Book cover of Seed Money: Monsanto's Past and Our Food Future by Bartow J. Elmore
Biological Sciences

Seed Money: Monsanto’s Past and Our Food Future

An authoritative and eye-opening history that examines how Monsanto came to have outsized influence over our food system.

Monsanto, a St. Louis chemical firm that became the world’s largest maker of genetically engineered seeds, merged with German pharma-biotech giant Bayer in 2018—but its Roundup Ready® seeds, introduced twenty-five years ago, are still reshaping the farms that feed us. […Learn More]

Book cover of Super Volcanoes: What They Reveal about Earth and the Worlds Beyond by Robin George Andrews
Earth Sciences

Super Volcanoes: What They Reveal about Earth and the Worlds Beyond 

An exhilarating, time-traveling journey to the solar system’s strangest and most awe-inspiring volcanoes.

Volcanoes are capable of acts of pyrotechnical prowess verging on magic: they spout black magma more fluid than water, create shimmering cities of glass at the bottom of the ocean and frozen lakes of lava on the moon, and can even tip entire planets over. Between lava that melts and re-forms the landscape, and noxious volcanic gases that poison the atmosphere, volcanoes have threatened life on Earth countless times in our planet’s history. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey of America's Bird by Jack E. Davis
Biological Sciences

The Bald Eagle: The Improbable Journey of America’s Bird

The bald eagle is regal but fearless, a bird you’re not inclined to argue with. For centuries, Americans have celebrated it as “majestic” and “noble,” yet savaged the living bird behind their national symbol as a malicious predator of livestock and, falsely, a snatcher of babies. Taking us from before the nation’s founding through inconceivable resurgences of this enduring all-American species, Jack E. Davis contrasts the age when native peoples lived beside it peacefully with that when others, whether through hunting bounties or DDT pesticides, twice pushed Haliaeetus leucocephalus to the brink of extinction. […Learn More]

Book cover of Galileo: And the Science Deniers by Mario Livio
Biography & Autobiography

Galileo: And the Science Deniers

A fresh interpretation of the life of Galileo Galilei, one of history’s greatest and most fascinating scientists, that sheds new light on his discoveries and how he was challenged by science deniers. “We really need this story now, because we’re living through the next chapter of science denial” (Bill McKibben). […Learn More]

Book cover of Breaking the Social Media Prism: How to Make Our Platforms Less Polarizing by Christopher Bail
Computers & Technology

Breaking the Social Media Prism: How to Make Our Platforms Less Polarizing 

A revealing look at how user behavior is powering deep social divisions online—and how we might yet defeat political tribalism on social media

In an era of increasing social isolation, platforms like Facebook and Twitter are among the most important tools we have to understand each other. We use social media as a mirror to decipher our place in society but, as Chris Bail explains, it functions more like a prism that distorts our identities, empowers status-seeking extremists, and renders moderates all but invisible […Learn More]

Book cover of When the Sahara Was Green: How Our Greatest Desert Came to Be by Martin Williams
Africa

When the Sahara Was Green: How Our Greatest Desert Came to Be

The little-known history of how the Sahara was transformed from a green and fertile land into the largest hot desert in the world

The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world, equal in size to China or the United States. Yet, this arid expanse was once a verdant, pleasant land, fed by rivers and lakes. The Sahara sustained abundant plant and animal life, such as Nile perch, turtles, crocodiles, and hippos, and attracted prehistoric hunters and herders. […Learn More]

Book cover of Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World by Emma Marris
Biological Sciences

Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World

From an acclaimed environmental writer, a groundbreaking and provocative new vision for our relationships with–and responsibilities toward–the planet’s wild animals.

Protecting wild animals and preserving the environment are two ideals so seemingly compatible as to be almost inseparable. But in fact, between animal welfare and conservation science there exists a space of underexamined and unresolved tension: wildness itself. When is it right to capture or feed wild animals for the good of their species? […Learn More]

Book cover of Plagues upon the Earth: Disease and the Course of Human History by Kyle Harper
Biological Sciences

Plagues upon the Earth: Disease and the Course of Human History

A sweeping germ’s-eye view of history from human origins to global pandemics

Plagues upon the Earth is a monumental history of humans and their germs. Weaving together a grand narrative of global history with insights from cutting-edge genetics, Kyle Harper explains why humanity’s uniquely dangerous disease pool is rooted deep in our evolutionary past, and why its growth is accelerated by technological progress. […Learn More]

Book cover of Water: A Biography by Giulio Boccaletti
Earth Sciences

Water: A Biography

Writing with authority and brio, Giulio Boc­caletti—honorary research associate at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, Univer­sity of Oxford—shrewdly combines environmental and social history, beginning with the earliest civ­ilizations of sedentary farmers on the banks of the Nile, the Tigris, and the Euphrates Rivers. Even as he describes how these societies were made possible by sea-level changes from the last glacial melt, he incisively examines how this type of farming led to irrigation and multiple cropping, which, in turn, led to a population explosion and labor specialization. […Learn More]

Book cover of Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind by Peter Godfrey-Smith
Biological Sciences

Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind

The scuba-diving philosopher who wrote Other Minds explores the origins of animal consciousness

Dip below the ocean’s surface and you are soon confronted by forms of life that could not seem more foreign to our own: sea sponges, soft corals, and serpulid worms, whose rooted bodies, intricate geometry, and flower-like appendages are more reminiscent of plant life or even architecture than anything recognizably animal. Yet these creatures are our cousins. As fellow members of the animal kingdom—the Metazoa—they can teach us much about the evolutionary origins of not only our bodies, but also our minds. […Learn More]