The Selfish Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780191093067
Release Date: 2016-05-26
Genre: Science

The million copy international bestseller, critically acclaimed and translated into over 25 languages. As influential today as when it was first published, The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. Professor Dawkins articulates a gene's eye view of evolution - a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for their replication. This imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant work not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience, but galvanized the biology community, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research. Forty years later, its insights remain as relevant today as on the day it was published. This 40th anniversary edition includes a new epilogue from the author discussing the continuing relevance of these ideas in evolutionary biology today, as well as the original prefaces and foreword, and extracts from early reviews. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

Brainwashing

Author: Kathleen Taylor
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198798330
Release Date: 2016-12-29
Genre: Brain

Throughout history, humans have attempted to influence and control the thoughts of others. Since the word 'brainwashing' was coined in the aftermath of the Korean War, it has become part of the popular culture and been exploited to create sensational headlines. It has also been the subject of learned discussion from many disciplines: including history, sociology, psychology, and psychotherapy. But until now, a crucial part of the debate has been missing: that of any serious reference to the science of the human brain. Descriptions of how opinions can be changed, whether by persuasion, deceit, or force, have been almost entirely psychological. In Brainwashing, Kathleen Taylor brought the worlds of neuroscience and social psychology together for the first time. In elegant and accessible prose, and with abundant use of anecdotes and case-studies, she examines the ethical problems involved in carrying out the required experiments on humans, the limitations of animal models, and the frightening implications of such research. She also explores the history of thought-control and shows how it persists all around us, from marketing and television, to politics and education. This edition includes a new preface from the author reflecting on the uses of brainwashing today, including by the Islamic State. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

The Extended Phenotype

Author: Richard Dawkins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198788911
Release Date: 2016-08-21
Genre:

In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins crystallized the gene's eye view of evolution developed by W.D. Hamilton and others. The book provoked widespread and heated debate. Written in part as a response, The Extended Phenotype gave a deeper clarification of the central concept of the gene as theunit of selection; but it did much more besides. In it, Dawkins extended the gene's eye view to argue that the genes that sit within an organism have an influence that reaches out beyond the visible traits in that body - the phenotype - to the wider environment, which can include other individuals.So, for instance, the genes of the beaver drive it to gather twigs to produce the substantial physical structure of a dam; and the genes of the cuckoo chick produce effects that manipulate the behaviour of the host bird, making it nurture the intruder as one of its own. This notion of the extendedphenotype has proved to be highly influential in the way we understand evolution and the natural world. It represents a key scientific contribution to evolutionary biology, and it continues to play an important role in research in the life sciences.The Extended Phenotype is a conceptually deep book that forms important reading for biologists and students. But Dawkins' clear exposition is accessible to all who are prepared to put in a little effort.Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

Hyperspace

Author: Michio Kaku
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198785033
Release Date: 2016-04-20
Genre: Astrophysics

Reissued in new covers, this is the run-away bestseller from one of the world's leading theoretical physicists. Are there other dimensions beyond our own? Is time travel possible? Michio Kaku takes us on a tour of the most exciting work in modern physics, including research into the 10th dimension, time warps, and multiple universes, to outline what may be the leading candidate for the Theory of Everything.

Deadly Companions

Author: Dorothy H. Crawford
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780192552983
Release Date: 2018-02-08
Genre: Science

Ever since we started huddling together in communities, the story of human history has been inextricably entwined with the story of microbes. They have evolved and spread amongst us, shaping our culture through infection, disease, and pandemic. At the same time, our changing human culture has itself influenced the evolutionary path of microbes. Dorothy H. Crawford here shows that one cannot be truly understood without the other. Beginning with a dramatic account of the SARS pandemic at the start of the 21st century, she takes us back in time to follow the interlinked history of microbes and man, taking an up-to-date look at ancient plagues and epidemics, and identifying key changes in the way humans have lived - such as our move from hunter-gatherer to farmer to city-dweller — which made us vulnerable to microbe attack. Showing how we live our lives today — with increasing crowding and air travel — puts us once again at risk, Crawford asks whether we might ever conquer microbes completely, or whether we need to take a more microbe-centric view of the world. Among the possible answers, one thing becomes clear: that for generations to come, our deadly companions will continue to shape human history. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

Decoding Reality

Author: Vlatko Vedral
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780192554253
Release Date: 2018-02-08
Genre: Science

For a physicist, all the world is information. The Universe and its workings are the ebb and flow of information. We are all transient patterns of information, passing on the recipe for our basic forms to future generations using a four-letter digital code called DNA. In this engaging and mind-stretching account, Vlatko Vedral considers some of the deepest questions about the Universe and considers the implications of interpreting it in terms of information. He explains the nature of information, the idea of entropy, and the roots of this thinking in thermodynamics. He describes the bizarre effects of quantum behaviour — effects such as 'entanglement', which Einstein called 'spooky action at a distance', and explores cutting edge work on harnessing quantum effects in hyperfast quantum computers, and how recent evidence suggests that the weirdness of the quantum world, once thought limited to the tiniest scales, may reach into the macro world. Vedral finishes by considering the answer to the ultimate question: where did all of the information in the Universe come from? The answers he considers are exhilarating, drawing upon the work of distinguished physicist John Wheeler. The ideas challenge our concept of the nature of particles, of time, of determinism, and of reality itself. This edition includes a new foreword from the author, reflecting on changes in the world of quantum information since first publication. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

The Emerald Planet

Author: David Beerling
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780192529787
Release Date: 2017-02-23
Genre: Science

Plants have profoundly moulded the Earth's climate and the evolutionary trajectory of life. Far from being 'silent witnesses to the passage of time', plants are dynamic components of our world, shaping the environment throughout history as much as that environment has shaped them. In The Emerald Planet, David Beerling puts plants centre stage, revealing the crucial role they have played in driving global changes in the environment, in recording hidden facets of Earth's history, and in helping us to predict its future. His account draws together evidence from fossil plants, from experiments with their living counterparts, and from computer models of the 'Earth System', to illuminate the history of our planet and its biodiversity. This new approach reveals how plummeting carbon dioxide levels removed a barrier to the evolution of the leaf; how plants played a starring role in pushing oxygen levels upwards, allowing spectacular giant insects to thrive in the Carboniferous; and it strengthens fascinating and contentious fossil evidence for an ancient hole in the ozone layer. Along the way, Beerling introduces a lively cast of pioneering scientists from Victorian times onwards whose discoveries provided the crucial background to these and the other puzzles. This understanding of our planet's past sheds a sobering light on our own climate-changing activities, and offers clues to what our climatic and ecological futures might look like. There could be no more important time to take a close look at plants, and to understand the history of the world through the stories they tell. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

Author: Anthony Marra
Publisher: Εκδόσεις Ίκαρος
ISBN: 9789605721336
Release Date: 2016-10-13
Genre: Fiction

Η εξαιρετικά καλογραμμένη συλλογή διηγημάτων του Anthony Marra, σκιαγραφεί μια πλειάδα αξέχαστων χαρακτήρων των οποίων οι ζωές διασταυρώνονται μεταξύ τους με τρόπο σπαραχτικό. Την δεκαετία του 1930 στο Λένινγκραντ, ένας ζωγράφος-διορθωτής επεξεργάζεται επίμαχες φωτογραφίες για λογαριασμό του Κόμματος του Στάλιν, σβήνοντας και αλλοιώνοντας πρόσωπα με τον αερογράφο του. Μαγεμένος από την εικόνα μιας μπαλαρίνας, βρίσκεται κατηγορούμενος για σχέση με την πολωνική κατασκοπεία. Μια ομάδα γυναικών αφηγείται τις ιστορίες της αλλά και αυτές των γιαγιάδων τους, πρώην κρατουμένων της Γκουλάγκ, που εγκαταστάθηκαν σε πόλη ορυχείων της Σιβηρίας. Δύο ζεύγη αδερφών μοιράζονται μια άγρια, προστατευτική αγάπη. Νεαροί άνδρες σε ολόκληρη τη πρώην Σοβιετική Ένωση αντιμετωπίζουν τη βία στο σπίτι και στο στρατόπεδο. Μεγάλες θυσίες γίνονται και στο όνομα ενός πετρελαιοειδούς τοπίου, το οποίο είναι συνηθισμένο εκτός από το σχεδόν ακατανόητο ειρηνικό παρελθόν που απεικονίζει. Ο Τσάρος της αγάπης και της τέκνο, με εκπληκτική πρόζα μιλά για τη ματαιότητα της προσπάθειας να εξαλειφθούν άνθρωποι και γεγονότα, για την ανθρώπινη προσαρμοστικότητα, το παράλογο της ζωής και του πολέμου, αλλά και το πόσο μικρή είναι η ζωή μας σε σχέση με το μέγεθος του σύμπαντος.