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Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body

April 9, 2009
Author:
Neil Shubin
Publisher:
Pantheon Books (2006)

Why do we look the way we do? What does the human hand have in common with the wing of a fly? Are breasts, sweat glands, and scales connected in some way? To better understand the inner workings of our bodies and to trace the origins of many of today’s most common diseases, we have to turn to unexpected sources: worms, flies, and even fish.

Neil… read more

The Roadmap to 100: The Breakthrough Science of Living a Long and Healthy Life

July 7, 2010

The Roadmap to 100 Cover

Author:
Walter M. Bortz
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan (2010)

Amazon | With a baby boomer turning sixty every ten seconds, we are rapidly becoming an aging society. But cutting edge research on the connection between age and disease shows us that many of the preconceptions we had about how to grow old need a second look. This groundbreaking book is full of take-away prescriptive advice which the nearly seventy-five million boomers in this nation will value. Top gerontologist and… read more

The Next Big Thing Is Really Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business

July 16, 2010

The Next Big Thing Is Really Small: How Nanotechnology Will Change the Future of Your Business

Author:
Jack Uldrich
Publisher:
Crown Business (2003)

Amazon | Ever heard of self-cleaning floor tiles and windows? Or mirrors that won’t fog up in the shower? What about army uniforms that can “monitor a soldier’s health, detect and detoxify chemical agents, heat and cool the soldier… and independently generate power so the soldier can remain in constant communication with headquarters”? According to Uldrich, director of the Minnesota Office of Strategic and Long-Range Planning, and nuclear physicist… read more

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation

October 13, 2010
Author:
Steven Johnson
Publisher:
Riverhead Hardcover (2010)

Amazon | With Where Good Ideas Come From, Steven Johnson pairs the insight of his bestselling Everything Bad Is Good for You and the dazzling erudition of The Ghost Map and The Invention of Air to address an urgent and universal question: What sparks the flash of brilliance? How does groundbreaking innovation happen? Answering in his infectious, culturally omnivorous style, using his fluency in fields from neurobiology to popular culture, Johnson… read more

I, Avatar: The Culture and Consequences of Having a Second Life

February 28, 2011

I, Avatar book cover

Author:
Mark Stephen Meadows
Publisher:
New Riders Press (2008)

Amazon | What is an avatar? Why are there nearly a billion of them, and who is using them? Do avatars impact our real lives, or are they just video game conceits? Is an avatar an inspired rendering of its creator’s inner self, or is it just one among millions of anonymous vehicles clogging the online freeways? Can we use our avatars to really connect with people,… read more

SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed

May 2, 2011

Supercooperators

Author:
Martin Nowak, Roger Highfield
Publisher:
Free Press (2011)

Amazon | Evolution is often presented as a strictly competitive endeavor. This point of view has had serious implications for the way we see the mechanics of both science and culture. But scientists have long wondered how societies could have evolved without some measure of cooperation. And if there was cooperation involved, how could it have arisen from nature “red in tooth and claw”?

Martin Nowak,… read more

Living with the Genie: Essays On Technology And The Quest For Human Mastery

June 16, 2011

Living with the Genie book cover

Author:
Alan Lightman, Daniel Sarewitz, Christina Desser
Publisher:
Island Press (2004)

Amazon | Biotechnology, Cloning, Robotics, Nanotechnology…

At a time when scientific and technological breakthroughs keep our eyes focused on the latest software upgrades or the newest cell-phone wizardry, a group of today’s most innovative thinkers are looking beyond the horizon to explore both the promise and the peril of our technological future.

Human ingenuity has granted us a world of unprecedented personal power — enabling us to… read more

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It

August 4, 2011

Cyber War book cover

Author:
Richard A. Clarke, Robert K. Knake
Publisher:
Ecco (2010)

Amazon | Richard A. Clarke warned America once before about the havoc terrorism would wreak on our national security — and he was right. Now he warns us of another threat, silent but equally dangerous. Cyber War is a powerful book about technology, government, and military strategy; about criminals, spies, soldiers, and hackers. This is the first book about the war of the future — cyber war — and a convincing argument… read more

The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live–and How You Can Change Them

April 18, 2012

emotionalifeofyourbrain

Author:
Richard J. Davidson, Sharon Begley
Publisher:
Hudson Street Press (2012)

Amazon | This longawaited book by a pioneer in brain research offers a new model of our emotions — their origins, their power, and their malleability.

For more than thirty years, Richard Davidson has been at the forefront of brain research. Now he gives us an entirely new model for understanding our emotions, as well as practical strategies we can use to change them.

Davidson has discovered that personality… read more

No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale

August 17, 2012

no_small_matter_book

Author:
Felice C. Frankel, George M. Whitesides
Publisher:
Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2009)

A small revolution is remaking the world. The only problem is, we can’t see it. This book uses dazzling images and evocative descriptions to reveal the virtually invisible realities and possibilities of nanoscience. An introduction to the science and technology of small things, No Small Matter explains science on the nanoscale.

Authors Felice C. Frankel and George M. Whitesides offer an overview of recent scientific advances… read more

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature

November 25, 2012

The Blank Slate

Author:
Steven Pinker
Publisher:
Penguin Books (2003)

In The Blank Slate, Steven Pinker, one of the world’s leading experts on language and the mind, explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems… read more

Last Ape Standing: The Seven-Million-Year Story of How and Why We Survived

May 23, 2013

Last Ape Standing

Author:
Chip Walter
Publisher:
Walker & Company (2013)

Over the past 180 years scientists have sifted through evidence that at least twenty-seven human species have evolved on planet Earth. And as you may have noticed, twenty-six of them are no longer with us, done in by their environment, predators, disease, or the unfortunate shortcomings of their DNA. What enabled us to survive when so many other human species were shown the evolutionary door?

Last Ape Standing:read more

Global Catastrophic Risks

April 9, 2009

global catastrophic risks

Author:
Martin Rees
Publisher:
Oxford University Press (2008)

A global catastrophic risk is one with the potential to wreak death and destruction on a global scale. In human history, wars and plagues have done so on more than one occasion, and misguided ideologies and totalitarian regimes have darkened an entire era or a region. Advances in technology are adding dangers of a new kind. It could happen again.

In Global Catastrophic Risks, 26 leading experts look at… read more

ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century

July 14, 2010

ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century

Author:
Susan Greenfield
Publisher:
Sceptre (2009)

Amazon | If you’ve ever wondered what effect video games have on your children’s minds or worried about how much private information the government and big companies know about you, ID is essential reading. Professor Susan Greenfield argues persuasively that our individuality is under the microscope as never before; now more then ever we urgently need to look at what we want for ourselves as individuals and for our… read more

Last Flesh: Life in the Transhuman Era

July 16, 2010

Last Flesh: Life in the Transhuman Era

Author:
Christopher Dewdney
Publisher:
HarperCollins Canada (1998)

Media Studies | Last Flesh has a decidedly optimistic tone, reminiscent of McLuhan’s catholic embrace of human creativity and ingenuity. Like McLuhan, Dewdney harbours the poet’s desire for sublime transcendence, and the evolution of human capacity.  As a poet, Dewdney has always been at home in the material world of science; in fact, much of his poetry attempts to integrate the documentary impulses of the sciences with the imaginative… read more

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