The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing

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Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199216819

Category: Science

Page: 419

View: 1771

An anthology of diverse and inspiring pieces to browse and to treasure. It shows the many of the best scientists have displayed as much imagination and skill with the pen as in the laboratory.

The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing

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Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780199216802

Category: SCIENCE

Page: 419

View: 2966

A rich and vibrant multi-disciplinary anthology that celebrates the finest writing by scientists captures the poetry and excitement of scientific thought and discovery, in pieces by Stephen Pinker, Albert Einstein, Stephen Jay Gould, Julian Huxley, Loren Eiseley, Rachel Carson, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Freeman Dyson, and many other notables.

The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing

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Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199216800

Category: Science

Page: 419

View: 4110

A rich and vibrant multi-disciplinary anthology that celebrates the finest writing by scientists captures the poetry and excitement of scientific thought and discovery, in pieces by Stephen Pinker, Albert Einstein, Stephen Jay Gould, Julian Huxley, Loren Eiseley, Rachel Carson, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Freeman Dyson, and many other notables.

Oxygen

The Molecule that Made the World

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Author: Nick Lane

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780198607830

Category: Science

Page: 374

View: 5641

Oxygen takes the reader on an enthralling journey, as gripping as a thriller, as it unravels the unexpected ways in which oxygen spurred the evolution of life and death. The book explains far more than the size of ancient insects: it shows how oxygen underpins the origin of biological complexity, the birth of photosynthesis, the sudden evolution of animals, the need for two sexes, the accelerated ageing of cloned animals like Dolly the sheep, and the surprisingly long lives of bats and birds. Drawing on this grand evolutionary canvas, Oxygen offers fresh perspectives on our own lives and deaths, explaining modern killer diseases, why we age, and what we can do about it.

What Is Life?

How Chemistry Becomes Biology

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Author: Addy Pross

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198784791

Category:

Page: 224

View: 8248

Seventy years ago, Erwin Schrodinger posed a profound question: 'What is life, and how did it emerge from non-life?' This problem has puzzled biologists and physical scientists ever since. Living things are hugely complex and have unique properties, such as self-maintenance and apparently purposeful behaviour which we do not see in inert matter. So how does chemistry give rise to biology? What could have led the first replicating molecules up such a path? Now, developments in the emerging field of 'systems chemistry' are unlocking the problem. Addy Pross shows how the different kind of stability that operates among replicating molecules results in a tendency for chemical systems to become more complex and acquire the properties of life. Strikingly, he demonstrates that Darwinian evolution is the biological expression of a deeper, well-defined chemical concept: the whole story from replicating molecules to complex life is one continuous process governed by an underlying physical principle. The gulf between biology and the physical sciences is finally becoming bridged. This new edition includes an Epilogue describing developments in the concepts of fundamental forms of stability discussed in the book, and their profound implications. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

Power, Sex, Suicide

Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life

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Author: Nick Lane

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0198831900

Category: Science

Page: 560

View: 7068

Mitochondria are tiny structures located inside our cells that carry out the essential task of producing energy for the cell. They are found in all complex living things, and in that sense, they are fundamental for driving complex life on the planet. But there is much more to them than that. Mitochondria have their own DNA, with their own small collection of genes, separate from those in the cell nucleus. It is thought that they were once bacteria living independent lives. Their enslavement within the larger cell was a turning point in the evolution of life, enabling the development of complex organisms and, closely related, the origin of two sexes. Unlike the DNA in the nucleus, mitochondrial DNA is passed down exclusively (or almost exclusively) via the female line. That's why it has been used by some researchers to trace human ancestry daughter-to-mother, to 'Mitochondrial Eve'. Mitochondria give us important information about our evolutionary history. And that's not all. Mitochondrial genes mutate much faster than those in the nucleus because of the free radicals produced in their energy-generating role. This high mutation rate lies behind our ageing and certain congenital diseases. The latest research suggests that mitochondria play a key role in degenerative diseases such as cancer, through their involvement in precipitating cell suicide. Mitochondria, then, are pivotal in power, sex, and suicide. In this fascinating and thought-provoking book, Nick Lane brings together the latest research findings in this exciting field to show how our growing understanding of mitochondria is shedding light on how complex life evolved, why sex arose (why don't we just bud?), and why we age and die. This understanding is of fundamental importance, both in understanding how we and all other complex life came to be, but also in order to be able to control our own illnesses, and delay our degeneration and death. 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

How Plants Changed Earth's History

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Author: David Beerling

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198798326

Category:

Page: 392

View: 1505

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.

The Quantum Story

A history in 40 moments

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Author: Jim Baggott

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191604305

Category: Science

Page: 496

View: 4866

The twentieth century was defined by physics. From the minds of the world's leading physicists there flowed a river of ideas that would transport mankind to the pinnacle of wonderment and to the very depths of human despair. This was a century that began with the certainties of absolute knowledge and ended with the knowledge of absolute uncertainty. It was a century in which physicists developed weapons with the capacity to destroy our reality, whilst at the same time denying us the possibility that we can ever properly comprehend it. Almost everything we think we know about the nature of our world comes from one theory of physics. This theory was discovered and refined in the first thirty years of the twentieth century and went on to become quite simply the most successful theory of physics ever devised. Its concepts underpin much of the twenty-first century technology that we have learned to take for granted. But its success has come at a price, for it has at the same time completely undermined our ability to make sense of the world at the level of its most fundamental constituents. Rejecting the fundamental elements of uncertainty and chance implied by quantum theory, Albert Einstein once famously declared that 'God does not play dice'. Niels Bohr claimed that anybody who is not shocked by the theory has not understood it. The charismatic American physicist Richard Feynman went further: he claimed that nobody understands it. This is quantum theory, and this book tells its story. Jim Baggott presents a celebration of this wonderful yet wholly disconcerting theory, with a history told in forty episodes — significant moments of truth or turning points in the theory's development. From its birth in the porcelain furnaces used to study black body radiation in 1900, to the promise of stimulating new quantum phenomena to be revealed by CERN's Large Hadron Collider over a hundred years later, this is the extraordinary story of the quantum world. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

Brainwashing

The Science of Thought Control

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Author: Kathleen Taylor

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198798334

Category: Brain

Page: 494

View: 9568

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.

Antimatter

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Author: Frank Close

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199578877

Category: Science

Page: 166

View: 9777

Explores what is known about the world of antimatter, from its prediction to the discovery of the first antiparticles and explains how its existence can offer clues about the origin and structure of the universe.

The Chicago Guide to Communicating Science

Second Edition

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Author: Scott L. Montgomery

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022614450X

Category: Reference

Page: 312

View: 9585

This book is a comprehensive guide to scientific communication that has been used widely in courses and workshops as well as by individual scientists and other professionals since its first publication in 2002. This revision accounts for the many ways in which the globalization of research and the changing media landscape have altered scientific communication over the past decade. With an increased focus throughout on how research is communicated in industry, government, and non-profit centers as well as in academia, it now covers such topics as the opportunities and perils of online publishing, the need for translation skills, and the communication of scientific findings to the broader world, both directly through speaking and writing and through the filter of traditional and social media. It also offers advice for those whose research concerns controversial issues, such as climate change and emerging viruses, in which clear and accurate communication is especially critical to the scientific community and the wider world.

Personality

What Makes You the Way You are

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Author: Daniel Nettle

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199211434

Category: Psychology

Page: 298

View: 310

A discussion of the science of human personality offers the latest findings from brain science and genetics to explain what determines the choices we make, looks at the different personality types, and blends true-life stories with scientific research toexplore why some people are worriers and others wanderers.

Writing for Science

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Author: Robert Goldbort

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300117936

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 330

View: 1624

This book encompasses the entire range of writing skills that today's experimental scientist may need to employ. Chapters cover routine forms, such as laboratory notes, abstracts, and memoranda; dissertations; journal articles; and grant proposals. Robert Goldbort discusses how best to approach various writing tasks as well as how to deal with the everyday complexities that may get in the way of ideal practice--difficult collaborators, experiments gone wrong, funding rejections. He underscores the importance of an ethical approach to science and scientific communication and insists on the necessity of full disclosure.

The Selfish Gene

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Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780192860927

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 352

View: 9652

An ethologist shows man to be a gene machine whose world is one of savage competition and deceit

Decoding Reality

The Universe as Quantum Information

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Author: Vlatko Vedral

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192554255

Category: Science

Page: 240

View: 9678

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 Brain Supremacy

Notes from the Frontiers of Neuroscience

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Author: Kathleen Taylor

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199683859

Category: Medical

Page: 368

View: 1002

In a world full of science, the balance of power between sciences is changing. Advances in physics, chemistry, and other natural sciences have given us extraordinary control over our world. Now the younger sciences of brain and mind are applying the scientific method not only to our environments, but to us. In recent years funding and effort poured into brain research. We are entering the era of the brain supremacy. What will the new science mean for us, as individuals, consumers, parents and citizens? Should we be excited, or alarmed, by the remarkable promises we read about in the media - promises of drugs that can boost our brain power, ever more subtle marketing techniques, even machines that can read minds? What is the neuroscience behind these claims, and how do scientists look inside living human brains to get their astonishing results? The Brain Supremacy is a lucid and rational guide to this exciting new world. Using recent examples from the scientific literature and the media, it explores the science behind the hype, revealing how techniques like fMRI actually work and what claims about using them for mindreading really mean. The implications of this amazingly powerful new research are clearly and entertainingly presented. Looking to the future, the book sets current neuroscience in its social and ethical context, as an increasingly important influence on how all of us live our lives.

The Extended Selfish Gene

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Author: Richard Dawkins

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780198788782

Category: Science

Page: 560

View: 3546

The Selfish Gene is a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. In it 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 the replication of genes. The book provoked widespread and heated debate, which in part led Dawkins to write The Extended Phenotype, in which he gave a deeper clarification of the central concept of the gene as the unit of selection, as well as contributing his own development of this insight. For the first time, The Extended Selfish Gene brings these two books together, by including two key chapters from The Extended Phenotype. These chapters provide Dawkins's detailed and powerful response to two issues raised by critics of The Selfish Gene: the accusations of genetic determinism (the idea that our behaviour is entirely determined by our genes), and of "adaptationism" (that all traits are indiscriminately perceived to be adaptations resulting from natural selection). While written in particular for the biology community, Dawkins's clarity of expression allows these chapters to be accessible to all who are seriously engaged with the gene's eye view and its implications. The imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant Selfish Gene 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 significant as on the day it was published. Along with the two extra chapters, The Extended Selfish Gene includes a new epilogue to The Selfish Gene from the author which highlights the relevance of the gene's eye view to evolutionary biology today.

The Planet in a Pebble

A Journey Into Earth's Deep History

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Author: Jan Zalasiewicz

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199645698

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 3147

In this narrative of the Earth's long and dramatic history, Jan Zalasiewicz shows how many events in the Earth's ancient past can be deciphered from a single pebble. He explores how geologists reach deep into the past by forensic analysis of even the tiniest amounts of mineral matter, demonstrating and revealing Earth's extraordinary story.

Deadly Companions

How Microbes Shaped our History

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Author: Dorothy H. Crawford

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192552988

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 8341

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.

The Oxford Handbook of the History of Physics

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Author: Jed Z. Buchwald,Robert Fox

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019969625X

Category: Science

Page: 945

View: 2405

Presents a history of physics, examining the theories and experimental practices of the science.