An exploration of the terrifying threats to our world that fill today's headlines: from global warming epidemic to the threat of nuclear weapons and the risk posed by the leading edge devices like the Large Hadron Collider. Armageddon Science by Brian Clegg is everything you want to know about potential man-made disaster.
Climate change. Nuclear devastation. Bio-hazards. The Large Hadron Collider. What do these things have in common? They all have the potential to end our world. Every great scientific creation of man is balanced by an equal amount of danger—as there's no progress without risk. Armageddon Science is an authoritative look at the real "mad science" at work today, that recklessly puts life on Earth at risk for the pursuit of knowledge and personal gain. This book explores the reality of the dangers that science poses to the human race, from the classic fear of nuclear destruction to the latest possibilities for annihilation. Combining the science behind those threats with an understanding of the real people responsible as well as providing an assessment of the likelihood of the end of the world, this isn't a disaster movie, it's Armageddon Science.
Clegg (Before the Big Bang) explores how runaway science and other disasters might destroy humanity. He begins with the much discussed but highly speculative concerns over the operation of CERN's Large Hadron Collider. The collider is designed to recreate energies equal to those existing at the time of the big bang, which some theorists say might create a chain reaction that would dissolve the world and even the universe. Discounting the danger as hypothetical in the extreme, Clegg moves on to other possible doomsday scenarios. The short list includes nuclear bombs and nuclear power, climate change, biohazards, nanobots, the threat of transforming humans into enhanced Homo cyberneticus, and the more credible threat of a total "information breakdown." In each case he expertly describes the science and evaluates the seriousness of the threat. Clegg is an optimist and never a fearmonger. Even his discussion of climate change, a subject he admits is "depressing," ends with the options available to avoid catastrophe. Clegg ends with a call for better science education so that "the voting public" can "control science wisely." He also passionately argues that the value of science far outweighs the dangers of its misuse or of new technologies. \n