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Academic & Professional Books  Organismal to Molecular Biology  Ethology

Smart Swarm Using Animal Behaviour to Change Our World

Popular Science
By: Peter Miller
283 pages, no illustrations
Publisher: HarperCollins
Smart Swarm
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  • Smart Swarm ISBN: 9780007382972 Paperback Apr 2011 Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • Smart Swarm ISBN: 9780007279906 Hardback Aug 2010 Out of Print #186325
Selected version: £9.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

In this book, the author delves into the world of ants, fish, bees and birds to reveal how their intricate group behaviour can teach humans to organise, systematise, and problem-solve more effectively.

Using animals as the starting point for each chapter, he throws up questions about some of our most integral systems and translates his observations into formulae that could untangle some of the knottiest problems in business, entertainment, science and transport.

Customer Reviews


Peter Miller has been a writer and senior editor at National Geographic for over twenty-five years. He lives with his wife PJ in Reston, Virginia.

Popular Science
By: Peter Miller
283 pages, no illustrations
Publisher: HarperCollins
Media reviews

"Smart Swarm blends zoology, entertaining anecdotes and conceptual discussion in an approachable and insightful way."
New Scientist

"There have been other recent books about swarm intelligence, and the wisdom of crowds, but Miller's book is the sharpest, most readably intelligent guided tour of current thinking and research about collective intelligence and nature's basic collaborations."
– Iain Finlayson, The Times

"Peter Miller gives us a lively account of how studying the collective habits, actions and instincts of animals in the wild means that we can apply these strategies to organising and communicating in our own world."
The Times, Eureka

"I loved The Smart Swarm. It's been a while since I was this stimulated by a book, or saw so many practical applications. And what a great read"
– Don Tapscott, author of Wikinomics

"There have been other recent books about swarm intelligence, and the wisdom of crowds, but Miller's exploration of the insect hive mind is fascinating enough, but his real interest is in the way humans can harness this phenomenon to structure businesses."
BBC Focus

"It all makes for a fascinating read, not least for the insight Miller provides into the arcane workings of the animal kingdom. The book also raises interesting questions about our own behaviour and what it takes for us to work for a common goal."
BA Business Life

"On a grand scale, Stephen Hawking is changing the paradigm into a post-religious world. On a smaller scale, but with equally fascinating insight, Peter Miller has alighted upon some revelatory animal behaviour that could also shift our thinking into brave new areas [...] [a] readable and absorbing study."
– 4/5 star review in WHARF

"Miller informs, engages, entertains, and even surprises in this thought-provoking study of problem making and problem solving, and through the comparison of human and insect scenarios, shows how social cues and signals can either bring about social cooperation or destruction"
Publishers Weekly

"With an eye for detail and an easy style, Peter Miller explains why swarm intelligence has scientists buzzing"
– Steven Strogatz, author of Sync, and Professor of Mathematics, Cornell University

"Most people can't fathom that ants, bees, and other social insects have found solutions to some of modern society's most vexing problems. In The Smart Swarm, Peter Miller offers a fascinating and articulate tour of what these creatures can do, how they do it, and the lessons for humans. This book is a gem, with a message that is as extraordinarily counter intuitive as it is valuable"
– Michael J. Mauboussin, Chief Investment Strategist at Legg Mason Capital Management and author of Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition

"[Peter Miller] has proven that there is intelligent life on earth, but it is not necessarily us. What a delightful, eye-opening book"
– Martin Cruz Smith, author of Gorky Park and Stalin's Ghost

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