HUMANOLOGY:ASCIENTIST’SGUIDE TOOURAMAZINGEXISTENCE PROFESSOR LUKE O’NEILL Gill Books, ¤24.99
Most of you will be familiar with Prof Luke O’Neill’s appearances on radio, tackling popular science with wit and great erudition. The Trinity biochemist’s skills as an engaging communicator translate easily to the printed page. Like Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything, Humanology makes a fair attempt to explain every aspect of what makes us human: how, when, where, and who, with some speculation as to why. But make no mistake, for all the easy wit and clever pop-culture references, this is a science book. Using the most up-to-date data, O’Neill moves from pre-creation to our eventual extinction, taking in the cell (do you really know what a protein is?), laughter, gender assignments, love (science of), God, diet, disease, cryopreservation, the FucM gene, 10cc, population control and the “Emperor of Maladies”. A terrific read.