Popular science master Brian Clegg's new book is an entertaining tour through the science of what makes you you. From the atomic level, through life and energy to genetics and personality, it explores how the billions of particles which make up you – your DNA, your skin, your memories – have come to be.
It starts with the present-day reader and follows a number of trails to discover their origins: how the atoms in your body were created and how they got to you in space and time, the sources of things you consume, how the living cells of your body developed, where your massive brain and consciousness originated, how human beings evolved and, ultimately, what your personal genetic history reveals.
Brian Clegg’s most recent books for Icon are Professor Maxwell’s Duplicitous Demon and Conundrum. He has also written Big Data and Gravitational Waves for the Hot Science series. He is editor of popularscience.co.uk and blogs at brianclegg.blogspot.com.
"What's great about the book overall is both Clegg's gift as a storyteller – it's just an excellent, pageturning read – and the way he threads together so many revelations about us as humans, the sort of thing that you want to share with someone else."
"The most interesting part is when the book explores what consciousness is (or, rather, highlights how little we know about it but still shows how much more there is to "us" than the conscious part) and pulls apart the old nature versus nurture debate with some remarkable material on genetics and how the influence of our environment is mathematically chaotic."
– Peet Morris, Times Higher Education
"Gets right to the heart of what makes us what we are. Read it!"
– Angela Saini, author of Inferior and Superior: The Return of Race Science