradictory forces that shaped both the man and his age. Dear Mr Darwin: letters on the evolution of life and human nature Gabriel Dover Phoenix 2001 £7.99 ISBN: 0-7538-1127-8 pbk non-fiction More than a hundred years after Darwin’s death, Gabriel Dover begins an imagined correspondence with Darwin over the findings of modern genetics and their efect on the evolution of biological oddities. The peppered moth Margaret Drabble Penguin Books 2001 £6.99 ISBN 0-14-029716-2 pbk fiction Dr Hawthorn’s research into mitochondrial DNA and matrilineal descent brings Faro Gaulden reluctantly back to her roots in South Yorkshire. Weaving Faro’s life into the story of her grandmother’s frustration, Margaret Drabble creates puzzles of inheritance and individuality that cannot be fully resolved. Spiral bound: an anthology of poetry and songs of genes and their engineering Emily Johns (ed) 20
  21. 21. Hearing Eye 2000 £6.00 ISBN 1-870841-65-4 pbk poetry An anthology produced as part of Gene genie: making choices about genetic engineering, an art/science exhibition. John Heath-Stubbs considers the origin of chimaeras, Danielle Hope investigates mitosis, and David Kuhrt takes on Richard Dawkins. The molecule hunt: how archaeologists are bringing the past back to life Martin Jones Penguin Books 2002 £6.99 ISBN 0-14-028976-3 pbk non-fiction The fascinating story of the search for ancient DNA told by a leading researcher: from its beginnings in China, when researchers first identified nucleic acids on a two thousand year old corpse, to the frustrations in the 1990s when the urge to keep up with Spielberg’s Jurassic Park led to claims that did not stand up to scientific scrutiny, to more recent spectacular results including DNA from 50,000 year old Neanderthal bones. The language of the genes Steve Jones Flamingo 2000 (updated issue) £8.99 ISBN 0-00-655243-9 pbk non-fiction An accessible introduction to the worlds of genetics and evolution, covering what genetics can and cannot tell us about our evolution and social development, and not shying away from the social issues raised by genetics. Y: the descent of men Steve Jones Little Brown 2002 £14.99 ISBN 0-316-85615-0 hbk Abacus 2003 £7.99 ISBN 0-349-11389-0 pbk non-fiction Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics at University College London writes about the recent advances in medicine and genetics. Towards the end of the last millennium, the birth of Dolly the Sheep - conceived without male assistance reminded at least half the population of how precarious man's position may be. What is the point of being a man? For a brief and essential instant he is a donor of DNA; but outside that moment his role is hard to understand. This book is about science not society; about maleness not manhood. The condition is, in the end, a matter of biology, whatever limits that science may have in explaining the human condition. Today's advances in medicine and in genetics mean at last we understand why men exist and why they are so frequent. We understand from hormones to hydraulics how man's machinery works, why he dies so young and how his brain differs from that of the rest of mankind. Mara and Dann Doris Lessing Flamingo 2000 £6.99 ISBN 0-00-655083-5 pbk fiction Mara and Dann, a mythical boy and girl set forth on an odyssey from Africa (now known as Afrik) to the northern hemisphere which has now succumbed to a new ice age. On the way they trace the pattern s of gender and human development. Mara’s adventures are female, stories of love and fertility; Dan’s are darker, tales of redemption and sin. Rosalind Franklin Brenda Maddox HarperCollins 2003 £7.99 ISBN 0-00-655211-0 pbk biography Rosalind Franklin’s brilliant X-ray crystallography work on DNA was vital to the discovery of the double helix, the structure that enables genes to reproduce. She built up a distinguished research career, struggling against personal differences in her department, lack of recognition from her funding body, and finally cancer. In this clear and balanced biography, Brenda Maddox rescues Franklin from two myths: the harpy of Jim Watson’s The Double Helix and the martyr claimed by feminists. 21
  22. 22. Snakeskin John McCabe Black Swan 2002 £6.99 ISBN 0-552-99873-7 pbk fiction Darren White, a substandard geneticist from Manchester, is slinking back home after failing to glean any useful facts from a conference in Colorado. His problems are small compared to those of his travelling companion, a computer programmer with a habit of crawling into other peoples’ identities. Parasites or symbionts, they will try anything to get what they want out of life. Genome Matt Ridley Fourth Estate 2000 £8.99 ISBN 1-85702-835-X pbk non-fiction Ridley has produced a tour of the human genome and what it can tell us about the history of humankind, using the stories of one gene from each of the 23 pairs of human chromosomes. Including genes for intelligence, for development, and ones that allow us to remember and ones that tell of human migrations through history. Mendel’s demon: gene justice and the complexity of life Mark Ridley Phoenix 2001 £7.99 ISBN 0-7538-1410-2 pbk non-fiction As organisms become more complicated so does the possibility for error in the genetic copying process and the possibility that genes could evolve to subvert complex life forms. As this book reveals, life has therefore evolved as a series of steps to deal with error and to coerce genes to co-operate within the body. The book rounds up with a look at the future, to cloning and the implications of genetic technologies on reproduction processes, and what possible creatures could develop. Nature via nurture: genes, experience and what makes us human Matt Ridley Fourth Estate 2003 £18.99 ISBN 1-84115-745-7 hbk non-fiction In this book, Matt Ridley asks what makes us who we are? In February 2001 it was announced that the genome contains not 100,000 genes as originally expected but only 30,000. This startling revision led some scientists to conclude that there are simply not enough human genes to account for all the different ways people behave: we must be made by nurture, not nature. Matt Ridley argues that the emerging truth is far more interesting than this myth. Nurture depends on genes, too, and genes need nurture. Genes not only predetermine the broad structure of the brain, they also absorb formative experiences, react to social cues and even run memory. They are consequences as well as causes of the will. Published 50 years after the discovery of the double helix of DNA, Nature via nurture chronicles a revolution in our understanding of genes to explain how the human being can be simultaneously free-willed and motivated by instinct and culture. Alas poor Darwin: escaping evolutionary psychology Hilary Rose and Steven Rose Vintage 2001 £8.99 ISBN 0-09-928319-0 pbk non-fiction A collection of essays from the leading critics of modern theories on biological determinism as expounded by Dawkins, including biologists Steven Jay Gould, Gabriel Dover and Patrick Bateson and anthropologists, sociologists, philosophers and cultural critics. Hen’s teeth Manda Scott Women’s Press 2000 £5.99 ISBN 0-7043-4685-0 pbk fiction 22
  23. 23. When Bridget Donnelly dies after a last meal of eggs and temazepan, her closest friends refuse to accept that she killed herself. But the law cannot be trusted, so Kellen and Lee embark on a mad investigation that has them breaking into laboratories, sneaking about in mortuaries, evading sinister killers and looking after bantam hens. Great apes Will Self Penguin 1998 £7.99 ISBN 0-14-026800-6 pbk fiction Imagine that chimpanzees represent the pinnacle of evolution, while humans are mere beasts. Simon Dykes wakes up after a heavy night and is horrified to find himself inhabiting a world of stinky beasts. Clearly deranged, the chimp who thinks he’s human is delivered into the care of Dr Zack Busner, the alpha male anti-psychiatrist and eminent natural philosopher. The common thread: a story of science, politics, ethics and the human genome John Sulston and Georgina Ferry Bantam Press 2002 £17.99 ISBN 0-593-04801-6 hbk Black Swan 2003 £7.99 ISBN 0-552-99941-5 pbk non-fiction The story of the mapping of the human genome, the Human Genome Project, from the viewpoint of John Sulston, director of the Sanger Centre in Cambridge (UK) until 2000. John Sulston was at the forefront of the world wide effort to map the entire human DNA sequence, but he was also behind the scenes in the world of political machinations, funding battles and competition with commercial interests that went hand-in-hand with the scientific breakthroughs. In Mendel’s footnotes Colin Tudge Vintage 2002 £8.99 ISBN 0-09-928875-3 pbk non-fiction ‘All genetics is footnotes to Mendel’, said the man who effectively created genetics, the science of heredity, in the 1860s. Colin Tudge argues that the challenging issues surrounding developments in modern biotechnology can be better understood by tracing their origins in Mendel’s work. Frankenstein’s footsteps: science, genetics and popular culture Jon Turney Yale University Press 1998 £25.00 ISBN 0-300-07417-4 hbk Yale University Press 2000 £11.95 ISBN 0-300-08826-4 pbk non-fiction The Frankenstein myth remains relevant today, for it still informs debates about developments in biotechnology. Jon Turney traces Frankenstein’s presence through the stories about biologists that have been told over the past 200 years, arguing that we must recognise his influence if we want to articulate our reasons for supporting or opposing particular genetic technologies. The wisdom of bones: in search of human origins Alan Walker and Pat Shipman Phoenix 1997 £7.99 ISBN 1-85799-874-X pbk non-fiction This personal account of the search for the missing link reveals the excitement and emotion that surround research into the origins of humankind. Focusing on the discovery of Nariokotome boy in 1984, the authors conclude that he was an ape trapped in a human form, challenging preconceptions about human evolution. 23
  24. 24. Nature and mortality Mary Warnock Continuum 2002 £18.99 ISBN 0-8264-5940-4 hbk non-fiction Mary Warnock is, by professional training, a philosopher and a prominent figure in education. Between 1975 and 2000 she was chairman of important, controversial and far-reaching UK government committees on animal experimentation and human fertilisation. Regarded by governments of both parties as an expert on a wide range of issues on the borderline between ethics and law, she has also guided and advised other experts. This book is a challenging look at some of the major public issues of our time, through the eyes of the liberal humanist. It is a frank account of where we stand today on disturbing matters such as human embryology, genetic engineering, euthanasia and abortion. The cloning of Joanna May Fay Weldon Fontana Press £4.99 ISBN 0-00-6176845-6 pbk fiction A novel about split personality, about the components of the self and genetic engineering. It tells of the fate of Joanna May, who, at the age of 60 discovers that she has been cloned and there are in fact four other versions of herself in existence. 24
  25. 25. A passion for plants - ecology, biodiversity and natural history Plants and animals need a working ecosystem. From an evolutionary perspective, variety within a species may be as important as several different species. And preservation of nothing but a relic population may not be much better than complete extinction. Yet today biological diversity is disappearing faster than at any time in the Earth’s history. The sciences of biodiversity and ecology are themselves still in rapidly evolving phase, as many of the following books show. Hothouse Brian Aldiss House of Stratus 2000, £6.99 ISBN 0-7551-0060-3 pbk non-fiction In the Age of Vegetables the earth and moon no longer rotate, one face fixed towards a sun burning intensely before it goes nova. Humans live in the trees fending off attacks from vegetables that have developed animal characteristics, spinning webs like spiders or flying like birds. Gren and his companion journey to the dark side of the earth under the direction of an intelligent fungus, while Lily-Yo finds hope on the moon. The life of mammals David Attenborough BBC Consumer Publishing (Books) 2002 £19.99 ISBN 0-563-53423-0 hbk non-fiction David Attenborough recounts the story of 4000 species that have outlived the dinosaurs and conquered the farthest places on earth: the mouse-sized pioneers who lived alongside the dinosaurs; the insect eaters; the tool-using root raiders and seed stealers; and the leaf eaters. The private life of plants David Attenborough BBC Consumer Publishing (Books) 1994 £17.99 ISBN 0-563-37023-8 hbk non-fiction An eminently readable and lavishly illustrated account of different aspects of the lifestyles of plants, from dispersal, growth and nutrition to plant–animal interactions and survival strategies. Based on Attenborough’s television series for the BBC, the book conveys his characteristic enthusiasm, as displayed in his other classic books such as Life on Earth, The Trials of Life, Life in the Freezer, The Life of Birds and The Life of Mammals. The drought JG Ballard Flamingo 2001 £4.99 ISBN 0-00-711518-0 pbk fiction The world, without rain, is drying up. Rivers are a trickle and we see the shrivelling of the species far from its sources and headed lemming-like for the sea. Time has burst its dams and seeps inside the race-structure with bizarre results. The Blue Planet: a natural history of the oceans Andrew Byatt (and others) BBC Consumer Publishing (Books) 2001 £24.99 ISBN 0-563-38498-0 hbk non-fiction Focusing on seven different habitats, The Blue Planet is a comprehensive guide to the world's oceans. It explores the hidden depths of the oceans to reveal many fascinating facts, which can be found in boxed text and feature spreads along with lots of full colour illustrations. The chymical wedding Lyndsay Clarke Picador 1990 £7.99 ISBN 0-330-30968-4 pbk fiction By the author of Sunday Whiteman, this novel of intellectual obsession and passion concerns two groups of people who are united in their investigation into the ‘great experiment of nature’ 25
  26. 26. in a Norfolk village, but divided by a century of time. The blind watchmaker Richard Dawkins Penguin 2000 £6.99 ISBN 0140291229 pbk non-fiction All living creatures, though superficially diverse, are cousins of each other. Here the author cogently argues that evolution by Darwinian natural selection is the unifying theory of life – the only known theory that could, in principle, explain everything that we know about living things, including their complexity and diversity. How the leopard changed its spots: the evolution of complexity Brian Goodwin Prentice Hall 1994 £19.95 ISBN 0-02-544710-6 hbk Phoenix 1997 £7.99 ISBN 0-75380171X pbk non-fiction The author is an outspoken critic of those biological models that see the gene as all-powerful, and by applying the laws of physics to the study of life and the growth of complex forms, proposes a powerful source for the origin of species and offers an alternative to modern Darwinism and twentieth-century genetics. A passion for plants Clive Langmead Royal Botanic Gardens 2001 £9.95 ISBN 1-09003-4776-8 pbk non-fiction The story of Professor Ghillean Prance from his earliest days as a young scientist in Oxford, to expeditions across the Amazon searching for new species of plants. Prance was a long- term director of the world famous Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and is now a famed international speaker, conservationist and scientific advisor to the Eden Project. Essential reading for anyone who thinks plants are dull. The sixth extinction: biodiversity and its survival Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin Phoenix 1996 £7.99 ISBN 1-85799-473-6 pbk non-fiction Over the past 530 million years there have been five mass extinctions of species – the last, 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs disappeared. Drawing on insights from palaeontology, biology, ecology and even economics, Leakey and Lewin argue that the biodiversity of our planet may now be on the verge of a sixth extinction, caused this time by the relentless expansion and limitless appetites of human beings. After the hurricane Robert Minhinnick Carcanet 2002 £6.95 ISBN 1-85754-563-X pbk poetry Robert Minhinnick sees radiation sickness in orchids, joy-riding in sodium and ‘amphetamine brilliance’ in the sky. Natural philosopher for a nuclear age, he details without compromise a world as harsh as it is beautiful. Bosco Mario Petrucci Hearing Eye 2001 £5.95 ISBN 1-870841-64-6 pbk poetry Mario Petrucci blends subjectivity into the physical world, discovering a tree oracle on life support, an ‘octopus of sense’ and a sapling boy. His insistent wit rides on gentle rhythms, mobilising perception into compelling visions that challenge the way we relate to our environment. Floods 26
  27. 27. Maurice Riordan Faber 2000 £7.99, ISBN 0-571-20462-7 pbk poetry Scientific ideas make themselves at home in Maurice Riordan’s poetry, his chromosomes and comets no strangers among the stags and peewits, the powerlines and buses. It is a generous natural world that can accommodate such a broad spectrum of furniture, from Weetabix and Ryan Giggs to dinosaurs and dreadlocks, photons streaming past the rows of potatoes. And it is all done with just the poise that Riordan observes wild creatures to have, bringing such apparently incongruous materials together simply because it is necessary to the unfolding of life and death. Salt Adam Roberts Gollancz 2001 £6.99 ISBN 1-85798-78-7X pbk fiction A convoy of ships leaves the Earth for a brighter future, travelling on the tail of a comet to begin a new life on Salt. But cultural differences between the Alsists and Senaarians grow steadily, crystals of hatred forming around small misunderstandings. With great skill Adam Roberts weaves between the minds of Petja and Barlei to produce a compelling tale of inevitable and ruinous conflict. Eden Tim Smit Bantam 2001 £25 ISBN 0-593-04883-0 hbk Corgi 2002 £7.99 ISBN 0-552-14920-9 pbk non-fiction Tim Smit is obsessed with horticulture (no mere ‘gardening’ for him). Based in Cornwall, the Eden Project is, in his own worlds, ‘a vast complex of soap bubble-shaped greenhouses (the largest in the world) which interpret and explain our dependence upon the plant kingdom.’ This well-written book is his definitive account of the project from its beginnings – an account handsomely and often wittily illustrated. Talking with animals Charlotte Uhlenbroek Hodder 2002 £10.99 ISBN 0-340-82123-X hbk non-fiction Published to accompany the author’s BBC series, this is a handsomely illustrated overview of animal communication. Drawing on her own wealth of experience and research, Uhlenbroek explores the variety of signals used in interactions between and within species. She also reveals how our understanding of some of the universal rules of communication has allowed us to interact closely with other animals, to our mutual benefit. 27
  28. 28. The invention of clouds – geology and earth science Planets, especially ours, are where the most interesting things in the universe go on. And the Earth is, of course, the best known. This selection samples books which show the history of our Earth, its geology and climate, and how it works. At the margins, the list shades into biology, with books on the history of life and of Gaia theory, and into astronomy, with books which trace the origins of the Solar System. Both have taught us new things about the Earth. The dinosaur hunters: a true story of scientific rivalry Deborah Cadbury Fourth Estate 2000 £15.99 ISBN 1-85702-959-3 hbk Fourth Estate 2001 £7.99 ISBN 1-85702-963-1 pbk on-fiction The Forteys of the nineteenth century were after larger prey – fossil dinosaurs. Deborah Cadbury’s reconstruction begins with the young Mary Anning unearthing a strange giant ‘crocodile’ on Lyme Regis beach in Dorset in 1811, and then intrigues and rivalries of the scientists who struggled to make sense of this and other finds. As well as the history of natural history, Cadbury paints a detailed picture of the rise of Richard Owen, who coined the term dinosaur, and his later defeat by the new-fangled Darwinians, whose theory he could never accept. Architects of eternity: the new science of fossils Richard Corfield Review, 2002 £7.99 ISBN 0-7472-6474-0 pbk non-fiction The Victorians chipped fossils out of the rock, measured them and tried to piece them together. Paleontologists still do those things, but today they have a battery of other techniques which their predecessors never dreamed of. Geologist Richard Corfield pays homage to the past-masters, but is more interested in the stories which can now be told using evidence from scanning electron microscopes, mass spectrometry, even DNA sequencers processing fragments of fossil genes. There is bad news for fans of Jurassic Park – no DNA survives for more than about 100,000 years - but much fascinating detail about the ways we can reconstruct the lives and habits of fossil creatures, if not the creatures themselves. Stepping stones: the making of our home world Stephen Drury Oxford University Press 1999 £19.99 ISBN 0-19-850271-0 hbk Oxford University Press 2001 £13.99 ISBN 0-19-850807-7 pbk non-fiction We may think ‘global change’ is a modern term, but Stephen Drury demonstrates that, albeit on slower scales than current climatic shifts, it is the one constant in Earth’s history. This is the current scientific story of our planet from its formation five billion years ago, a deft synthesis of physics, chemistry, geology and biology. Written at a consistently high scientific level throughout, yet in a style accessible to the general reader, Drury’s clarity allows his enthusiasm to shine through the technical detail. Life: an unauthorised biography Richard Fortey Flamingo 1998. £9.99 ISBN 0-00-638420-X pbk non-fiction Nothing less than a history of the biosphere, from the first accretion of dust and rock which formed the Earth through the entire history of life up to the origins of humanity. Fortey’s remarkable four billion year narrative combines scientific clarity with literary flair in a blend rarely matched in popular science. Aeons: the search for the beginning of time Martin Gorst 28
  29. 29. Fourth Estate 2002 £7.99 ISBN 1-84115-118-1 pbk non-fiction The search for the beginning of time was caught up from the very first in a struggle with beliefs about mankind’s place in the universe. Martin Gorst blends biography and history, science and religion to bring us this fascinating and informative story of a universe that got older and vaster the more closely we peered into it. Fitzroy: the remarkable story of Darwin’s captain and the invention of the weather forecast John Gribbin and Mary Gribbin Review 2003 £18.99 ISBN 0-7553-1181-7 hbk Headline 2003 £12.99 ISBN 0-7553-1290-2 pbk non-fiction Admiral FitzRoy made his name as a captain on the HMS Beagle. On his second voyage on the ship (1832-36) he decided to ask Charles Darwin to accompany him, and it was during this time that Darwin began to develop the ideas that would lead him to his theory of evolution by natural selection. But there was much more to FitzRoy than this: he was an MP, he was the second governor of New Zealand from 1843-45 when he made himself unpopular with the settlers by upholding Maori rights, and in 1854 he set up the Meteorological Office so for the first time sailors could know what weather to expect when they set sail. The invention of clouds: how an amateur meteorologist forged the language of the skies Richard Hamblyn Picador 2001 £14.99 ISBN 0-330-39194-1 hbk Picador 2002 £7.99 ISBN 0-330-39195-X pbk non-fiction This book is about the Quaker Luke Howard, who pioneered the modern classification of clouds at the turn of the nineteenth century. Hamblyn recaptures both the difficulty of reading clouds before this time – every one looks different to the untrained eye – and the temper of the times, when disciplined observation and hard thought sufficed for anyone to make an original contribution to science if only they looked at the right things in the right way. The floating egg: episodes in the making of geology Roger Osborne Pimlico 1999 £10 ISBN 0-7126-6686-9 pbk non-fiction This book contains 25 stories, beginning with the search for an alchemist's secret, and ending with the re-imagination of a past world, and each is connected to a particular part of north- east England, the author’s home turf, exploring the uncertain line where myth is dissolved into science. They add up to a nicely written picture of geology picking its way from myth to something closer to science. The map that changed the world: a tale of rocks, ruins and redemption Simon Winchester Penguin 2002 £6.99 ISBN 0-14-028039-1 pbk non-fiction After many ups and downs, William Smith ended his life revered as the founder of British geology. Winchester’s engaging treatment tells of his remarkable achievement. Nearly 200 years ago, Smith realised that fossils could be used to order rock layers, and virtually single- handedly compiled the first geological map of a whole country. The birth of a new science is beautifully recorded in this stunning document, and now in Winchester’s attractive book. 29
  30. 30. Krakatoa: the day the world exploded Simon Winchester Viking 2003 £16.99 ISBN 0-670-91126-7 hbk Viking 2003 £10.99 ISBN 0-670-91428-2 pbk non-fiction The most terrifying and destructive volcanic cataclysm in modern recorded history took place in August 1883, when a series of incredibly powerful detonations destroyed the landmark island of Krakatoa, five miles off the western tip of Java.The impact of the explosions was utterly destructive in the immediate region, destorying 200 villages and 40,000 people. The explosions had a dramatic effect that was felt and heard for thousands of miles, over fully ten per cent of the earth's surface, in central Australia, in East Africa, in India and in China. Ships sailing as far away as the Red Sea were covered with thick volcanic ash and immense rafts of pumice, some big enough to support trees and animals, floated in the seas clear across to Africa. Even more amazingly, the explosions were experienced around the whole world - by way of a substantial ten year burst of global warming - by the brilliance of sunsets and by the presence of fine suspended ash in the air. Using contemporaneous reports, this book recounts the events that led up to the cataclysm, as well as those occurring immediately after. Above all, Simon Winchester writes about how the Americans, English, Chinese and Dutch - and also the Javanese and Sumatrans to whom this land belonged - dealt with the unforgettable events of the day that their world exploded. 30
  31. 31. The pleasures of counting – mathematics The problem with school mathematics, apart from the way in which it puts most people off the subject for life, is that it gives the impression that there are no problems left to solve. Real mathematics is far broader, and livelier, than most of us ever imagine. The challenge is to make contact with genuine mathematics without getting submerged in technical details. All these books manage to achieve just that, while inspiring and entertaining readers. 1089 and all that David Acheson Oxford University Press 2002 ISBN 0-19-851623-1 £12.99 non-fiction This volume aims to make mathematics accessible to non-experts and the lay reader. Providing an overview of the subject, the text includes several mathematical conundrums.This book is intended for mathematics, physics, engineering and computer science students from A-level to postgraduate level, interested lay readers, school teachers, parents. It is designed to make mathematics accessible, interesting and entertaining to the non-expert. The self-made tapestry: pattern formation in nature Philip Ball Oxford University Press 2001 £12.50 ISBN 0-19-850243-5 pbk non-fiction Fascinating reflections on how nature’s patterns – the markings on animals, windblown ripples of sand, the forms of water in motion – are woven by self-organisation, through simple, local interactions between their component parts. This beautifully illustrated book will appeal to anyone who has ever wondered about the astounding order that exists amid chaos. Frontiers of complexity Paul Coveney and Roger Highfield Faber 1995 £18.99 ISBN 0-571-16991-0 hbk Faber 1996 £9.99 ISBN 0-571-17922-3 pbk non-fiction This comprehensive work by a scientist and a journalist investigates the role of computers in the understanding of complexity; spontaneous emergence of order in the universe; how nature can solve problems that traditionally defeat scientists; and the likelihood that intelligence will evolve within computers. The maths gene: why everyone has it, but most people don’t use it Keith Devlin Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2000 £9.99 ISBN 0-297-64571-4 pbk Phoenix 2001 £7.99 ISBN 0-7538-1126-X pbk non-fiction Where does the human ability to perform mathematical reasoning come from? This book claims that the answer is closely related to the evolutionary changes in the human brain that gave rise to language. It lies within our genes, and more specifically within our inherent pattern-making abilities. Why do buses come in threes? The hidden mathematics of everyday life Rob Eastaway and Jeremy Wyndham Robson 1999 £8.99 ISBN 1-86105-247-2 pbk non-fiction Why is it better to buy a lottery ticket on a Thursday? Why are showers always too hot or too cold? These and many other questions are answered in this entertaining and highly informative book. It is for anyone wanting to discover that maths is relevant to almost everything. 31
  32. 32. It must be beautiful: great equations of modern science Graham Farmello (ed) Granta 2002 £20.00 ISBN 1-86207-479-8 hbk Granta 2003 £9.99 ISBN 1-8620-7-555-7 pbk non-fiction A wide-ranging and illuminating introduction to the equations behind the most extraordinary theories of modern science. Written for the mathematical layperson, the book brings together not only some pre-eminent British science writers, but also several world-leading scientists and historians. Ranges from particle physics, through evolution and climatology, to extraterrestrial life. Mathematics for the curious Peter Higgins Oxford 1998 £7.99 ISBN 0-19288072-1 pbk non-fiction When do the hands of a clock coincide? How likely is it that two children in the same class will share a birthday? Should you play Roulette or the Lottery? How do we calculate the volume of a doughnut? Why does the android Data in Star Trek lose at poker? What is Fibonacci's Rabbit Problem? Many things in the world have a mathematical side to them, as revealed by the puzzles and questions in this light and enjoyable book The pleasures of counting TW Korner Cambridge University Press 1996 £65.00 ISBN 0-521-56087-X hbk Cambridge University Press 1996 £23.95 ISBN 0-521-56823-4 pbk non-fiction What is the connection between the outbreak of cholera in Victorian Soho, the Battle of the Atlantic, African Eve and the design of anchors? They are all examples chosen by Dr Tom Korner to show how a little mathematics can shed light on the world around us, and deepen our understanding of it. He describes a variety of topics which continue to interest professional mathematicians, like himself but by using relatively simple terms and ideas. Fermat’s last theorem Simon Singh Fourth Estate 1998 £7.99 ISBN 1-84115-791-0 pbk non-fiction When Cambridge mathematician Andrew Wiles announced a solution for Fermat’s last theorem in 1993, it stunned the world of mathematics. After a flaw was discovered in the proof, Wiles had to work for another year – he had already laboured in solitude for seven years – to establish that he had solved the 350-year-old problem. Singh’s book is a lively accessible explanation of Wiles’s work and of the colourful history behind the theorem. An entertaining tale of human and mathematical endeavour, and a painless introduction to numbers and number theory. The magical maze: seeing the world through mathematical eyes Ian Stewart Orion 1998 £7.99 ISBN 0-7538-0514-6 pbk non-fiction A brilliant exploration of the beauty and power of mathematics, structured on the image of a maze representing the network of connected mathematical ideas that have proved useful in our understanding of the natural world. Based on the author’s 1997 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, the book covers such topics as numbers, probability, game theory, patterns and oscillators, knots, computability, chaos and much, much more. Arcadia Tom Stoppard Samuel French 1995 £6.00 ISBN 0-573-01718-2 pbk drama 32
  33. 33. This is Tom Stoppard's award-winning play, set in Derbyshire. In a Regency room overlooking the gardens is Lady Croom's brilliant adolescent daughter - Thomasina Coverly, with her handsome, clever tutor Septimus Hodge. Their maths lesson is disturbed by, among others, the imperious, amorous Lady Croom and Ezra Chater, a cuckold and minor poet, determined on satisfaction. One hundred and eighty years later, in the same room, a corresponding group, comprising a mathematician, a biographer/historian, and a vulgar academic, try to unravel the events of 1809 - with spectacularly wrong results. Electric Chad Taylor Jonathan Cape 2003 £10.00 ISBN: 0-224-06926-8 pbk fiction Samuel Usher's pursuit of the truth leads him into an underworld of chaos and turbulence, where numbers rule and love and friendship collide. Four colours suffice: how the map problem was solved Robin Wilson Penguin Books 2003 £7.99 ISBN 014-100908-X pbk non-fiction A book to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the solution to one of the world's most puzzling mathematical problems. The four-colour theorem states that every map in the world can be coloured with just four colours in such a way that neighbouring countries have different colours; one of the simplest problems to state, one of the hardest to solve, which took a entury for mathematicians to prove.This book introduces the mathematicians behind the mathematics, among them a bishop, an astronomer, a botanist, an obsessive golfer and a bridegroom who spend his honeymoon colouring maps. 33
  34. 34. The quantum universe – physical science From Einstein's E=mc2 to Schrodinger's kittens, blackholes to the Big Bang not forgetting the periodic table of the elements which make up the physical world, a variety of authors explore the mysteries of our universe. These are challenging topics, covered in a fascinating array of titles, which take the reader from explorations and explanations of the empirical to the possibilities of time travel and geometries and dimensions outside our immediate knowledge Black holes, wormholes and time machines Jim Al-Khalili The Institute of Physics 1999 £11.99 ISBN 0-7503-0560-6 pbk non-fiction This immensely readable little book is aimed at readers who do not have a background in science but who are interested in the answers to questions such as: what was there before the Big Bang; what does the inside of a black hole look like; does the universe have an edge; do parallel universes exist; and, are people able to travel back in time? The author, a physicist, provides a tour de force of many of the most mind-boggling ideas in modern science. The periodic kingdom: a journey into the land of the chemical elements Peter Atkins Phoenix 1996 £6.99 ISBN 1-85799-449-3 pbk non-fiction A journey of imagination. The author, an acclaimed chemist and science writer, treats the periodic table of the elements (from which everything in the world is made) as a country. As in a travel guide, this brief and lucid book introduces the reader to the table’s general features, the history of the elements and the underlying arrangement of the table in terms of the structure and properties of atoms. E=mc2: a biography of the world’s most famous equation David Bodanis Pan 2001 £6.99 ISBN 0-330-39165-8 pbk non-fiction If, like Cameron Diaz, you have ever wanted to know what E=mc2 really means, then David Bodanis can help. He cheerfully guides us through the equation’s ancestry in energy, mass, and light, its early years with Einstein, and its adulthood making bombs during the second world war. Complete with a cast list of the main characters involved and a guide to further reading. Count Rumford: scientist, soldier, statesman, spy: the extraordinary life of a scientific genius George I. Brown Sutton 2001 £6.99 ISBN 0-7509-2674-0 pbk biography Count Rumford (Benjamin Thomson) led an ambitious life of international adventure, scientific discovery, and social reform. After a boyhood in the United States, Romford was forced to flee to England in 1776 after spying for the British during the American War of Independence. Throughout his adventurous life, Rumford's passion was for science - he was known as ‘The spy who conquered the cold’ after he discovered how heat was made - and his revolutionary inventions improved heating, lighting and cooking facilities. He was also a philanthropist setting up workhouses, originating the idea of soup kitchens and, most famously, establishing the Royal Institution. George Brown tells the remarkable story of the physicist and philanthropist whose ideas were very much ahead of his troubled times. The strange case of Mrs Hudson’s cat: or Sherlock Holmes solves the Einstein Horrors Colin Bruce Vintage 1998 £7.99 ISBN 0-09-926769-1 pbk non-fiction 34
  35. 35. Colin Bruce adopts the Sherlock Holmes stories as a starting point for an investigation into the mysteries of modern physics and the quantum world. Holmes and Watson embark on a new series of twelve adventures and the solution to each case involves one of the central ideas of physics. Ingenious and entertaining. Einstein’s universe: a guide to the theory of relativity Nigel Calder Penguin 1990 £8.99 ISBN 0-14-013516-2 pbk non-fiction This book assesses Einstein’s theories, discussing along the way such questions as how a black hole can keep you young and why a falling person feels no force of gravity. A classic of popular science, written in an exemplary clear and simple style. Lucifer’s legacy: the meaning of asymmetry Frank Close Oxford Paperbacks 2001 £8.99 ISBN 0-19-866267-X hbk non-fiction An acclaimed physicist and broadcaster explores the origins of asymmetry from molecules, through life, to the universe at large, and asks whether the multitude of examples can be traced back to a single act that took place at the Big Bang. The ghost in the atom: a discussion of the mysteries of quantum physics P.C.W. Davies and Julian R. Brown (eds) Cambridge University Press 1993 £10.95 ISBN 0-521-45728-9 pbk non-fiction Although quantum theory has been supremely successful in its explanation of the physical world, it remains the subject of unprecedented controversy amongst scientists and philosophers. In this book, which has its origins in a series of radio broadcasts, Paul Davies interviews eight physicists involved in debating and testing the theory, with radically different views of its significance. How to build a time machine Paul Davies Allen Lane 2001 £9.99 ISBN 0-7139-9583-1 hbk Penguin 2002 £6.99 ISBN 0-14-100534-3 pbk non-fiction In this concise, step-by-step guide, a veteran of the popular science writing genre and world- class physicist show how time travel can in theory be achieved – without breaking the laws of physics and without any earth-shattering paradoxes. The format of the book is reader-friendly, with text linked to sketches, photographs and diagrams of machinery. At the heart of the book is an explanation of Einstein’s theory of relativity and what that theory tells us about the possibility of time-travel. The deadly space between Patricia Duncker Picador 2003 £6.99 ISBN 0-330-49010-9 pbk fiction This novel is a disturbing tale of Oedipal passion. It concerns 18 year-old Toby Hawk whose world remains a small, closed round of school, domesticity and surfing the Net at night. But then his mother, only 15 years older than he is, takes up with a fascinating but enigmatic scientist. The oversight Will Eaves Picador 2002 £6.99 ISBN 0-330-48140-1 pbk fiction In 1983, an ordinary teenager called Daniel Rathbone fell in love, spurned a friend, and stumbled on the ability to see in the dark. On his 25th birthday, he is bequeathed a second no 35
  36. 36. less unusual gift - a Victorian writing box. It is opened, but its contents resist interpretation. Nature’s building blocks: an A–Z guide to the elements John Emsley Oxford University Press 2001 £20.00 ISBN 0-19-850341-5 hbk Oxford University Press 2003 £12.99 ISBN 019-850340-7 pbk non-fiction An encyclopaedic book that provides a readable, informative, fascinating entry on each one of the hundred or so chemical elements, arranged alphabetically from actinium to zirconium. Each entry describes how and when the element was discovered, the origins of its name, its biological, economic and environmental significance, its chemical attributes and much, much more. The shocking history of phosphorus: a biography of the Devil’s element John Emsley Pan 2001 £6.99 ISBN 0-330-39005-8 pbk non-fiction Essential to all life on earth, phosphorus has led a varied and hell-raising career spanning over four centuries. Extracted from urine by alchemists during the 1600s, its more recent appearances include pesticides, detergents, matches and nerve gas. John Emsley blends chemistry and history to bring us ‘unlucky phosphorus’, the thirteenth element to be discovered. Dorothy Hodgkin: a life Georgina Ferry Granta 1999 £9.99 ISBN 1-86207-285-X pbk biography Dorothy Hodgkin developed techniques of X-ray crystallography and discovered the structure of molecules such as insulin, penicillin, and vitamin B12, with important consequences for medicine. This compelling biography reveals the dedication and compassion with which she pursued scientific research, met family demands, and campaigned for international peace and collaboration. Copenhagen Michael Frayn Metheun Publishing Ltd 1998 £7.99 ISBN 0-413-72049-5 pbk drama In 1941 the German physicist Werner Heisenberg made a strange trip to Copenhagen to see his Danish counterpart, Niels Bohr. They were old friends and close colleagues, and they had revolutionised atomic physics in the 1920s with their work together on quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principle. But now the world had changed, and the two men were on opposite sides in a world war. The meeting was fraught with danger and embarrassment, and ended in disaster. Why the German physicist Heisenberg went to Copenhagen in 1942 and what he wanted to say to the Danish physicist Bohr are questions which have exercised historians of nuclear physics ever since. In Copenhagen, Heisenberg meets Bohr and his wife Margrethe once again to look for the answers, and to work out, just as they had once worked out the internal functioning of the atom, how we can ever know why we do what we do. Frayn succeeds in bringing together important issues of history, politics, science and morality to a wider audience. Mauve Simon Garfield Faber and Faber 2001 £6.99 ISBN 0-571-20917-3 pbk non-fiction One day in 1856 William Perkin, attempting to produce quinine in his laboratory, accidentally created a colour that changed the world. Derived from dirty coal-tar, mauve inspired many other chemical advances including medicines, perfumes, food preservatives and explosives. 36
  37. 37. Simon Garfield brings the story of mauve to life, from the circumstances of its discovery to the remarkable consequences of this chance invention. Schrodinger’s kittens and the search for reality John Gribbin Phoenix 1996 £7.99 ISBN 1-85799-402-7 pbk non-fiction John Gribbin, the well-known science writer presents the improvements in experimental techniques that have enabled physicians to formulate and test new theories about the nature of light. The theories are described in the form of the fate of two small cats, separated at a tender age and carried to opposite ends of the universe. In this way the reader is introduced to such new developments as quantum cryptography and the idea that the ‘entanglement’ of quantum particles could be a way to build a Star Trek-style teleportation machine. The quantum universe Tony Hey and Patrick Walters Cambridge University Press 1987 £10.95 ISBN 0-521-31845-9 pbk non-fiction The first popular book to give a non-mathematical pictorial account of quantum physics, the foundation of our current understanding of nature. For so long the province of mathematicians and physicists alone, the beauty and significance of quantum mechanics has remained hidden to the non-specialist. Yet its impact on technology has been enormous. The text explains exactly what quantum mechanics is in a simple nonmathematical way, complemented throughout by many superb colour and black-and white photographs. Ingenious pursuits: building the scientific revolution Lisa Jardine Little Brown 1999 £25.00 ISBN 0-31664752-7 hbk Abacus 2000 £15.00 ISBN 0-349-11305-X pbk non-fiction These colourful stories about the imaginative discoveries of the seventeenth century show that science has always been caught up with everyday life. Narrated in style and packed with illustrations, Ingenious Pursuits suggests a continuity between the work of Newton, Boyle and Halley, and more recent discoveries such as DNA and cloning. Humble boy Charlotte Jones Faber and Faber 2001 £7.99 ISBN 0571212875 pbk £7.99 drama Felix Humble is after ‘the mother of all theories’, a unified field theory to bring together the ‘jittery, frenzied world of quantum mechanics and the gently curving geometry of gravity’. But as he waits for his Eureka moment, his personal life declines from bad to worse. With a dead father, a childish mother and the sudden discovery of a seven-year old daughter, can Felix hold his own world together. Humphry Davy: science and power David Knight Cambridge University Press 1998 £18.95 ISBN 0-521-56539-1 hbk biography Rising to fame just as chemistry became a career option, Humphry Davy applied his discoveries to the improvement of living and working conditions, and gave inspiring public lectures. David Knight illuminates the human being behind the arc lamp and the safety lamp, revealing the frustrations that accompanied success. The emperor’s new mind: concerning computers, minds and the laws of physics Roger Penrose Oxford Paperbacks 1999 £8.99 ISBN 0-19-286198-0 pbk non-fiction 37
  38. 38. In his best-selling work of popular science, one of the world’s leading mathematical physicists marshals a vast range of arguments to illustrate his view of the complex relationships between mathematics, the laws of physics and the nature of human consciousness. His conclusion? That human thinking can never be emulated by a machine. Blinded by the sun Stephen Poliakoff Samuel French 2001 £6.25 ISBN 0-573-01929-0 pbk drama When the retiring professor in a chemistry department of a northern university chooses A1, a mediocre scientist but a brilliant administrator to succeed him as head of department, he sets in motion a chain of events that will test the department's endurance to the limit. Quantum physics: illusion or reality? Alastair I.M. Rae Cambridge University Press 1994 £10.95 ISBN 0-521-46716-0 pbk non-fiction One of the prime fascinations of quantum physics is the great conceptual leap it requires us to make from our conventional ways of thinking about the physical world. It introduces instead the alarming possibilities that the observer’s mind is the only reality, or that there may be parallel universes. Or its very contradictions may suggest that despite its manifest successes, quantum physics still leaves us in need of a further revolution in thought and the final complete theory of the physical universe. Hailed as ‘a masterpiece of clarity’, Rae’s slim introduction offers an engaging guide to the theories on offer. Mendeleyev’s dream: the quest for the elements Paul Strathern Penguin 2001 £6.99 ISBN 0-14-028414-1 pbk non-fiction Philosophers, alchemists and chemists spent long centuries searching for the elements, but chemistry was stuck without a system for arranging them. Inspired by games of Patience played during long train journeys across Russia, Mendeleyev finally discovered the alphabet of the universe after falling asleep at his desk and awakening with the Periodic Table formed in his mind. Paul Strathern traces the dramatic history of chemistry from its origins - often focusing on the vivid characters of the individuals involved - but begins and end this book with a long look at the brilliant and temperamental Dmitri Mendeleyev, whose Periodic Table has now been seen as the key to discovering the pattern on which life was based. Gut symmetries Jeanette Winterson Granta 1998 £6.99 ISBN 1-86207-042-3 pbk fiction Take two physicists and one poet, mix them into a love triangle and fold in some childhood memories of 1950s New York immigrants and 1960s Liverpool docks. Bake in the fierce mythologising imagination of Jeanette Winterson and you have relationships at the mercy of the modern physical universe, subject to strange geometries and hidden dimensions, at risk of tumbling into black holes. A scientific romance Ronald Wright Black Swan 2002 £6.99 ISBN 0-552-77000-0 pbk David, jilted lover and reluctant museum curator, is about to discover the startling news of the return of H.G. Wells' time machine to London. Motivated by a host of unanswered questions and innate curiosity, he propels himself deep into he next millennium, exploring the ruins of his life. 38