A Washington Post Bestseller
Named a "Best Essay Collection of the Decade" by Literary Hub As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, 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, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings--asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass--offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.
Shards of glass can cut and wound or magnify a vision, Terry Tempest Williams tells us. Mosaic celebrates brokenness and the beauty of being brought together. Ranging from Ravenna, Italy, where she learns the ancient art of mosaic, to the American Southwest, where she observes prairie dogs on the brink of extinction, to a small village in Rwanda where she joins genocide survivors to build a memorial from the rubble of war, Williams searches for meaning and community in an era of physical and spiritual fragmentation.In her compassionate meditation on how nature and humans both collide and connect, Williams affirms a reverence for all life, and constructs a narrative of hopeful acts, taking that which is broken and creating something whole.
Reveals the Hermetic underpinnings of modern scientific theories- Offers a full reconsideration of the history of science from Newton to the present day as well as a Platonic-Hermetic perspective on modern technology - Examines Hermetic resonances among the ideas of Gurdjieff, Robert Fludd, Marsilio Ficino, and cybernetics; Einstein and the Tibetan Bardo; Neoplatonism and artificial intelligence; and Rosicrucianism and the internet - Shows how Hermetic doctrine is at the heart of what modern physics is now rediscovering: that consciousness permeates everything Contemporary scientific disciplines such as chaos and complexity theory, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science treat themselves as new fields of inquiry, but many of these ideas can be traced back to Hermeticism, the European intellectual tradition sparked by the rediscovery of the Corpus Hermeticum and Platonic texts in the 15th century. Building a map of the progression of scientific thought across centuries and continents, Leon Marvell examines the ancient roots of Hermeticism, its rise during the Renaissance, and its suppression during the scientific revolution of the Enlightenment. He reveals how three main Hermetic ideas--the divine spark within each individual, the subtle body, and the anima mundi or world soul--have continually emerged at the cutting edge of science and philosophy throughout the ages because these ideas represent universal truths recognized by each era of human civilization. Marvell examines Hermetic resonances among the ideas of Gurdjieff, Robert Fludd, Marsilio Ficino, and cybernetic theory; Einstein and the Tibetan Bardo; and Neoplatonism and the work of AI scientist Christopher Langton. He reveals how the Rosicrucian description of the Invisible College also describes the instant availability of knowledge via the Internet, and he shows how Hermetic thought is at the heart of what modern physics is rediscovering: that consciousness permeates everything and the universe cannot be reduced to the random play of matter. Offering a full reconsideration of the history of science from Newton to the present day as well as a Platonic-Hermetic perspective on modern technology, Marvell reveals the pattern that connects the sciences, philosophy, and ancient knowledge and opens a potentially rich field of inquiry for 21st-century science.
"A landmark in intellectual history which has attracted attention far beyond its own immediate field. . . . It is written with a combination of depth and clarity that make it an almost unbroken series of aphorisms. . . . Kuhn does not permit truth to be a criterion of scientific theories, he would presumably not claim his own theory to be true. But if causing a revolution is the hallmark of a superior paradigm, this book] has been a resounding success." --Nicholas Wade, Science "Perhaps the best explanation of the] process of discovery." --William Erwin Thompson, New York Times Book Review "Occasionally there emerges a book which has an influence far beyond its originally intended audience. . . . Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions . . . has clearly emerged as just such a work." --Ron Johnston, Times Higher Education Supplement "Among the most influential academic books in this century." --Choice One of "The Hundred Most Influential Books Since the Second World War," Times Literary Supplement
Luckily, The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe is your map through this maze of modern life. Here Dr. Steven Novella-along with Bob Novella, Cara Santa Maria, Jay Novella, and Evan Bernstein-will explain the tenets of skeptical thinking and debunk some of the biggest scientific myths, fallacies, and conspiracy theories-from anti-vaccines to homeopathy, UFO sightings to N- rays. You'll learn the difference between science and pseudoscience, essential critical thinking skills, ways to discuss conspiracy theories with that crazy co- worker of yours, and how to combat sloppy reasoning, bad arguments, and superstitious thinking. So are you ready to join them on an epic scientific quest, one that has taken us from huddling in dark caves to setting foot on the moon? (Yes, we really did that.) DON'T PANIC With The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe, we can do this together. "Thorough, informative, and enlightening, The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe inoculates you against the frailties and shortcomings of human cognition. If this book does not become required reading for us all, we may well see modern civilization unravel before our eyes." -- Neil deGrasse Tyson
"In this age of real and fake information, your ability to reason, to think in scientifically skeptical fashion, is the most important skill you can have. Read The Skeptics' Guide Universe; get better at reasoning. And if this claim about the importance of reason is wrong, The Skeptics' Guide will help you figure that out, too." -- Bill Nye
Brilliant but overlooked ideas you must know, as revealed by Steven Pinker, Jared Diamond, Lisa Randall, Richard Thaler, Carlo Rovelli, Richard Dawkins, Helen Fisher, Ian McEwen, and more of today's most innovative minds - A top-ten San Francisco Chronicle bestseller
An MIT Technology Review Best Tech Book of the Year
What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely known? That is the question John Brockman, publisher of the acclaimed science salon Edge.org ("The world's smartest website"--The Guardian), presented to 205 of the world's most influential thinkers from across the intellectual spectrum--award-winning physicists, economists, psychologists, philosophers, novelists, artists, and more. From the origins of the universe to the order of everyday life, This Idea Is Brilliant takes readers on a tour of the bold, exciting, and underappreciated scientific concepts that will enrich every mind.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and Steel JARED DIAMOND on the lost brilliance of common sense * Oxford evolutionary biologist RICHARD DAWKINS on how The Genetic Book of the Dead could reconstruct ecological history * philosopher REBECCA NEWBERGER GOLDSTEIN on how to extend our grasp of reality beyond what we can see and touch * author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics CARLO ROVELLI on the interconnected fabric of information * Booker Prize-winning novelist IAN McEWAN on the Navier-Stokes equations, which govern everything from weather prediction to aircraft design and blood flow * cosmologist LAWRENCE M. KRAUSS on the hidden blessings of uncertainty * psychologist STEVEN PINKER on the fight against entropy * Nobel Prize-winning economist RICHARD THALER on the visionary power of the "premortem" * Grammy Award-winning musician BRIAN ENO on confirmation bias in the Internet age * advertising guru RORY SUTHERLAND on the world-changing power of sex appeal * Harvard physicist LISA RANDALL on the power of the obvious * Wired founding editor KEVIN KELLY on how to optimize your chances at success * Nobel Prize winner FRANK WILCZEK on the creative potential of complementarity * Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter JOHN MARKOFF on the synthetic metamaterials that soon will transform industry and technology * euroscientist SAM HARRIS on the lost art of intellectual honesty *Berkeley psychologist ALISON GOPNIK on the role of life history in the human story, and many others, including DANIEL C. DENNETT, JIM HOLT, HELEN FISHER, MARTIN REES, DANIEL GOLEMAN, STEWART BRAND, HANS ULRICH OBRIST, GEORGE CHURCH, DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF, SEAN CARROLL, RICHARD NISBETT, and MICHAEL GAZZANIGA.
"Wherever the people are well informed," Thomas Jefferson wrote, "they can be trusted with their own government." But what happens when they are not? In every issue of modern society--from climate change to vaccinations, transportation to technology, health care to defense--we are in the midst of an unprecedented expansion of scientific progress and a simultaneous expansion of danger. At the very time we need them most, scientists and the idea of objective knowledge are being bombarded by a vast, well-funded, three-part war on science: the identity politics war on science, the ideological war on science, and the industrial war on science. The result is an unprecedented erosion of thought in Western democracies as voters, policymakers, and justices actively ignore the evidence from science, leaving major policy decisions to be based more on the demands of the most strident voices.Shawn Otto's compelling new book investigates the historical, social, philosophical, political, and emotional reasons why evidence-based politics are in decline and authoritarian politics are once again on the rise on both left and right, and provides some compelling solutions to bring us to our collective senses, before it's too late.