Australian philosopher of science and avid scuba diver Peter Godfrey-Smith explores the origins of consciousness by observing cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish, and octopuses), which he calls nature's "only experiment in big brains outside of the vertebrates."
Citing a profound disconnect between humans and the technologies that shape their existence, Ito lays out nine principles designed to serve as "pro tips" for those seeking to make sense of a rapidly changing world and navigate our "new operating system."
Beginning in the 1880s, the Harvard College Observatory hired women as "computers," to analyze astronomical data and perform complex calculations. The result of their efforts? The Henry Draper Star Catalog, a compendium of spectroscopic classifications for some 225,300 stars.
Can human ingenuity reverse the effects of climate change? In other words, can we fix the problem we created before it destroys all life on Earth? Scientist and activist Tim Flannery believes we can, despite a mounting pile of alarming data and a pronounced lack of political will.
Our species will destroy itself and everything else, thanks to a convergence of anthropogenic causes: global climate change and a loss of biodiversity in direct proportion to an exponential increase in the human population.
Although it's frequently presented as a future concern, climate change is happening now and already affects people in measurable ways. Journalist Seamus McGraw provides an accessible overview of climate science.
Atmospheric scientist Adam Sobel tracks Hurricane Sandy's progress from tropical cyclone to "superstorm" and reflects on the ways in which climate change may affect the frequency and severity of extreme weather events and other natural disasters.
Only one-quarter to one-half of all species on Earth are likely to survive the 21st century and it is not guaranteed that Homo sapiens will be among them. Wilson's solution? Set aside 50 percent of the planet as wildlife preserves to counter rapidly decreasing biodiversity.