457 pages, illustrations
Eating the Sun explains how biologists discovered photosynthesis and through it found a new understanding of the history of our planet. Photosynthesis is the most mundane of miracles. It surrounds us in our gardens and parks and countryside; even our cityscapes are shot through with trees. It makes the sky blue and nature green. That greenery is the signature of the pigments with which plants harvest the sun; wherever nature offers us greenery, the molecular machinery of photosynthesis is making oxygen, energy and organic matter from the raw material of sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. We rarely give the green machinery that brings about this transformation much thought, and few of us understand its beautifully honed mechanisms.
"Morton's account of the ubiquitous importance of photosynthesis is an original viewpoint for looking at the world. It is written with verve and an eye for detail. His breadth of scholarship could leave other science writers green – with envy."
- Richard Fortey, Nature Vol 449 Sept 2007
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Oliver Morton is a science writer and journalist. He has written extensively for New Scientist, Nature and a range of National broadsheets.