Life as We Made It

Pages: 352
Subject: Science
Imprint: Oneworld

Life as We Made It

How 50,000 Years of Human Innovation Refined – and Redefined – Nature

Beth Shapiro

A leading biologist looks at how humans have meddled with evolution throughout history - and what we will do next
9781786079404 (21 Oct 2021)
RRP £18.99

The Book

From the very first dog to glowing fish and designer pigs - the human history of remaking nature.

Virus-free mosquitoes, resurrected dinosaurs, designer humans. Such is the power of the science of tomorrow. But this idea that we have only recently begun to manipulate the natural world is false. We've been meddling with nature since the last ice age. It's just that we're getting better at it - a lot better.

Drawing on decades of research, Beth Shapiro reveals the surprisingly long history of human intervention in evolution through hunting, domesticating, polluting, hybridizing, conserving and genetically modifying life on Earth. Looking ahead to the future, she casts aside the scaremonger myths on the dangers of interference, and outlines the true risks and incredible opportunities that new biotechnologies will offer us in the years ahead. Not only do they offer us the chance to improve our own lives, but they increase the likelihood that we will continue to live in a rich and biologically diverse world.

Additional Information

Subject Science
Pages 352
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Beth Shapiro is Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz. She has appeared on the BBC, National Geographic and Discovery, and written for the Financial Times and Observer. She is the author of the award-winning How to Clone a Mammoth


‘Shapiro does an excellent job of showing that the realities of genuine science can be as exciting as the fantasies of science fiction.'

- Daily Mail on How to Clone a Mammoth

‘The science is fascinating.'

- Financial Times on How to Clone a Mammoth