Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking[EPUB]
16 October 2018, 06:16
2018 | EPUB | 2.31MB
The world-famous cosmologist and #1 bestselling author of A Brief History of Time leaves us with his final thoughts on the biggest questions facing humankind.
Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two years to live. In later life he could communicate only by using a few facial muscles, but he continued to advance his field and serve as a revered voice on social and humanitarian issues.
Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe’s greatest mysteries but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on Earth. Now, as we face immense challenges on our planet—including climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the development of artificial intelligence—he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us.
Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this wide-ranging, passionately argued final book from one of the greatest minds in history.
Featuring a foreword by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar playing Stephen Hawking, an introduction by Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne, and an afterword from Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a brilliant last message to the world.
Seeds of Science: Why We Got It So Wrong On GMOs [EPUB]
17 April 2018, 11:58
2018 | EPUB | 0.68MB
Mark Lynas was one of the original GM field wreckers. Back in the 1990s--working undercover with his colleagues in the environmental movement--he would descend on trial sites of genetically modified crops at night and hack them to pieces. Two decades later, most people around the world--from New York to China--still think that 'GMO' foods are bad for their health or likely to damage the environment. But Mark has changed his mind. This book explains why.
In 2013, in a world-famous recantation speech, Mark apologised for having destroyed GM crops. He spent the subsequent years touring Africa and Asia, and working with plant scientists who are using this technology to help smallholder farmers in developing countries cope better with pests, diseases and droughts.
This book lifts the lid on the anti-GMO craze and shows how science was left by the wayside as a wave of public hysteria swept the world. Mark takes us back to the origins of the technology and introduces the scientific pioneers who invented it. He explains what led him to question his earlier assumptions about GM food, and talks to both sides of this fractious debate to see what still motivates worldwide opposition today. In the process he asks--and answers--the killer question: how did we all get it so wrong on GMOs?
The Pleasure Shock: The Rise of Deep Brain Stimulation and Its Forgotten Inventor [EPUB]
16 April 2018, 14:23
2018 | EPUB | 0.99MB
The electrifying, forgotten history of Robert Heath's brain pacemaker, investigating the origins and ethics of one of today's most promising medical breakthroughs: deep brain stimulation
The technology invented by psychiatrist Robert G. Heath in the 1950s and '60s has been described as among the most controversial experiments in US history. His work was alleged at the time to be part of MKUltra, the CIA's notorious "mind control" project. His research subjects included incarcerated convicts and gay men who wished to be "cured" of their sexual preference. Yet his cutting-edge research and legacy were quickly buried deep in Tulane University's archives. Investigative science journalist Lone Frank now tells the complete sage of this passionate, determined doctor and his groundbreaking neuroscience.
More than fifty years after Heath's experiments, this very same treatment is becoming mainstream practice in modern psychiatry for everything from schizophrenia, anorexia, and compulsive behavior to depression, Parkinson's, and even substance addiction.
Lone Frank uncovered lost documents and accounts of Heath's trailblazing work. She tracked down surviving colleagues and patients, and she delved into the current support for deep brain stimulation by scientists and patients alike. What has changed? Why do we today unquestioningly embrace this technology as a cure? How do we decide what is a disease of the brain to be cured and what should be allowed to remain unrobed and unprodded? And how do we weigh the decades of criticism against the promise of treatment that could be offered to millions of patients?
Elegantly written and deeply fascinating, The Pleasure Shock weaves together biography, scientific history, and medical ethics. It is an adventure into our ever-shifting views of the mind and the fateful power we wield when we tinker with the self.