UFO, the TV series. Not only is it a 70s strip tease, with men in charge while the women all wear tight silver stripper outfits with purple hair, but the great US Military defeats more “highly advanced” civilizations every week, with explosions heard in space, and no higher purpose than gun battles. Feel sick? MeToo.
This image went viral in the last summer Olympics. It is now a meme.
Have we become a static society, as described by David Deutsch in The Beginning of Infinity? Can we really go backward to the dumb Dark Ages? He thinks not, but there is evidence of culture rejecting science, and turning everything from politics to religion into a spectator sport. White vs black, women vs men, Democrat vs Republican, military vs military. Everyone wants to see ego parades of head-butting concussions, violence without meaning or connection, like in the movie A Clockwork Orange. Will we all become jaded and cynical as the Tom Cruise character in Collateral? We are spied on and tracked, and don’t seem to care. Like lemmings, we follow the Kardashians in hope of escaping the world, as they have. That hope is thin, though. Onion skin thin, and getting thinner every day. Listen to this…
Gary Taubes is a staff writer for Discover, and a correspondent for Science magazine. An award winning investigative journalist, he has appeared in the NY Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and Esquire. He is a co-founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative, his previous book “Why We Get Fat.” This audiobook is narrated by actor Mike Chamberlain. Preorder here.
From the Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies—THE GENE is a magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information?
The extraordinary Siddhartha Mukherjee has a written a biography of the gene as deft, brilliant, and illuminating as his extraordinarily successful biography of cancer. Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.
Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee’s own family—with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness—cuts like a bright, red line, reminding us of the many questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In superb prose and with an instinct for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation—from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome.
As TheNew Yorker said of The Emperor of All Maladies, “It’s hard to think of many books for a general audience that have rendered any area of modern science and technology with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion…An extraordinary achievement.” Riveting, revelatory, and magisterial history of a scientific idea coming to life, and an essential preparation for the moral complexity introduced by our ability to create or “write” the human genome, The Gene is a must-read for everyone concerned about the definition and future of humanity. This is the most crucial science of our time, intimately explained by a master.