Praise for Jonathan Silvertown
“Silvertown’s enthusiasm for scientific sleuthing is infectious.”
“Jonathan Silvertown’s skills are in telling stories. Expect wonders, too. ”
Times Higher Education
“Silvertown has a knack for explaining complex biological concepts in an accessible and engaging way. He deftly uses analogy and example to illustrate his discussions, and often waxes lyrical in his descriptions.”
The Science of Life Span and Aging
|Publication date: November 19, 2013 ||$25.00 • £17.50 |
|International publication date: November 19, 2013 ||978-0-226-75789-6 |
As the flood of spam e-mails and infomercials remind us every day, aging and life span are topics of perpetual interest. But it’s not just hucksters who find these subjects fascinating: they’re also some of the hottest topics in science, and with The Long and the Short of It biologist and writer Jonathan Silvertown offers an accessible, fascinating tour d’horizon of the current state of aging and longevity research.
Introducing readers to the scientists who are working at the forefront of aging science—from researchers conducting studies on identical human twins to groups exploring the surprisingly long lifespans of bats to those working with fruit flies, nematodes, giant redwoods, and much more—Silvertown shows what we’ve learned about the interplay of genetics, evolution, and environment, and highlights the crucial questions raised by this research. What causes aging, and what determines the length of an individual life? What changes have caused the average human life span to increase so dramatically—fifteen minutes per hour—in the past two centuries? If evolution favors those who leave the most descendants, why haven’t we evolved to be immortal? The answers to these puzzles and more emerge from close examination of the whole natural history of life span and aging, across species and through millennia.
Jonathan Silvertown is professor of ecology at the Open University, Milton Keynes, and the author or editor of numerous books, including, most recently, An Orchard Invisible. He is available for interviews.