Books written by our members

A Better World is Possible: The Gatsby Charitable Foundation and Social Progress by ABSW member Georgina Ferry

Publisher: Profile Books, 2017 (1st edition)

The Gatsby Foundation has spent around £50m annually on charitable activities, and by its 50th anniversary in 2017 it will have spent over £1bn on programmes that range from reducing poverty in Africa to raising the standard of technical education, investigating how plants fight disease, and finding out how the brain works. But despite Gatsby's wide reach and the level of its donations, it has always functioned discreetly and out of the public eye. Georgina Ferry's in-depth account reveals its achievements and invites us to question how the super-rich - and even the moderately affluent - might spend their money more wisely and for the common good.

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The Philip's Essential Guide to Space by Paul Sutherland

Published by Philip's 2016

A stimulating guide detailing recent developments in space exploration written by Paul Sutherland.

  • Rockets, spacecraft and satellites - the first steps into space.
  • The race to the Moon - and future lunar exploration.
  • Exploring the Solar System - up-to-date information about human and robotic spaceflight.
  • Making space home - living and working on the International Space Station.
  • Observatories in space - looking for other planetary systems and measuring the Universe.

Illustrated throughout with stunning photographs and colourful artworks.

Outside the Research Lab Volume 1: Physics in the arts, architecture, and design by Sharon Ann Holgate

Published by Morgan & Claypool as part of IOP Concise Physics, 2017    

This book is a testament to the fact that the physics taught to high school and university students IS used in the real world. It is a fascinating insight into the use of physics and technology in the arts, architecture, and design. Outside the Research Lab is a path to discovering how professionals from different sectors – including sculpture, music, TV sound recording, and shoe design – use physics to help them in their work. Stunning images throughout the book and clear, understandable writing are supplemented by offset detail boxes which take the physics concepts to higher levels.


Publisher: Quad Books, 2017

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Physics in 50 Milestone Moments is a lively, accessible, and thought-provoking introduction to physics, its history, and its practitioners.

Uniquely, it is structured around a timeline of landmark events that vividly brings to life the evolution of this most fundamental science; from the Stone Age, through the classical era and the Renaissance, to the present day. As well as offering a comprehensive guide to physics, this book helps make the big ideas intelligible to us by placing them in their real-world contexts.

Sex, Lies, and Brain Scans: How fMRI reveals what really goes on in our minds by Julia Gottwald (ABSW member) & Barbara Sahakian
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Edition: 1    
Year of publication: 2017

The recent explosion of neuroscience techniques has been game-changing in terms of understanding the human brain. One of the key techniques is functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which allows us to observe brain activity in real time. Already fMRI has been used to detect conscious activity in some patients who had all indications of being in a vegetative state, and even enabled us to communicate with some of them. This is just one of the many striking areas in which fMRI can be used to 'read minds'.

Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction by Helen Pilcher

Published by Bloomsbury Sigma, 2016 (1st edition)

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If you could bring back just one animal from the past, what would you choose? It can be anyone or anything from history, from the King of the Dinosaurs, T. rex, to the King of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis Presley, and beyond.

De-extinction - the ability to bring extinct species back to life - is fast becoming reality. Around the globe, scientists are trying to de-extinct all manner of animals, including the woolly mammoth, the passenger pigeon and a bizarre species of flatulent frog. But de-extinction is more than just bringing back the dead. It's a science that can be used to save species, shape evolution and sculpt the future of life on our planet.

In Bring Back the King, scientist and comedy writer Helen Pilcher goes on a quest to identify the perfect de-extinction candidate. Along the way, she asks if Elvis could be recreated from the DNA inside a pickled wart, investigates whether it's possible to raise a pet dodo, and considers the odds of a 21st century Neanderthal turning heads on public transport.

Pondering the practicalities and the point of de-extinction, Bring Back the King is a witty and wry exploration of what is bound to become one of the hottest topics in conservation - if not in science as a whole - in the years to come. READ THIS BOOK - the King commands it.


Publisher: Aurum Press
Year of publication: 2016

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Could we solve queuing with an equation? How do algorithms control our news? What is the secret behind encryption codes?

Mathematics is inescapable. Wherever you go, whatever you do, however you live your life, mathematics plays a role.

From controlling a city’s traffic to finding love, spending money online to building a skyscraper, the mathematics at play in our world is fascinating. Yet despite its ubiquity, for many of us, how the maths of today really works remains complex.

Timothy Revell distils these complexities in this essential guide to modern-day mathematics. Along the way we discover how social media trends work, why the universe has a favourite number and what this means for you. Man vs Maths shows you how understanding a little more mathematics can help improve your life.

PR Contact: Andrew Compton This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life by Liz Kalaugher and Matin Durrani

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Edition: First
Year of publication: 2016

The animal world is full of mysteries. Why do dogs slurp from their drinking bowls while cats lap up water with a delicate flick of the tongue? How does a tiny turtle hatchling from Florida circle the entire northern Atlantic before returning to the very beach where it hatched? And how can a Komodo dragon kill a water buffalo with a bite only as strong as a domestic cat's?

These puzzles – and many more besides – are all explained by physics. From heat and light to electricity and magnetism, Furry Logic unveils the ways that more than 30 animals exploit physics to eat, drink, mate and dodge death in their daily battle for survival.

Along the way, science journalists Matin Durrani and Liz Kalaugher introduce the great physicists whose discoveries helped us understand the animal world, as well as the animal experts of today who are scouring the planet to find and study the animals that seem to push the laws of physics to the limit.

Presenting mind-bending physics principles in a simple and engaging way, Furry Logic will appeal both to animal lovers and to those curious to see how physics crops up in the natural world. It's more of a 'howdunit' than a whodunit, though you're unlikely to guess some of the answers.


“Packed with insight and information.” – Jim Al-Khalili, physicist and broadcaster

“Wonderful, wild and witty.” – Ian Sample, science editor, Guardian,

To order a review copy or for press enquiries, contact Rebecca Thorne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP, UK Tel. +44 (0)20 7631 5600

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Sorting the Beef from the Bull by Nicola Temple
Bloomsbury, 2016

Food adulteration, motivated by money, is an issue that has spanned the globe throughout human history. Whether it's a matter of making a good quality oil stretch a bit further by adding a little extra 'something' or labelling a food falsely to appeal to current consumer trends - it's all food fraud, and it costs the food industry billions of dollars each year. The price to consumers may be even higher, with some paying for these crimes with their health and, in some cases, their lives.

Sorting the Beef from the Bull is a collection of food fraud tales from around the world. It explains the role of science in uncovering some of the century's biggest food scams, and explores the arms race between food forensics and fraudsters as new methods of detection spur more creative and sophisticated means of committing the crimes. This book equips us with the knowledge of what is possible in the world of food fraud and shines a light on the shady areas of our food supply system where these criminals lurk.

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Ruth Killick, 01291 680319, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Herding Hemingway's Cats by Kat Arney
Bloomsbury Sigma
1st Edition
January 2016

The language of genes has become common parlance. We know they make your eyes blue, your hair curly or your nose straight. The media tells us that our genes control the risk of cancer, heart disease, alcoholism or Alzheimer's. The cost of DNA sequencing has plummeted from billions of pounds to a few hundred, and gene-based advances in medicine hold huge promise.

So we've all heard of genes, but how do they actually work?

There are 2.2 metres of DNA inside every one of your cells, encoding roughly 20,000 genes. These are the 'recipes' that tell our cells how to make the building blocks of life, along with myriad control switches ensuring they're turned on and off at the right time and in the right place. But rather than a static string of genetic code, this is a dynamic, writhing biological library. Figuring out how it all works - how your genes build your body - is a major challenge for researchers around the world. And what they're discovering is that far from genes being a fixed, deterministic blueprint, things are much more random and wobbly than anyone expected.

Drawing on stories ranging from six toed cats and stickleback hips to Mickey Mouse mice and zombie genes - told by researchers working at the cutting edge of genetics - Kat Arney explores the mysteries in our genomes with clarity, flair and wit, creating a companion reader to the book of life itself.

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