The Where, the Why, and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science
A science book like no other, The Where, the Why, and the How turns loose 75 of today's hottest artists onto life's vast questions, from how we got here to where we are going. Inside these pages some of the biggest (and smallest) mysteries of the natural world are explained in essays by real working scientists, which are then illustrated by artists given free rein to be as literal or as imaginative as they like. The result is a celebration of the wonder that inspires every new discovery. This is a work of scientific and artistic exploration to pique the interest of both the intellectually and imaginatively curious.
Encountering Life in the Universe: Ethical Foundations and Social Implications of Astrobiology
Are we alone in the universe? Are the planets our playground to treat as we will, or do we have a responsibility to other creatures who may inhabit or use them? Do we have a right to dump trash in space or leave vehicles on Mars or the moon? How should we interact with other life forms? Encountering Life in the Universe examines the intersection of scientific research and society to further explore the ethics of how to behave in a universe where much is unknown. Taking contributions from notable experts in several fields, the editors introduce and develop a broad look at the moral questions facing humans on Earth and beyond.
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines and introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction. Through these stories, she provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
Paleopoetics: The Evolution of the Preliterate Imagination
Christopher Collins introduces an exciting new field of research traversing evolutionary biology, anthropology, archaeology, cognitive psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, and literary study. Paleopoetics maps the selective processes that originally shaped the human genus millions of years ago and prepared the human brain to play, imagine, empathize, and engage in fictive thought as mediated by language. A manifestation of the "cognitive turn" in the humanities, Paleopoetics calls for a broader, more integrated interpretation of the reading experience, one that restores our connection to the ancient methods of thought production still resonating within us.
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