‘Andreas Wagner has again cut through to the heart of a vital question.’
The Mystery of Dormant Innovations in Nature and CultureAndreas Wagner
Life innovates constantly, producing perfectly adapted species – but there’s a catch.
Animals, plants and even human inventions can languish for eons, despite having everything going for them. Once you start to look, those ‘sleeping beauties’ crop up everywhere. But why?
Looking at the book of life, from apex predators to keystone crops, and through cutting-edge experiments, Andreas Wagner demonstrates that innovations come frequently and cheaply to nature, well before they are needed. Look at prehistoric bacteria with the remarkable ability to fight off 21st-century antibiotics. And human history fits the pattern too, with life-changing technologies invented, forgotten and rediscovered before they finally took off.
‘A wonderful, mind-expanding book.’