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  • Hardcover
  • UK First Edition, First Printing
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Released September 3, 2020
ISBN 9781786894021

£16.99

Currently out of Stock

For most of human history, we have led not just an earthly existence but a cosmic one. Celestial cycles drove every aspect of our daily lives. Our innate relationship with the stars shaped who we are - our religious beliefs, power structures, scientific advances and even our biology. But over the last few centuries we have separated ourselves from the universe that surrounds us. And that disconnect comes at a cost.

In The Human Cosmos Jo Marchant takes us on a tour through the history of humanity's relationship with the heavens. We travel to the Hall of the Bulls in Lascaux and witness the summer solstice at a 5,000-year-old tomb at Newgrange. We visit Medieval monks grappling with the nature of time and Tahitian sailors navigating by the stars. We discover how light reveals the chemical composition of the sun, and we are with Einstein as he works out that space and time are one and the same. A four-billion-year-old meteor inspires a search for extraterrestrial life. And we discover why stargazing can be really, really good for us.


It is time for us to rediscover the full potential of the universe we inhabit, its wonder, its effect on our health, and its potential for inspiration and revelation.

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Jo Marchant

Jo Marchant is an author and journalist based in London. Her books tackle the story of humanity, from the wonders of ancient civilisations to the mysteries of our bodies and brains. Her upcoming book, The Human Cosmos (to be published in September 2020), tells the story of our intimate relationship with the night sky and the universe beyond.

Jo’s most recent book, the 2016 New York Times bestseller Cure: a journey into the science of mind over body, was shortlisted for the Royal Society science book prize, longlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize and named a book of the year by The Economist and The Sunday Times. Jo’s other books are The Shadow King: The bizarre afterlife of King Tut’s mummy (2013) and Decoding the Heavens: Solving the mystery of the world’s first computer (2009), which was also shortlisted for the Royal Society science book prize. Jo trained as a scientist: she has a PhD in genetics and medical microbiology from St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College in London, and an MSc in Science Communication from Imperial College London. She previously worked as a senior editor at New Scientist and at Nature, and her articles have appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian and Smithsonian magazine. Her radio and TV appearances include BBC Radio 4’s Start the Week and Today programmes, NPR’s Fresh Air, CNN and National Geographic. She has captivated audiences around the world, including at the World Science Festival in New York, the Royal Institution in London, Hay Festival, Edinburgh Science Festival, the Emirates Literature Festival in Dubai and the Dutch-Flemish Institute in Cairo.

» See more books by Jo Marchant

Professionally Packed

All of our books that a have dust wrapper are covered in clear protective, removable film and are packed professionally in bubble wrap and a box for shipping so that they reach you in perfect condition.