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Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Pr...
by Steven Pinker

Language

English

Pages

576

Publication Date

February 13, 2018

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<b><b>INSTANT </b><b><i>NEW YORK TIMES</i></b><b> BESTSELLER</b><br /><b></b><br /><b>"My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates </b><br /><br />If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.</b><br /><br />Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.<br /><br />Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. <br /><br />With intellectual depth and literary flair, <i>Enlightenment Now</i> makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot

Language

English

Pages

450

Publication Date

January 28, 2010

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<b><b>Now an HBO® Film starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne</b><br /><br />#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER<br /></b><br />Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
by Ashlee Vance

Language

English

Pages

399

Publication Date

May 19, 2015

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Customer Reviews
In <i>Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future</i>, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley's most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur's journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent over 40 hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to 300 people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk's world-changing companies: PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and SolarCity, and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way. <br /><br />        Vance uses Musk's story to explore one of the pressing questions of our time: can the nation of inventors and creators which led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk--one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history--is a contemporary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science-fiction fantasy.
The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in Histo...
by John M. Barry

Language

English

Pages

546

Publication Date

October 04, 2005

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The definitive account of the 1918 Flu Epidemic. "Monumental"-Chicago Tribune.<br /><br />At the height of WWI, history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease. Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research and now revised to reflect the growing danger of the avian flu, <b>The Great Influenza</b> is ultimately a tale of triumph amid tragedy, which provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. John M. Barry has written a new afterword for this edition that brings us up to speed on the terrible threat of the avian flu and suggest ways in which we might head off another flu pandemic.
What Is Real?: The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Ph...
by Adam Becker

Language

English

Pages

366

Publication Date

March 20, 2018

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Customer Reviews
<div><b>The untold story of the heretical thinkers who dared to question the nature of our quantum universe</b></div><div><br /></div><div>Every physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity's finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr's students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favored practical experiments over philosophical arguments. As a result, questioning the status quo long meant professional ruin. And yet, from the 1920s to today, physicists like John Bell, David Bohm, and Hugh Everett persisted in seeking the true meaning of quantum mechanics. <i>What Is Real?</i> is the gripping story of this battle of ideas and the courageous scientists who dared to stand up for truth.</div><div><br /></div>
The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, an...
by Sam Kean

Language

English

Pages

372

Publication Date

June 24, 2010

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<strong>From <em>New York Times </em>bestselling author Sam Kean comes incredible stories of science, history, finance, mythology, the arts, medicine, and more, as told by the Periodic Table. </strong></br></br> Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why is gallium (Ga, 31) the go-to element for laboratory pranksters?*<br /><br />The Periodic Table is a crowning scientific achievement, but it's also a treasure trove of adventure, betrayal, and obsession. These fascinating tales follow every element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, and in the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. THE DISAPPEARING SPOON masterfully fuses science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, and discovery--from the Big Bang through the end of time.</br></br> *Though solid at room temperature, gallium is a moldable metal that melts at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. A classic science prank is to mold gallium spoons, serve them with tea, and watch guests recoil as their utensils disappear.
Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greates...
by Dava Sobel

Language

English

Pages

191

Publication Date

July 05, 2010

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Customer Reviews
Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day-and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives, and the increasing fortunes of nations, hung on a resolution. The scientific establishment of Europe-from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton-had mapped the heavens in both hemispheres in its certain pursuit of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution-a clock that would keep precise time at sea, something no clock had ever been able to do on land. Longitude is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest, and of Harrison's forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Full of heroism and chicanery, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking, and opens a new window on our world.
Bringing Columbia Home: The Untold Story of a Lost Space Shuttle ...
by , Jonathan H. Ward

Language

English

Pages

400

Publication Date

January 23, 2018

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>Timed to release for the 15th Anniversary of the <i>Columbia</i> space shuttle disaster, this is the epic true story of one of the most dramatic, unforgettable adventures of our time.</b><br /><br />On February 1, 2003, <i>Columbia</i> disintegrated on reentry before the nation’s eyes, and all seven astronauts aboard were lost. Author Mike Leinbach, Launch Director of the space shuttle program at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center was a key leader in the search and recovery effort as NASA, FEMA, the FBI, the US Forest Service, and dozens more federal, state, and local agencies combed an area of rural east Texas the size of Rhode Island for every piece of the shuttle and her crew they could find. Assisted by hundreds of volunteers, it would become the largest ground search operation in US history. This comprehensive account is told in four parts:<br /><br /> <li> Parallel Confusion<br /> <li> Courage, Compassion, and Commitment<br /> <li> Picking Up the Pieces<br /> <li> A Bittersweet Victory<br /><br />For the first time, here is the definitive inside story of the <i>Columbia</i> disaster and recovery and the inspiring message it ultimately holds. In the aftermath of tragedy, people and communities came together to help bring home the remains of the crew and nearly 40 percent of shuttle, an effort that was instrumental in piecing together what happened so the shuttle program could return to flight and complete the International Space Station. <b><i>Bringing</i> Columbia <i>Home</b></i> shares the deeply personal stories that emerged as NASA employees looked for lost colleagues and searchers overcame immense physical, logistical, and emotional challenges and worked together to accomplish the impossible.<br /><br />Featuring a foreword and epilogue by astronauts Robert Crippen and Eileen Collins, and dedicated to the astronauts and recovery search persons who lost their lives, this is an incredible, compelling narrative about the best of humanity in the darkest of times and about how a failure at the pinnacle of human achievement became a story of cooperation and hope.
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and ...
by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Language

English

Pages

410

Publication Date

September 16, 2013

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<div>Called the work of "a mesmerizing storyteller with deep compassion and memorable prose" (<I>Publishers Weekly</I>) and the book that, "anyone interested in natural history, botany, protecting nature, or Native American culture will love," by <I>Library Journal</I>, <I>Braiding Sweetgrass</I> is poised to be a classic of nature writing. As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer asks questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces indigenous teachings that consider plants and animals to be our oldest teachers. Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take “us on a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert). Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother, and a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.<BR></div>
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
by Carl Sagan

Language

English

Pages

457

Publication Date

July 06, 2011

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b><b>A prescient warning of a future we now inhabit, where fake news stories and Internet conspiracy theories play to a disaffected American populace</b><br /><br /><b>“</b>A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought.”—<i>Los Angeles Times</i></b><br /><br /> How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don’t understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions.<br /><br /> Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms.<br /><br /> <b>Praise for<i> The Demon-Haunted World</i></b><br /><br /> “Powerful . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing.”<b>—<i>The Washington Post Book World</i></b><br /><br /> “Compelling.”<b>—<i>USA Today</i></b><br /><br /> “A clear vision of what good science means and why it makes a difference. . . . A testimonial to the power of science and a warning of the dangers of unrestrained credulity.”<b>—<i>The Sciences</i></b><br /><br /> “Passionate.”<b>—<i>San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle</i></b>

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