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Clés pour comprendre

Clés pour comprendre

"Clés pour comprendre" (Keys to understanding) is a collection intended for the general public based on a dynamic Q&A game. Simple, cheeky or amusing questions are finally given clear, well-reasoned answers. The authors, recognised specialists, do not hesitate to mix science, humour and anecdotes.

Topical and in-depth subjects are explored in a series of questions designed to incite our curiosity about our surroundings and help us understand the world better.



Les etoiles de mer et leurs cousins

Starfish and their cousins

80 keys to gaining a deeper understanding


M. Taquet, C. Taquet

Edition 2016

Concombres de mer, oursins, ophiures et lys de mer forment avec les étoiles de mer, le groupe zoologique des échinodermes, une composante importante de la biodiversité marine, avec un rôle écologique de tout premier ordre. Mais que savez-vous d’eux ? Des réponses claires et complètes pour aller à la rencontre de ces intrigantes créatures marines.


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Quel est le meilleur chocolat ?

Which Chocolate is Best?

90 keys to Understanding Chocolate


M. Barel

Edition 2015

A book to find out everything about chocolate, from growing the cocoa tree through all the cocoa processing stages. Discover the secrets of its smell, the art of chocolate-making, its tasting pleasures and its virtues. A fascinating work written by a scientist specialising in cocoa and a huge lover of chocolate.


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Do Soils Have Memories?

Do Soils Have Memories?

Eighty Key Questions to Understand Soils


J. Balesdent, E. Dambrine, J. Fardeau

Edition 2015

Soils are at the heart of major global issues. Nourish the planet implies keeping them fertile without exhausting them. The soils can also contribute to reducing CO2emissions by forming "carbon sinks". In addition, they are currently threatened by several major risks, mainly erosion, salinisation, loss of organic matter and pollution. Far from the current tendency to see everything in black and white, the authors of this book wished to extend elements of knowledge on soil physics, biology and ecology.


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With or Without Sugar?

With or Without Sugar?

90 Keys to Understanding Sugar


P. Reiser

Edition 2015

We have an innate taste for sugar, which is now found in all our kitchens and in numerous foods. Was it always like this? Why does sugar taste so good? Does sugar addiction exist? Which sugars are most consumed worldwide? How is a sugar crystal or candy floss formed? What are the sweeteners of the future? The book is chance to explore in ninety questions the long and short history of sugar and sweeteners, the mechanisms of the sugary taste, the roles of sugar in food and its effects on health.


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Faut-il sentir bon pour seduire ?

Is Seduction Reliant on Smelling Good?

120 Keys to Understanding Smells


R. Salesse

Edition 2015

Good or bad, smells give us information constantly on our environment, move us or bring back memories. This little book proposes following what becomes of the olfactory message, from the nose to the brain, to discover how our sense of smell, the olfactory memory, works and how the odorants trigger or modulate our behaviour. 


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Energy, Driving Progress?

Energy, Driving Progress?

120 Keys to Understanding the Energies


P. Mathis

Edition 2014

Energy is complicated! This involves specialists and politicians! This book is going to show us the contrary. Why? Because we are all drawn to wonder about energy: Will this century be the golden age of gas? Waste, a new green petroleum? Why is there less tax on diesel than on petrol? Whether we are simple citizens, a regional community or a company, the answers in this book will help us to see more clearly.


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Where is the Biodiversity Hidden in Towns?

Where is the Biodiversity Hidden in Towns?

90 Keys to Understanding Nature in Towns


P. Clergeau, N. Machon

Edition 2014

90 questions and answers to understand the problems relating to the presence of Nature in an urban environment. The amenity areas in towns offer citizens many benefits and some animals new refuges. But how does this urbanisation assume that plants and animals - and man - can adapt to deal with certain invasions?


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Are Snakes Afraid of Crocodiles?

Are Snakes Afraid of Crocodiles?

120 Keys to Understanding Reptiles


L. Chazel, M. Chazel

Edition 2014

This work presents reptiles in their diversity and also their customs. It evokes a few stars flirting with the margins of myth like the giant anacondas or Gustave the terrifying crocodile from East Africa. 120 questions to abandon our preconceived ideas about reptiles and raise our awareness to their preservation.


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Are Groundwaters Endless?

Are Groundwaters Endless?

Ninety Keys to Understanding Groundwaters


T. Ruf, J. Margat

Edition 2014

Where does the spring water come from? Can a well be dug anywhere? What are the threats to groundwaters? To whom do they belong? What are the advantages of exploiting groundwaters rather than surface water? Are the state and availability of resources known? This book answers the potential questions about groundwaters (water tables and deep water tables). It provides an inventory of geological and technical knowledge and highlights the economic, ecological, regulatory, political and social issues of this fragile resource.


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Where the Mineral World Chooses its Colours?

Where the Mineral World Chooses its Colours?

One Hundred Keys to Understanding Rocks and Minerals


M. Caroff

Edition 2014

Rocks, minerals, crystals: three simple terms and yet they conceal a complex and mysterious reality. What is the relationship between basalt, amber and chalk? Is it true that graphite has the same composition as diamond? Could it one day be possible to extract petroleum and gas from shale without polluting? Through one hundred richly-illustrated questions, sprinkled with anecdotes, this small book sheds simple, clear and entertaining light on the formation and diversity of rocks and minerals.


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