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SuperCooperators: Altruism, Evolution, and Why We Need Each Other to Succeed Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 22, 2011
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—Steven Strogatz, Schurman Professor of Applied Mathematics, Cornell University, and New York Times contributor
"SuperCooperators looks beyond The Selfish Gene and invites us to think afresh about evolution. Contrary to the simplistic idea that selfishness is the only strategy for survival, the brilliant Martin Nowak proves that cooperation is also vitally important. This rich and rewarding book teems with new ideas and insights, which co-author Roger Highfield makes wonderfully lucid and entertaining."
—Graham Farmelo, author of The Strangest Man, winner of the Costa Biography Award
"A fantastic journey into the science of cooperation, with important implications for both individuals and society alike."
—Richard Wiseman, author of Paranormality, 59 Seconds and Quirkology
"Martin Nowak is regarded as the foremost mathematical theorist working in evolutionary biology. His contributions on cooperation and altruism here augmented by the expertise of Roger Highfield, fall in one of the most important domains of present-day biology."
—Edward O. Wilson, author of Consilience and Pellegrino University Research Professor, Harvard University
"Roger Highfield deftly weaves together a personal and informative account of the research of Harvard's Martin Nowak to reveal five mechanisms that rule human behaviour. On the way, they explore the origins of life, language, cancer and much more, and highlight how evolution can lead to cooperation as well as competition."
—Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and recent President of the Royal Society
"A panoramic view of the role of cooperation in the evolution... [A] sweeping survey... Nowak is a mathematical biologist, and his enthusiasm for numbers is extremely useful in his discussions of evolutionary theory. However, thankfully for the mathematically disinclined, there is little hard math here...A fleshed-out, persuasive chronicle of the bright side-collective enterprise-of the evolutionary road."
About the Author
ROGER HIGHFIELD, Ph.D. (Co-Writer) is the Editor of New Scientist magazine, which is now the world’s biggest selling weekly science and technology magazine. He has written/coauthored six popular science books, two of which have been bestsellers, including After Dolly, The Science of Harry Potter, The Physics of Christmas, The Private Lives of Albert Einstein, and Frontiers of Complexity. His most recent work was as the outside editor on genomic researcher J. Craig Venter's autobiography, A Life Decoded, published in November, 2007 (Viking, US; Allen Lane, UK) .
Top Customer Reviews
One reviewer called Martin Nowak a virtuoso, this is most certainly true, and it may even be an understatement. It would seem that Dr. Nowak has his hands in nearly every discipline and knows nearly everyone who is anyone in the scientific community.Read more ›
Cooperation has always been Nowak's main subject that he studies mostly with only one technique: mathematics. "We can capture the way it (evolution) works with mathematics, distilling its essence into the form of equations." "SuperCooperators" is the grand review of his oeuvre on cooperation, a kind of textbook that reads like a bestselling novel with a wonderfully lucid and enthusiastic style, thanks to Nowak's ghost-writer and kind of co-author ("with" instead of "and") Roger Highfield, an ingenious science writer and the editor of the New Scientist magazine. A layperson could enjoy just reading this book and finally has happened to learn most about a fascinating part of biology. Imagine all textbooks were written this way! Try this appetizer from the chapter on the evolution of language: "Gossip. Banter. Chat. Let's talk. Let's organize a colloquium. Even better, let's have a party! Language allows people to work together, to exchange their ideas, their thoughts, and their dreams.Read more ›
One need not agree with all Nowak claims. In fact, some of the chapters will be highly controversial. Nowak defends his views with bravado, be they on kin selection or on Gustav Mahler's music. Some of these views make me slightly wince, but that is part of the fun. Nowak lives for his work, and merges with gusto his biography with the story of his field. Sobriety and a sceptical distance are for critics, not artists. Nowak runs on sheer enthusiasm, and conveys much of it to the reader. The book is a pleasure, heady, stimulating and brimful with adrenaline.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quality book in fine condition delivered in a timely way. Thanks.Published 13 months ago by thomas e.
Superb presentation about cooperation at all possible levels. Best I ever read.Published 16 months ago by Jean Bourdeau
Nice information, but I think most of the stories about his personal life and colleagues were unnecessaryPublished 16 months ago by Hugo Fernandez Salinas
Nowak is a respected Harvard professor of mathematical biology with numerous well regarded publications. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Featherless Biped
Very clever book from a modern mathematician (sometimes too self-convinced), who studies complex evolutionary dynamics through formal modeling, with considerable results. Read morePublished on April 23, 2014 by Pedro Demo
Martin Nowak demonstrates in a variety of ways the patterns of cooperative behavior in nature in general and Homo sapiens in particular. Read morePublished on March 29, 2014 by Donald C. Maldari, S.J.
One of the best pop-science books I have ever read. I purchased it a couple of years ago, then lost, and now want to have a spare hard copy to re-read and pass to the children... Read morePublished on February 12, 2014 by Andrew