Nature’s Gifts

Why We Are the Way We Are
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Dimensions and Pages: 200pp; 129 x 130mm
  • EAN: 9781868145157
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 50.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): n/a

Wilmot James is fascinated by science: by the people who do research, by their results and by the implications of their efforts for creating a just society. In this book, he discusses ideas, people and history and does it with elegance, skill and a deep human sympathy.
—David Baltimore, Emeritus President of the California Institute of Technology

With examples replete from Africa and especially South Africa, Wilmot James draws on established biological science to tell some compelling stories about the genome, why we have different skin colours, how blood tells a special story of human history, why the brain likes music, how smell works, the nature of rock art, why kids love bugs and the teaching of evolution. James gives an account of a great South African scientist called Eddie Roux who was known more for his politics, and of an extraordinary naturalist Eugene Marais who became known more for his Afrikaans poetry. Nature’s Gifts is based on the fact that there is one unified science with extraordinary powers of interpretation.

The modern scientific discipline of genetics has in recent years helped us to understand the nature of humanity, both biologically and behaviourally, and Wilmot James has played a key role in promoting a popular understanding of it. A sociologist by training, the author moved over to genetics through his association with the Africa Genome Education Institute, of which he was founder and director. He writes fluently and convincingly and is spectacularly well-read in subjects ranging from biochemistry to music to literature and anthropology.

Wilmot James is Federal Chairperson of the Democratic Alliance. He is an Honorary Professor in the Division of Human Genetics (University of Cape Town), the Department of  Sociology (University of Pretoria) and Visiting Research Professor of the Open University (United Kingdom)

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