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Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences: From Heresy to Truth

by James Lawrence Powell Columbia University Press (December 23, 2014)

Over the course of the twentieth century, scientists came to accept four counterintuitive yet fundamental facts about the Earth: deep time, continental drift, meteorite impact, and global warming. When first...


The Story of Life in 25 Fossils: Tales of Intrepid Fossil Hunters and the Wonders of Evolution

by Donald R. Prothero Columbia University Press (August 25, 2015)

Every fossil tells a story. Best-selling paleontology author Donald R. Prothero describes twenty-five famous, beautifully preserved fossils in a gripping, scientific history of life on Earth. Recounting the...


The Domestication of Language: Cultural Evolution and the Uniqueness of the Human Animal

by Daniel Cloud Columbia University Press (November 25, 2014)

Language did not evolve only in the distant past. Our shared understanding of the meanings of words is ever-changing, and we make conscious, rational decisions about which words to use and what to mean by them...


Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation, and Philosophy

by Evan Thompson & Stephen Batchelor Columbia University Press (November 11, 2014)

A renowned philosopher of the mind, also known for his groundbreaking work on Buddhism and cognitive science, Evan Thompson combines the latest neuroscience research on sleep, dreaming, and meditation with Indian...


Shanghai Homes: Palimpsests of Private Life

by Jie Li Columbia University Press (November 18, 2014)

In the dazzling global metropolis of Shanghai, what has it meant to call this city home? In this account—part microhistory, part memoir—Jie Li salvages intimate recollections by successive generations of inhabitants...


Note-by-Note Cooking: The Future of Food

by Hervé This & Malcolm DeBevoise Columbia University Press (October 07, 2014)

Note-by-Note Cooking is a landmark in the annals of gastronomy, liberating cooks from the constraints of traditional ingredients and methods through the use of pure molecular compounds. 1-Octen-3-ol, which has...


Flying Dinosaurs: How Fearsome Reptiles Became Birds

by John Pickrell Columbia University Press (September 16, 2014)

The discovery of stunning, feathered dinosaur fossils coming out of China since 2006 suggests that these creatures were much more bird-like than paleontologists previously imagined. Further evidence—bones,...


Race Unmasked: Biology and Race in the Twentieth Century

by Michael Yudell & J. Craig Venter Columbia University Press (September 09, 2014)

Race, while drawn from the visual cues of human diversity, is an idea with a measurable past, an identifiable present, and an uncertain future. The concept of race has been at the center of both triumphs and...


Historical Atlas of Northeast Asia, 1590-2010: Korea, Manchuria, Mongolia, Eastern Siberia

by Narangoa Li & Robert Cribb Columbia University Press (May 13, 2014)

Four hundred years ago, indigenous peoples occupied the vast region that today encompasses Korea, Manchuria, the Mongolian Plateau, and Eastern Siberia. Over time, these populations struggled to maintain autonomy...


Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's Tree: The Evolution of Visual Metaphors for Biological Order

by J. David Archibald Columbia University Press (July 15, 2014)

Leading paleontologist David Archibald explores the rich history of visual metaphors for biological order from ancient times to the present and their influence on human beings’ perception of their place in...


Intoxicating Minds: How Drugs Work

by Ciaran Regan Columbia University Press (July 17, 2001)

Why do smokers claim that the first cigarette of the day is the best? What is the biological basis behind some heavy drinkers' belief that the "hair-of-the-dog" method alleviates the effects of a hangover? Why...


The Arrow Impossibility Theorem

by Eric Maskin, Amartya Sen, Kenneth J. Arrow & Partha Dasgupta et al. Columbia University Press (July 08, 2014)

Kenneth Arrow's pathbreaking “impossibility theorem” was a watershed in the history of welfare economics, voting theory, and collective choice, demonstrating that there is no voting rule that satisfies the...


The Sea Can Wash Away All Evils: Modern Marine Pollution and the Ancient Cathartic Ocean

by Kimberley Christine Patton Columbia University Press (December 12, 2006)

Kimberley Patton examines the environmental crises facing the world's oceans from the perspective of religious history. Much as the ancient Greeks believed, and Euripides wrote, that "the sea can wash away all...


The Adélie Penguin: Bellwether of Climate Change

by David Ainley & Lucia deLeiris Columbia University Press (October 01, 2002)

The Adélie penguin is one of the best-studied birds in the world and is the subject of research programs from a dozen nations interested in monitoring changes in the environment and the food webs of the Southern...


Foundations of the Earth: Global Ecological Change and the Book of Job

by H.H. Shugart Columbia University Press (July 08, 2014)

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” God asks Job in the “Whirlwind Speech,” but Job cannot reply. This passage—which some environmentalists and religious scholars treat as a “green”...


Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction: Environment and Affect

by Heather Houser Columbia University Press (June 03, 2014)

The 1970s brought a new understanding of the biological and intellectual impact of environmental crises on human beings. As efforts to prevent ecological and bodily injury aligned, a new literature of sickness...


Time and Complexity in Historical Ecology: Studies in the Neotropical Lowlands

by William L. Balée & Clark L. Erickson Columbia University Press (June 22, 2006)

This collection of studies by anthropologists, botanists, ecologists, and biologists is an important contribution to the emerging field of historical ecology. The book combines cutting-edge research with new...


Water from Heaven: The Story of Water From the Big Bang to the Rise of Civilization, and Beyond

by Robert Kandel Columbia University Press (February 05, 2003)

From where—and what—does water come? How did it become the key to life in the universe? Water from Heaven presents a state-of-the-art portrait of the science of water, recounting how the oxygen needed to form...


Supply-Side Sustainability

by Timothy F. H. Allen, Joseph A. Tainter & Thomas W. Hoekstra Columbia University Press (February 19, 2003)

While environmentalists insist that lower rates of consumption of natural resources are essential for a sustainable future, many economists dismiss the notion that resource limits act to constrain modern, creative...


The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future

by Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway Columbia University Press (June 24, 2014)

The year is 2393, and a senior scholar of the Second People's Republic of China presents a gripping and deeply disturbing account of how the children of the Enlightenment, the political and economic elites of...


Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction

by Thom van Dooren Columbia University Press (May 13, 2014)

A leading figure in the emerging field of extinction studies, Thom van Dooren puts philosophy into conversation with the natural sciences and his ethnographic encounters to vivify the cultural and ethical significance...


A Lever Long Enough: A History of Columbia's School of Engineering and Applied Science Since 1864

by Robert McCaughey Columbia University Press (June 03, 2014)

In this comprehensive social history of Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), Robert McCaughey combines archival research with oral testimony and contemporary interviews to...


Understanding Environmental Policy

by Steven Cohen Columbia University Press (June 03, 2014)

The first edition of this pragmatic course text emphasized the policy value of a "big picture" approach to the ethical, political, technological and scientific, economic, and management aspects of environmental...


Umami: Unlocking the Secrets of the Fifth Taste

by Ole Mouritsen, Klavs Styrbæk, Jonas Drotner Mouritsen & Mariela Johansen Columbia University Press (April 22, 2014)

In the West, we have identified only four basic tastes—sour, sweet, salty, and bitter—that, through skillful combination and technique, create delicious foods. Yet in many parts of East Asia over the past...


Video Revolutions: On the History of a Medium

by Michael Z. Newman Columbia University Press (April 01, 2014)

Since the days of early television, video has been an indispensable part of culture, society, and moving-image media industries. Over the decades, it has been an avant-garde artistic medium, a high-tech consumer...


A Primer in Biological Data Analysis and Visualization Using R

by Gregg Hartvigsen Columbia University Press (February 18, 2014)

R is a popular programming language that statisticians use to perform a variety of statistical computing tasks. Rooted in Gregg Hartvigsen’s extensive experience teaching biology, this text is an engaging,...


The Insect Cookbook: Food for a Sustainable Planet

by Arnold van Huis, Henk van Gurp, Marcel Dicke & Françoise Takken-Kaminker et al. Columbia University Press (March 04, 2014)

The Definitive Guide to Insects as a Sustainable Food Source In The Insect Cookbook, two entomologists and a chef make the case for insects as a sustainable source of protein for humans and a necessary part...


What Is Relativity?: An Intuitive Introduction to Einstein's Ideas, and Why They Matter

by Jeffrey Bennett Columbia University Press (February 25, 2014)

It is commonly assumed that if the Sun suddenly turned into a black hole, it would suck Earth and the rest of the planets into oblivion. Yet, as prominent author and astrophysicist Jeffrey Bennett points out,...


Human Ecology of Beringia

by John F. Hoffecker & Scott A. Elias Columbia University Press (June 26, 2007)

Twenty-five thousand years ago, sea level fell more than 400 feet below its present position as a consequence of the growth of immense ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere. A dry plain stretching 1,000 miles...


When the Invasion of Land Failed: The Legacy of the Devonian Extinctions

by George R. McGhee Jr. Columbia University Press (October 22, 2013)

The invasion of land by ocean-dwelling plants and animals was one of the most revolutionary events in the evolution of life on Earth, yet the animal invasion almost failed—twice—because of the twin mass extinctions...


Bringing Fossils to Life: An Introduction to Paleobiology

by Donald R. Prothero Columbia University Press (November 05, 2013)

The leading textbook in its field, this work applies paleobiological principles to the fossil record while detailing the evolutionary history of major plant and animal phyla. It incorporates current research...


Mortal Rituals: What the Story of the Andes Survivors Tells Us About Human Evolution

by Matt J. Rossano Columbia University Press (July 23, 2013)

On December 21, 1972, sixteen young survivors of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 were rescued after spending ten weeks stranded at the crash site of their plane, high in the remote Andes Mountains. The incident...


The Why of Things: Causality in Science, Medicine, and Life

by Peter V. Rabins Columbia University Press (July 30, 2013)

Why was there a meltdown at the Fukushima power plant? Why do some people get cancer and not others? Why is global warming happening? Why does one person get depressed in the face of life’s vicissitudes while...


Evolutionary Paleoecology: The Ecological Context of Macroevolutionary Change

by Warren D. Allmon & David J. Bottjer Columbia University Press (February 14, 2001)

One of the most important questions we can ask about life is "Does ecology matter?" Most biologists and paleontologists are trained to answer "yes," but the exact mechanisms by which ecology matters in the context...


American Pests: The Losing War on Insects from Colonial Times to DDT

by James E. McWilliams Columbia University Press (June 17, 2008)

The world of insects is one we only dimly understand. Yet from using arsenic, cobalt, and quicksilver to kill household infiltrators to employing the sophisticated tools of the Orkin Man, Americans have fought...


The Beach Book: Science of the Shore

by Carl Hobbs Columbia University Press (June 12, 2012)

For those with a curiosity about shores or a desire to better understand them, The Beach Book shares the basic science behind waves, tides, sea level, sand dunes, salt marshes, and beach erosion. It tells sunbathers...


Abominable Science!: Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids

by Donald R. Prothero, Daniel Loxton & Michael Shermer Columbia University Press (August 21, 2012)

Throughout our history, humans have been captivated by mythic beasts and legendary creatures. Tales of Bigfoot, the Yeti, and the Loch Ness monster are part of our collective experience. Now comes a book from...


The Engine of Complexity: Evolution as Computation

by John E. Mayfield Columbia University Press (June 18, 2013)

The concepts of evolution and complexity theory have become part of the intellectual ether permeating the life sciences, the social and behavioral sciences, and more recently, management science and economics....


The Avian Migrant: The Biology of Bird Migration

by John H. Rappole Columbia University Press (June 11, 2013)

The purpose of migration, regardless of the distance involved, is to exploit two or more environments suitable for survival or reproduction over time, usually on a seasonal basis. Yet individual organisms can...


Evolutionary Perspectives on Pregnancy

by John C. Avise Columbia University Press (January 08, 2013)

Covering both the internal and external incubation of offspring, this book provides a biology-rich survey of the natural history, ecology, genetics, and evolution of pregnancy-like phenomena. From mammals and...


Paleopoetics: The Evolution of the Preliterate Imagination

by Christopher Collins Columbia University Press (January 22, 2013)

Christopher Collins introduces an exciting new field of research traversing evolutionary biology, anthropology, archaeology, cognitive psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, and literary study. Paleopoetics...


The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith: Order, Meaning, and Free Will in Modern Medical Science

by Robert E. Pollack Columbia University Press (November 01, 2000)

Are there parallels between the "moment of insight" in science and the emergence of the "unknowable" in religious faith? Where does scientific insight come from? Award-winning biologist Robert Pollack argues...


Fossil Mammals of Asia: Neogene Biostratigraphy and Chronology

by Xiaoming Wang, Lawrence J. Flynn & Mikael Fortelius Columbia University Press (May 14, 2013)

The first textbook devoted to the late Cenozoic (Neogene) mammalian biostratigraphy and geochronology of Asia, this volume deploys cutting edge biostratigraphical and geochemical dating methods to map the emergence...


Rising Seas: Past, Present, Future

by Vivien Gornitz Columbia University Press (January 08, 2013)

The Earth’s climate is already warming due to increased concentrations of human-produced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and the specter of rising sea level is one of global warming’s most far-reaching...


The Way the Wind Blows: Climate Change, History, and Human Action

by Roderick J. McIntosh, Joseph A. Tainter & Susan Keech McIntosh Columbia University Press (August 24, 2000)

Scientists and policymakers are beginning to understand in ever-increasing detail that environmental problems cannot be understood solely through the biophysical sciences. Environmental issues are fundamentally...


Mankind Beyond Earth: The History, Science, and Future of Human Space Exploration

by Claude A. Piantadosi Columbia University Press (January 01, 2013)

Seeking to reenergize Americans’ passion for the space program, the value of further exploration of the Moon, and the importance of human beings on the final frontier, Claude A. Piantadosi presents a rich...


Nature in Fragments: The Legacy of Sprawl

by Elizabeth A. Johnson & Michael W. Klemens Columbia University Press (October 05, 2005)

This new collection focuses on the impact of sprawl on biodiversity and the measures that can be taken to alleviate it. Leading biological and social scientists, conservationists, and land-use professionals...


Kicking the Carbon Habit: Global Warming and the Case for Renewable and Nuclear Energy

by William Sweet Columbia University Press (May 16, 2006)

With glaciers melting, oceans growing more acidic, species dying out, and catastrophic events like Hurricane Katrina ever more probable, strong steps must be taken now to slow global warming. Further warming...


Plants Invade the Land: Evolutionary and Environmental Perspectives

by Patricia G. Gensel & Dianne Edwards Columbia University Press (February 07, 2001)

What do we now know about the origins of plants on land, from an evolutionary and an environmental perspective? The essays in this collection present a synthesis of our present state of knowledge, integrating...


Mammals from the Age of Dinosaurs: Origins, Evolution, and Structure

by Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska, Richard L. Cifelli & Zhe-Xi Luo Columbia University Press (November 24, 2004)

The fossil record on Mesozoic mammals has expanded by orders of magnitude over the past quarter century. New specimens, some of them breathtakingly complete, have been found in nearly all parts of the globe...