Bad Ideas? An Arresting History of Our Inventions

Author(s): Robert Winston


From the axe to the internet - the hidden dangers of man's impulse to invent.

We are born with the instinct to create and invent. Indeed, our ability to do so is what separates us from the rest of the animal world. But have our creative ideas always produced desirable results? And have they always served us well?

Bad Ideas? traces the fascinating history of our attempts at self-improvement but also questions their value. The dubious consequences of the development of weaponry, for example, is self-evident. But what of apparently more innocuous advances such as farming, writing and medicine? Science has produced huge good but has also had unforeseen consequences. Can science and scientists find solutions to the perils that now menace us? We join Robert Winston on a thrilling journey from our earliest days to the present. We meet some key individuals along the way and share quirky anecdotes about their lives and brainwaves. Inspiring, unusual and at times controversial, Bad Ideas? assesses the past and looks forward to the opportunities of the future. In so doing it celebrates man's extraordinary capacity for achievement and offers a hopeful way forward to protect humanity against what sometimes seem like bad ideas.

Product Information

"Robert Winston's Bad Ideas: An Arresting History of Our Inventions is a provocative inversion of traditional histories of scientific ingenuity... by the end I realised that what Winston's own powerful and well-paced narration had opened my eyes to was the importance of the non-scientific being better informed. Stuffed with unusual gems, his history goes some way to achieving that; it also delivers a sober warning to scientists too eager to achieve glittering prizes." - Christina Hardyment, The Times

Robert Winston is one of Britain's best-known scientists. As Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College, London, and an active researcher in reproductive physiology, he has made advances in fertility medicine. His television series including The Human Body, Child of Our Time, Human Instinct, The Story of God and A Child Against All Odds have made him a household name. He became a life peer in 1995.

General Fields

  • : 9780553819557
  • : Penguin Random House
  • : Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group)
  • : 0.374
  • : April 2011
  • : 198mm X 127mm X 33mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : May 2011
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Robert Winston
  • : Paperback
  • : 511
  • : 609
  • : 560