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Amina Khan believes that nature does it best. In Adapt, she presents fascinating examples of how nature effortlessly solves the problems that humans attempt to solve with decades worth of the latest and greatest technologies, time, and money. Humans are animals too, and animals are incredibly good at doing more with less.
If a fly's eye can see without hundreds of fancy lenses, and termite mounds can stay cool in the desert without air conditioning, it stands to reason that nature can teach us a thing or two about sustainable technology and innovation. In Khan's accessible voice, these complex concepts are made simple. There is so much we humans can learn from nature's billions of years of productive and efficient evolutionary experience. This field is growing rapidly and everyone from architects to biologists to nano-technicians to engineers are paying attention. Results from the simplest tasks, creating Velcro to mimic the sticking power of a burr, to the more complex like maximizing wind power by arranging farms to imitate schools of fish can make a difference and inspire future technological breakthroughs.
Adapt shares the weird and wonderful ways that nature has been working smarter and not harder, and how we can too to make billion dollar cross-industrial advances in the very near future.
Amina Khan is a science writer at the Los Angeles Times. She's covered the Curiosity's landing on Mars and explored abandoned gold mines in pursuit of a dark matter detector. She's appeared on national television representing The Times on issues of health and science. She's an alum of the Kavli nanotechnology workshop at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the HiPACC computational astrophysics bootcamp at UC Santa Cruz.
"Instead of trying to crudely dominate the world around us, it's nice to learn that more and more smart humans are trying to figure out how we might use the clues from other species to fit in a little more easily on this tired old planet."
– Bill McKibben, bestselling author of Eaarth
"A unique and groundbreaking contribution to innovation through bio-inspired design. One of the most inspiring books of the last decades, which profoundly boosts eco-effective innovations to grasp desperately needed disruptive changes for a planet with 10 billion people."
– Professor Michael Braungart, co-author of The Upcycle and Cradle to Cradle
"A skilled journalist and science writer, Khan makes complex topics easy to understand as we travel around the world to meet scientists, engineers, and the plants and animals that are inspiring breakthrough solutions to some of our greatest technological challenges. She doesn't shy away from in-depth explanations of the biology and the engineering behind innovations from material science to nanotechnology to robotics and more, while bringing researchers' stories of discovery to life through her enjoyable, informative writing style. This book is a worthwhile read on many levels."
– Jay Harman, author of The Shark's Paintbrush: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation and CEO of PAX Scientific
"[A] richly detailed, meticulous, well-written book. These well-crafted tales of bio-inspired innovation will entrance general readers and warrant the close attention of scientists and technologists."
– Kirkus reviews (starred)
"As a science writer for the Los Angeles Times, Khan brings to her focus on health and technology a journalist's demands for authenticity and experience as well as a storyteller's desire to enthrall an audience. Hopeful and exciting reading for the future of personal and planetary challenges."