The social life of ants has nothing to envy in that of humans: they have managed to conquer the terrestrial world through fascinating behaviour! The unique, adaptive solutions that evolution has devised for ants are revealed here in everyday language and are brought to life by over 150 pictures combining scientific facts with aesthetic charm.
This book, written by a scientist who specialises in cocoa and is a chocolate lover himself, takes us on a journey around the world to discover the culture of cocoa and its processing. Step by step along the way we meet small growers, merchants, traders and chocolate makers. Nutritionists and law makers reveal secrets and guidelines. We view the process through the eyes of a chemist as we explore the molecules of the aroma and follow them during the fermentation and roasting of the beans. Eventually we get to taste the chocolate and distinguish the different locations where beans are grown. Filled with the author's personal experiences, this beautiful book introduces us to the great history of chocolate, the saga of a delicacy known as the "food of the gods".
This book takes us through fresh water line fishing techniques from antiquity to 1930, year marking the beginning of the new era of innovative material which gradually replaced the ancestral know-how to better adapt to the individual behavior each fish species. It brilliantly takes us on a country stroll skilfully combining ecology, biodiversity, history and literature.
Environmental changes have an impact on the distribution and abundance of birds and on the demographic, physiological and behavioural mechanisms. This richly-illustrated, scientifically-based work presents clearly the for and against of new living environments facing birds and some of the mechanisms they can use to adapt to them.
The “Jardin des plantes” in Montpellier, created by Pierre Richer de Belleval in 1593 to teach "simples" to the medical students, is the oldest botanical garden in France. This book written by renowned specialists in the plant world and illustrated with over two hundred photographs recounts its history and explores the outstanding plants - succulents, medicinal plants, Far Eastern plants, etc. - as dictated by seasons and places.
The magnetised needle revolutionised physics. And the history of the compass is also its history. Generations of scholars have cosseted this small object in an attempt to unlock the mysteries of the Earth's magnetism and resolve the problem of longitude.
How can scientists participate in the controversies raised by certain technical developments? By injecting a literary sensitivity into this participation. This is what this work argues. Through illustrations like a poem by Henri Michaux or a statement by a GMO crop destruction campaigner, Yves Citton investigates how scientists can take part in public and civil debates and help to move away from the confrontation of disciplines, fields and opinions.
The work retraces the origin of botanical gardens and the history of their design from their gradual creation from the 16th century, firstly in Europe and then in other continents.Illustrated by old engravings and colour photos, it shows the changing functions of botanical gardens through the ages. It highlights the originality of all the major European botanical gardens. The book also invokes relatively unknown undertakings like the seed companies and their international trade, plant labelling, herbariums, etc.
Water, a natural resource unlike any other and essential to all living beings.
Water has so many, often exclusive, uses that the risk of not having any (or even of depending on others to supply it) is easily perceived as a threat. The history of ancient civilisations is teeming with water-related rivalries. What about today? An original analysis of the geopolitical dimension of water detailing the scientific concepts that explain the issues linked to sharing water resources throughout the world.
Set off on a journey rich in aromas and flavours in late 19th century Africa up to the African States gaining their independence in 1950! This well-illustrated book retraces the golden age of colonial plants and their significance in African countries until recent times.