Best Selling Audio Books in Science - History & Philosophy

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release date: Nov 10, 2015
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Now a major motion picture from HBO® starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.

Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother’s cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance? 
          
Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
release date: Sep 04, 1997
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Winter: Stories from the Collection News from Lake Wobegon
Funny and touching, these monologues from original live broadcasts of A Prairie Home Companion focus on the winter season.Includes: "Guys on Ice," "The Christmas Story Re-told," and "Storm Home."
release date: Oct 09, 2018
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An End to Upside Down Thinking: Dispelling the Myth That the Brain Produces Consciousness, and the Implications for Everyday Life

Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time meets Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now

Consciousness creates all material reality. Biological processes do not create consciousness. This conceptual breakthrough turns traditional scientific thinking upside down. With cutting-edge thinkers ranging from two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Ervin László to chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences Dr. Dean Radin to New York Times bestselling author Dr. Larry Dossey supporting this thesis, this book will rock the scientific community and mainstream generalists interested in understanding the true nature of reality. Implications will impact everyday decisions related to business, health, and politics.

release date: Apr 09, 1990
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News from Lake Wobegon
One of the best-selling spoken audio of all time, this is the original collection of Garrison Keillor monologues. Funny and touching, these 20 stories from original live broadcasts of A Prairie Home Companion follow the seasons in Lake Wobegon.Contents:Spring: Me and Choir; A Day in the Life of Clarence Bunsen; Letter from Jim; FictionSummer: The Living Flag; The Tollefson Boy Goes to College; Tomato Butt; Chamber of Commerce; Dog Days of August; Mrs. Berge and the Schubert Carillon PianoFall: Giant Decoys; Darryl Tollerud's Long Day; Hog Slaughter; Thanksgiving; The Royal FamilyWinter: Guys on Ice; James Lundeen's Christmas; The Christmas Story Re-told; New Year's from new York; Storm Home
release date: Feb 02, 2010
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Now a major motion picture from HBO® starring Oprah Winfrey and Rose Byrne.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.

Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother’s cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance? 
          
Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
release date: Apr 09, 2001
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Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea
An examination of the most vexing and troublesome number in human history reveals how the Babylonians invented it, why the Greeks were afraid of it and the Hindus worshipped it, the role it played in hunting down heretics in the Middle Ages, and its place in the Y2K issue.
release date: Apr 01, 2003
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Enough: Staying Human In An Engineered Age
From the bestselling author of The End of Nature comes a passionate plea to limit the technologies that could change the very definition of who we are

We are on the verge of crossing the line from born to made, from created to built. Sometime in the next few years, a scientist will reprogram a human egg or sperm cell, spawning a genetic change that could be passed down into eternity. We are sleepwalking toward the future, argues Bill McKibben, and it’s time to open our eyes.

In The End of Nature, nearly fifteen years ago, McKibben demonstrated that humanity had begun to irrevocably alter--and endanger--our environment on a global scale. Now he turns his eye to an array of technologies that could change our relationship not with the rest of nature but with ourselves. He explores the frontiers of genetic engineering, robotics, and nanotechnology--all of which we are approaching with astonishing speed--and shows that each threatens to take us past a point of no return. We now stand at a critical threshold, poised between the human past and a post-human future.

Ultimately, McKibben offers a celebration of what it means to be human, and a warning that we risk the loss of all meaning if we step across the threshold. His wise and eloquent book argues that we cannot forever grow in reach and power--that we must at last learn how to say, "Enough."
release date: Sep 18, 2018
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Heart: A History
For centuries, the human heart seemed beyond our understanding: an inscrutable shuddering mass that was somehow the driver of emotion and the seat of the soul. As cardiologist and bestselling author Sandeep Jauhar shows in The Heart, it was only recently that we demolished age-old taboos and devised the transformative procedures that changed the way we live. Deftly alternating between historical episodes and his own work, Jauhar tells the colorful and little known story of the doctors who risked their careers and the patients who risked their lives to know and heal our most vital organ, braiding those tales of discovery, hubris, and sorrow with moving accounts of the patients he's treated over the years. He also confronts the limits of medical technology, boldly arguing that future progress will depend more on how we choose to live than on the devices we invent. Affecting and engaging, The Heart takes the full measure of the only organ that can move itself.
release date: Sep 09, 2014
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Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion
For the millions of Americans who want spirituality without religion, Sam Harris’s new book is a guide to meditation as a rational spiritual practice informed by neuroscience and psychology.

From multiple New York Times bestselling author, neuroscientist, and “new atheist” Sam Harris, Waking Up is for the 30 percent of Americans who follow no religion, but who suspect that Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history could not have all been epileptics, schizophrenics, or frauds. Throughout the book, Harris argues that there are important truths to be found in the experiences of such contemplatives—and, therefore, that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow.

Waking Up is part seeker’s memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality. No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way, and no author other than Sam Harris—a scientist, philosopher, and famous skeptic—could write it.
release date: Apr 11, 2017
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Einstein: His Life and Universe
The definitive, internationally bestselling biography of Albert Einstein. Now the basis of Genius, the ten-part National Geographic series on the life of Albert Einstein, starring the Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Award–winning actor Geoffrey Rush as Einstein.

How did his mind work? What made him a genius? Isaacson’s biography shows how Einstein’s scientific imagination sprang from the rebellious nature of his personality. His fascinating story is a testament to the connection between creativity and freedom. Einstein explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk—a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn’t get a teaching job or a doctorate—became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom, and the universe. His success came from questioning conventional wisdom and marveling at mysteries that struck others as mundane. This led him to embrace a morality and politics based on respect for free minds, free spirits, and free individuals.

Einstein, the classic #1 New York Times bestseller, is a brilliantly acclaimed account of the most influential scientist of the twentieth century, “an illuminating delight” (The New York Times). The basis for the National Geographic series Genius, by the author of The Innovators, Steve Jobs, and Benjamin Franklin, this is the definitive biography of Albert Einstein.
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