• We measure rainfall and radiation, the depths of space and the emptiness of atoms, calories and steps, happiness and pain. But how did measurement become ubiquitous in modern life? When did humanity first take up scales and rulers, and why does this practice hold authority over so many aspects of our lives? Written with vim and dazzling intelligence, James Vincent provides a fresh and original perspective on human history as he tracks our long search for dependable truths in a chaotic universe. Full of mavericks and visionaries, adventure and the unexpected, Beyond Measure shows that measurement has not only made the world we live in, it has made us too. 'An epic story about humankind's relationship with the physical world. Vincent is an erudite and perceptive guide, who with energy and skill weaves history, science and reportage into an enthralling tale.'ALEX BELLOS 'Vivid, epic, and full of curiosities. This is a book to delight and fascinate.'TIM HARFORD
  • How many people have died because of COVID-19? Which countries have been hit hardest by the virus? What are the benefits and harms of different vaccines? How does COVID-19 compare to the Spanish flu? How have the lockdown measures affected the economy, mental health and crime? We have been bombarded by statistics - seven day rolling averages, rates of infection, excess deaths. Never have numbers been more central to our conversations, and never has it been more important that we think about them clearly. In the media and in their Observer column, Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter and RSS Statistical Ambassador Anthony Masters have interpreted these statistics, offering a vital public service by giving us the tools we need to make sense of the virus for ourselves and holding governments to account. In Covid by Numbers, they crunch the data on a year like no other, exposing the leading misconceptions about the virus and the vaccine, and answering our essential questions. This timely, concise and approachable book offers a rare depth of insight into one of the greatest upheavals in history, and a trustworthy guide to these most uncertain of times. ISBN 9780241541074
  • Incels. Anti Vaxxers. Conspiracy theorists. Neo-Nazis. Once, these groups all belonged on the fringes of the political spectrum. Today, accelerated by a pandemic, global conflict and rapid technological change, their ideas are becoming more widespread: QAnon proponents run for U.S. Congress, neo-fascists win elections in Europe, and celebrity influencers like Kanye West spread dangerous myths to millions. Going Mainstream asks the question: What is happening here? Going undercover online and in person, UK counter-extremism expert Julia Ebner reveals how, united by a shared sense of grievance and scepticism about institutions, radicalised individuals are influencing the mainstream as never before. Hidden from public scrutiny, they leverage social media to create alternative information ecosystems and build sophisticated networks funded by dark money. Ebner's candid conversations with extremists offer a nuanced and gripping insight into why people have turned to the fringes. She explores why outlandish ideas have taken hold and disinformation is spreading faster than ever. And she speaks to the activists and educators who are fighting to turn the tide. Going Mainstream is a dispatch from the darkest front of the culture wars, and a vital wake-up call. ISBN 9781804183168
  • A gripping, thought-provoking and ultimately optimistic investigation into the world's next great climate crisis - the scarcity of water. Water scarcity is the next big climate crisis. Water stress - not just scarcity, but also water-quality issues caused by pollution - is already driving the first waves of climate refugees. Rivers are drying out before they meet the oceans and ancient lakes are disappearing. It's increasingly clear that human mismanagement of water is dangerously unsustainable, for both ecological and human survival. And yet in recent years some key countries have been quietly and very successfully addressing water stress. How are Singapore and Israel, for example - both severely water-stressed countries - not in the same predicament as Chennai or California?In The Last Drop, award-winning environmental journalist Tim Smedley meets experts, victims, activists and pioneers to find out how we can mend the water table that our survival depends upon. He offers a fascinating, universally relevant account of the environmental and human factors that have led us to this point, and suggests practical ways to address the crisis, before it's too late. ISBN 9781529058154
  • A grand new vision of cognitive science that explains how our minds build our worldsFor as long as we've studied the mind, we've believed that information flowing from our senses determines what our mind perceives. But as our understanding has advanced in the last few decades, a hugely powerful new view has flipped this assumption on its head. The brain is not a passive receiver, but an ever-active predictor. At the forefront of this cognitive revolution is widely acclaimed philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark, who has synthesized his ground-breaking work on the predictive brain to explore its fascinating mechanics and implications. Among the most stunning of these is the realization that experience itself, because it is guided by prior expectation, is a kind of controlled hallucination. We don't passively take in the world around us; instead our mind is constantly making and refining predictions about what we expect to see. This even applies to our bodies, as the way we experience pain and other states is shaped by our expectations, and this has broader implications for the understanding and treatment of conditions from PTSD to schizophrenia to medically unexplained symptoms. From the most mundane experiences to the most sublime, it is our predictions that sculpt our experience. A landmark study of cognitive science, The Experience Machine lays out the extraordinary explanatory power of the predictive brain for our lives, mental health and society. ISBN 9780241394526
  • In July 2019, Ben Goldsmith lost his fifteen-year-old daughter, Iris, in an accident on their family farm in Somerset. Iris's death left her family reeling. Grasping for answers, Ben threw himself into searching for some ongoing trace of his beloved child, exploring ideas that until then had seemed too abstract to mean much to him. Missing his daughter terribly and struggling to imagine how he would face the rest of his life in the shadow of this loss, Ben found solace in nature, the object of a lifelong fascination. As Ben set about rewilding his farm, nature became a vital source of meaning and hope. This book is the story of a year of soul-searching that followed a terrible loss. In an instant, Ben's world had turned dark. Yet, unbelievably to him, the seasons kept on turning, and as he immersed himself in the dramatic restoration of nature in the place where it happened, he found healing. In God is an Octopus, Ben tells a powerful, immersive and inspiring story of finding comfort and strength in nature after suffering loss and despair. ISBN 9781399408356
  • When was the last time you stopped and noticed a wild plant? An intriguing and timely exploration of the importance of Britain and Ireland's plant life. Leif Bersweden has always been fascinated by wild plants. From a young age, his afternoons were spent hunting for and cataloguing the plants in his local area. But it is a landscape that is fast disappearing. Climate change, habitat destruction and declining pollinator populations mean that the future for plant life looks bleaker than ever before. Many of us are also unable to identify, or even notice, the plants that grow around us. Now a botanist, Leif decides to go on a mission, to explore the plants that Britain and Ireland have to offer and to meet those who spend time searching for them. Over the course of a year, Leif goes on a journey around the UK and Ireland, highlighting the unique plants that grow there, their history and the threats that face them. His journey takes him from the Cornish coast to the pine forests of Scotland - even to the streets of London, proving that nature can be found in the most unexpected places. Along the way, Leif highlights the joy and positivity that can be found through understanding nature and why it is so desperately important to protect our wildflowers. 'This bicycle Odyssey of Britain and Ireland's wild flora is joyous, inspirational and beautifully observed.' - Peter Marren ISBN 9781529349573
  • In 2008, Elon Musk's SpaceX became the first private company to build a low-cost rocket that could reach orbit. Suddenly Silicon Valley, not NASA, was the epicentre of the new Space Age. Ashlee Vance follows four pioneering companies - Astra, Firefly, Planet Labs and Rocket Lab - as they race to control access to outer space. While the space tourism ambitions of billionaires such as Bezos and Branson make headlines, these under-the-radar companies are striving to monetise Earth's lower orbit; to connect, analyse and monitor everything on Earth. With unprecedented access to private company headquarters, labs and top-secret launch locations - from the US to New Zealand, Ukraine to India - Vance presents a gripping account of private jets, communes, gun-toting bodyguards, drugs, espionage investigations and multimillionaires guzzling booze as their fortunes disappear. This is the most pressing and controversial technology story of our time. Welcome to the new Wild West above the clouds. ISBN 9780753557778
  • This book is a collection of articles reproduced from Intercom magazine on the importance of our natural world. With a foreword by Michael Fewer and impressive endorsements (not in yet) and an introduction by Éanna linking the articles. The book will have a selection of Éanna’s full-colour nature photos, including the image on the front cover. ISBN 9781800970595
  • Music journalist, self-professed creep and former winner of the coveted 'Fittest Girl in Year 11' award, Harriet Gibsone lives in fear of her internet searches being leaked. Harriet spent much of her young life feeding neuroses and insecurities with obsessive internet searching (including compulsive googling of exes, prospective partners, and their exes), and indulging in whirlwind 'parasocial relationships' (translation: one-sided affairs with celebrities she has never met). Suddenly, with a diagnosis of early menopause in her late twenties, her relationship with the internet takes a darker turn, as her online addictions are thrown into sharp relief by the corporeal realities of illness and motherhood. An outrageously funny, raw and painfully honest account of trying to find connection in the age of the internet, Is This Ok? is the launch of an exciting new comic voice. ISBN 9781526659293
  • If trees have memories, respond to stress, and communicate, what can they tell us? And will we listen?A stunning international collaboration that reveals how trees make our world, change our minds and rewild our lives - from root to branch to seed. In this beautifully illustrated collection, artist Katie Holten gifts readers her visual Tree Alphabet and uses it to masterfully translate and illuminate pieces from some of the world's most exciting writers and artists, activists and ecologists. Holten guides us on a journey from prehistoric cave paintings and creation myths to the death of a 3,500 year-old cypress tree, from Tree Clocks in Mongolia and forest fragments in the Amazon to the language of fossil poetry. In doing so, she unearths a new way of seeing the natural beauty that surrounds us and creates an urgent reminder of what could happen if we allow it to slip away. Printed in deep green ink, The Language of Trees is a celebratory homage filled with prose, poetry and art from over fifty collaborators, including Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Macfarlane, Zadie Smith, Radiohead, Elizabeth Kolbert, Amitav Ghosh, Richard Powers, Suzanne Simard, Gaia Vince, Tacita Dean, Plato and Robin Wall Kimmerer. 'A masterpiece' Max Porter As seen at our Bord Bia Bloom 2024 bookstall.
  • Author and photographer Carsten Krieger takes us on a journey across Ireland to explore the nature we pass by every day, and that which is buried deep in the bog, high in the mountains and under crashing waves. Discover alpine flowers blooming in the Burren, meet ferocious anemones on our shorelines, and visit the Shannon Dolphins, who have had a place in local legend for centuries. Fly with our ocean birds and experience their ever-more challenging search for food. Hear the dawn chorus in Killarney, surrounded by giant, ancient oaks, and look closely at our hedgerows, home to countless plants and animals. With respect and curiosity, Carsten Krieger lifts the veil on our delicate natural world and the dangers it faces due to human interference. Join him on his journey, in words and dazzling images, across Ireland to explore the wild and wonderful nature that surrounds us. ISBN 9781788493178
  • The stunning advances that have transformed human experience in recent centuries are no accident of history - they are the result of universal and timeless forces, operating since the dawn of our species. Drawing on a lifetime's scientific investigation, Oded Galor's ground-breaking new vision overturns a host of long-held assumptions to reveal the deeper causes that have shaped the journey of humanity: Education rather than industrialisation. Family size and gender equality as much as inventions and technology. Geography and diversity rather than wars, disease and famine. 'Unparalleled in its scope and ambition... All readers will learn something' Washington Post 'An inspiring, readable, jargon-free and almost impossibly erudite masterwork' New Statesman 'His optimism about humanity shines through' Observer 'If you need an evidence-based antidote to doomscrolling, here it is' Guardian ISBN 9781529115116
  • What is it about animals? – those creatures that keep us company, a figure in a memory or folktale, the shadowy presence in a photograph, or an ancient drawing on a wall. Guides, companions, imaginary beings, hindrances, sources of fear and love… Running feet, sharp noses: Essays on the animal world is an essential collection of essays on the animal world. Each piece is a profound meditation on how animals affect our sense of self, our memories, our actions. This brilliant new book of non-fiction investigates – with the insights and perceptions of some of the finest writers at work today – how animals shape and determine our everyday lives, whether we realise it or not. With contributions by Latifa Akay, Sara Baume, John Berger, June Caldwell, Niamh Campbell, Vona Groarke, Edward Hoagland, Sabrina Mandanici, Darragh McCausland, Tim MacGabhann, Honor Moore, Eileen Myles, Stephen Sexton, Jessica Traynor, Erica Van Horn, and Suzanne Walsh. ISBN: 9781916150942
  • A journey through time and water, to the bottom of the ocean and the future of our planet. We do not see the ocean when we look at the water that blankets more than two thirds of our planet. We only see the entrance to it. Beyond that entrance is a world hostile to humans, yet critical to our survival. The first divers to enter that world held their breath and splashed beneath the surface, often clutching rocks to pull them down. Over centuries, they invented wooden diving bells, clumsy diving suits, and unwieldy contraptions in attempts to go deeper and stay longer. But each advance was fraught with danger, as the intruders had to survive the crushing weight of water, or the deadly physiological effects of breathing compressed air. The vertical odyssey continued when explorers squeezed into heavy steel balls dangling on cables, or slung beneath floats filled with flammable gasoline. Plunging into the narrow trenches between the tectonic plates of the Earth's crust, they eventually reached the bottom of the ocean in the same decade that men first walked on the moon. Today, as nations scramble to exploit the resources of the ocean floor, The Frontier Below recalls a story of human endeavour that took 2,000 years to travel seven miles, then investigates how we will explore the ocean in the future. Meticulously researched and drawing extensively on unpublished sources and personal interviews, The Frontier Below is the untold story of the pioneers who had the right stuff, but were forgotten because they went in the wrong direction. ISBN 9780008532734
  • In 1999 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology made the remarkable admission that it discriminated against women on its faculty, setting off a discussion about the need for more women at the top levels of science. The Exceptions is the untold story of the sixteen highly accomplished female scientists whose work convinced the university to acknowledge the problem and institute changes. Written by the journalist who broke the story in 1999 for The Boston Globe, it is an intimate narrative which centres on Nancy Hopkins, the leader of the group and a reluctant feminist who became a hero to two generations of women in science. Hopkins began her career in science in a lab as a Radcliffe undergraduate in 1963, the year Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique was published. She found a powerful mentor in the lab director, James Watson, who had shared a Nobel Prize with Francis Crick for the discovery of the structure of DNA. Under his tutelage she completed her Ph.D. at Harvard. She and the other women scientists entered the work force in the 1970s during a push for affirmative action. When they were hired for positions in labs at prestigious universities, including MIT, they embarked on their careers thinking that discrimination against women was a thing of the past and that science was a pure meritocracy. For years they explained away the discrimination they experienced as the exception not the rule. Only when these few women came together after two decades did they recognize the relentless pattern: women were marginalized and minimized, especially as they grew older, their contributions stolen and erased. Meanwhile, men of similar or lesser ability had their way paved. This is a story that will ring true for all professional women who experience what those at MIT came to call '21st century discrimination': a subtle and stubborn bias, often unconscious but still damaging. Readers will learn about scientists whose work has often been overlooked, and also about the history of women's push for fair treatment and how they were viewed - by themselves and others - as they struggled to be taken seriously. 'Outstanding' Bonnie Garmus, bestselling author of Lessons in Chemistry. ISBN 9781398520011
  • Forestry in Ireland has never been so contentious. It is the subject of protests outside parliament and angry call-in radio shows. Over the last century the area of Irish woodland has increased tenfold, mostly through the planting of imported conifer species: government policy is to plant more trees to supply industry and to tackle climate change, both urgent priorities. But there has been a backlash from farmers, local communities, environmentalists and EU regulators. The rate of new planting has plummeted. And the reality is that up to one-third of the new plantations are failed forests that should never have been planted in the first place. So how did we end up in this peculiar situation? Island of Woods takes a sweeping historical view, tracing the history of Irish forests over the last 10,000 years. It examines the state of Irish forestry today and sketches a way forward for our woods that balances commercial, environmental and social goals – a vision of a different type of forestry that could transform the Irish landscape and re-establish a genuine tree culture in the country. This comprehensive and engaging overview of the history of Irish forestry relates historical events to present-day concerns and controversies, drawing out general themes that echo throughout the centuries. It will appeal to anyone who cares about the Irish landscape and environment. ISBN 9781848408791
  • When barrister and author Sarah Langford left her city life behind she found herself unexpectedly back in the world of farming. It was not how she remembered. Instead, she saw farmers dealing with very different problems to those faced by her grandfather, considered a hero for having fed a starving nation after war. Now farmers faced accusations of ecological mismanagement by a hostile urban media whilst battling extreme weather and political upheaval. Yet as Sarah learned how to farm and grew closer to the land, she discovered a new generation on a path of regenerative change. In Rooted, Sarah weaves her own story around those who taught her what it means to be a farmer. She shines a light on the human side of modern farming, and shows how land connects us all, not only in terms of global sustainability but in our relationships with our physical and mental health, our communities and our planet. 'Moving, startling, uplifting, galvanising and unsettling, this plainly beautiful book is one of those rare few that changes how you see the world around you' - Ella Risbridger 'An honest look at the farming life today. Raw, earthy and inspiring' - Cal Flyn ISBN 9780241991824

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