How would you go about rebuilding a techlogical society from scratch? If our techlogical society collapsed tomorrow what would be the one book you would want to press into the hands of the postapocalyptic survivors? What crucial kwledge would they need to survive in the immediate aftermath and to rebuild civilization as quickly as possible? Human kwledge is collective, distributed across the population. It has built on itself for centuries, becoming vast and increasingly specialized. Most of us are igrant about the fundamental principles of the civilization that supports us, happily utilizing the latest--or even the most basic--techlogy without having the slightest idea of why it works or how it came to be. If you had to go back to absolute basics, like some sort of postcataclysmic Robinson Crusoe, would you kw how to re-create an internal combustion engine, put together a microscope, get metals out of rock, or even how to produce food for yourself?Lewis Dartnell proposes that the key to preserving civilization in an apocalyptic scenario is to provide a quickstart guide, adapted to cataclysmic circumstances. The Kwledge describes many of the modern techlogies we employ, but first it explains the fundamentals upon which they are built. Every piece of techlogy rests on an ermous support network of other techlogies, all interlinked and mutually dependent. You can't hope to build a radio, for example, without understanding how to acquire the raw materials it requires, as well as generate the electricity needed to run it. But Dartnell doesn't just provide specific information for starting over; he also reveals the greatest invention of them all--the phemenal kwledge-generating machine that is the scientific method itself. The Kwledge is a brilliantly original guide to the fundamentals of science and how it built our modern world.
Dr. Lewis Dartnell is a UK Space Agency research fellow at the University of Leicester and writes regularly for New Scientist, BBC Focus, BBC Sky at Night, Cosmos, as well as newspapers including The Times, The Guardian, and The New York Times. He has won several awards, including the Daily Telegraph Young Science Writer Award. He also makes regular TV appearances and has been featured on BBC Horizon, Stargazing Live, Sky at Night, and numerous times on Discovery and the Science channel. His scientific research is in the field of astrobiology he works on how microorganisms might survive on the surface of Mars and the best ways to detect signs of ancient Martian life. He is thirty-two years old.