Consciousness by Hannah Critchlow

The question: What is Consciousness is such a difficult one to answer. We know that we are conscious, but are other animals conscious too? What about plants, or forests and other ecosystems? But the more you think about it opens up wider questions, can we absorb the consciousness of other people? Can machines gain consciousness too?

In this short book, Hannah Critchlow sets about answering some of these questions and summing up some of the latest thoughts on how our brains work but perceiving and responding to the world around us.




Genetics by Adam Rutherford

It is quite amazing to think that DNA was first discovered just over a century ago, though several scientists had concluded that something was passing on traits from parent to child, but couldn’t quite say what. Exactly what it was and how it was constructed though was discovered by Francis and Crick with an enormous amount of assistance from Rosalind Franklin, though she didn’t know it at the time.

Rutherford has written a really good brief overview of the history of genetics, how we are almost certain related to a monarch back along the family tree and what fruit has more genes than us and how to see evolution happening in the genetic record. He brings us up to date with some of the latest discoveries on the subject and the possibilities of genetics in the future.


I love the format of these little expert guides. It harks back to the books I used to read as a child and remember fondly. These have a difference though, they are concise books with detailed information written by experts and are a brief introduction to some complex science. Great little books for the budding scientist and those that want to read up on an unknown subject.

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