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Books by Matt Ridley

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  • by Matt Ridley
    £5.49 - 14.99

    The products of innovation are all around us, from light bulbs and nuclear energy to antibiotics, artificial intelligence and even wheelie suitcases.

  • by Matt Ridley
    £6.99 - 8.99

    Matt Ridley, acclaimed author of the classics Genome and Nature via Nurture, turns from investigating human nature to investigating human progress. In The Rational Optimist Ridley offers a counterblast to the prevailing pessimism of our age, and proves, however much we like to think to the contrary, that things are getting better. Over 10,000 years ago there were fewer than 10 million people on the planet. Today there are more than 6 billion, 99 per cent of whom are better fed, better sheltered, better entertained and better protected against disease than their Stone Age ancestors. The availability of almost everything a person could want or need has been going erratically upwards for 10,000 years and has rapidly accelerated over the last 200 years: calories; vitamins; clean water; machines; privacy; the means to travel faster than we can run, and the ability to communicate over longer distances than we can shout. Yet, bizarrely, however much things improve from the way they were before, people still cling to the belief that the future will be nothing but disastrous. In this original, optimistic book, Matt Ridley puts forward his surprisingly simple answer to how humans progress, arguing that we progress when we trade and we only really trade productively when we trust each other. The Rational Optimist will do for economics what Genome did for genomics and will show that the answer to our problems, imagined or real, is to keep on doing what we've been doing for 10,000 years - to keep on changing.

  • - The Search for the Origin of Covid-19
    by Matt Ridley & Alina Chan
    £12.99 - 16.49

    It's the greatest whodunnit mystery of the century: how did the first detected outbreak of Covid-19 start in Wuhan city? We know that the natural reservoir of SARS-related coronaviruses is in bats, but we do not how, where, and when SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19, acquired the ability to begin infecting people.

  • - Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature
    by Matt Ridley
    £5.99 - 10.49

    Sex is as fascinating to scientists as it is to the rest of us. A vast pool of knowledge, therefore, has been gleaned from research into the nature of sex, from the contentious problem of why the wasteful reproductive process exists at all, to how individuals choose their mates and what traits they find attractive. This fascinating book explores those findings, and their implications for the sexual behaviour of our own species. It uses the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland who has to run at full speed to stay where she is as a metaphor for a whole range of sexual behaviours. The book was shortlisted for the 1994 Rhone-Poulenc Prize for Science Books. Animals and plants evolved sex to fend off parasitic infection. Now look where it has got us. Men want BMWs, power and money in order to pair-bond with women who are blonde, youthful and narrow-waisted a brilliant examination of the scientific debates on the hows and whys of sex and evolution Independent.

  • by Matt Ridley
    £9.49

    Why are people nice to each other? What are the reasons for altrusim? Matt Ridley explains how the human mind has evolved a special instinct for social exchange, offering a lucid and persuasive argument about the paradox of human benevolence.

  • by Matt Ridley
    £5.99 - 10.49

    The most important investigation of genetic science since The Selfish Gene, from the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling The Red Queen and The Origins of Virtue.The genome is our 100,000 or so genes. The genome is the collective recipe for the building and running of the human body. These 100,000 genes are sited across 23 pairs of chromosomes. Genome, a book of about 100,000 words, is divided into 23 chapters, a chapter for each chromosome. The first chromosome, for example, contains our oldest genes, genes which we have in common with plants.By looking at our genes we can see the story of our evolution, what makes us individual, how our sexuality is determined, how we acquire language, why we are vunerable to certain diseases, how mind has arisen. Genome also argues for the genetic foundations of free will. While many believe that genetics proves biological determinism, Ridley will show that in fact free will is itself in the genes. Everything that makes us human can be read in our genes. Early in the next century we will have determined the function of every one of these 100,000 genes.

  • - The Search for the Origin of COVID-19
    by Matt Ridley & Alina Chan
    £17.99

  • by Matt Ridley & Stephen Davies
    £6.49

    Almost every schoolchild learns that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. But did he? And if he hadn't invented it, would we be still living in the dark? Acclaimed author Matt Ridley (The Rational Optimist, The Evolution of Everything) explains that at least 20 other people can lay claim to this breakthrough moment. Ridley argues that the light bulb emerged from the combined technologies and accumulated knowledge of the day - it was bound to emerge sooner or later. Based on his 2018 Hayek Memorial Lecture, Ridley contends that innovation - from invention through to development and commercialisation - is the most important unsolved problem in all of human society. We rely on it - but we do not fully understand it, we cannot predict it and we cannot direct it. In How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take to Change the World? Ridley examines the nature of innovation - and how people often fear its consequences. He dispels the myth that automation destroys jobs - and demonstrates how innovation leads to economic growth. And he argues that intellectual property rights, originally intended to encourage innovation, are now being used by big business to defend their monopolies. Ridley concludes that innovation is a mysterious and under-appreciated process that we discuss too rarely, hamper too much and value too little.

  • by Alain de Botton, Malcolm Gladwell, Matt Ridley & et al.
    £6.44 - 6.99

    In a world driven by technology and ever-closer global networks, is humanity approaching a Golden Age, or is the notion of progress an illusion born in the West?

  • - Genes, Experience and What Makes Us Human
    by Matt Ridley
    £6.99 - 10.49

    Acclaimed author Matt Ridley's thrilling follow-up to his bestseller `Genome'. Armed with the extraordinary new discoveries about our genes, Ridley turns his attention to the nature versus nurture debate to bring the first popular account of the roots of human behaviour.

  • by Matt Ridley
    £4.99 - 9.49

    'If there is one dominant myth about the world, one huge mistake we all make ... it is that we all go around assuming the world is much more of a planned place than it is.'From the industrial revolution and the rise of China, to urbanisation and the birth of bitcoin, Matt Ridley demolishes conventional assumptions that the great events and trends of our day are dictated by those on high. On the contrary, our most important achievements develop from the ground up. In this wide-ranging and erudite book, Matt Ridley brilliantly makes the case for evolution as the force that has shaped much of our culture, our minds, and that even now is shaping our future.As compelling as it is controversial, as authoritative as it is ambitious, Ridley's deeply thought-provoking book will change the way we think about the world and how it works.

  • by Matt Ridley
    £18.99

    Eine uberzeugende Absage an den Pessimismus unserer Zeit. Die Geschichte der Menschheit ist eine groartige Erfolgsgeschichte, und es gibt keinen vernunftigen Grund fur die - allerdings weitverbreitete - Annahme, dass urplotzlich in unserer Zeit der Fortschritt erlahmen, die Innovationskraft und Erfindungsgabe der Menschen versiegen und die Verbreitung von Wohlstand an ein Ende kommen soll. Die kulturelle Entwicklung des Menschen hat uber Jahrtausende zu immer besseren Lebensbedingungen gefuhrt. Der Schlussel dafur waren die Arbeitsteilung und der Austausch von Ideen. Wenn wir nicht verzagen und die kreativen Krafte der Menschen nicht behindert werden, dann kann uns ein 21. Jahrhundert bevorstehen, in dem der Wohlstand sich vermehrt, Armut zuruckgeht, Krankheiten eingedammt werden, die Uberbevolkerung abnimmt, die technologische Entwicklung bluht, Wissen und Bildung immer mehr Menschen erreicht und Umweltbedingungen sich verbessern.

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