Bill Gates' favourite scientist is on a mission to make facts matter.
Vaclav Smil is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of over forty books on topics including energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy. No other living scientist has had more books (on a wide variety of topics) reviewed in Nature. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, in 2010 he was named by Foreign Policy as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers.
The human mind soaks up the images and narratives conveyed by the
press, but they are a highly nonrandom sample of reality: the
lurid, the sudden, the photogenic. Smil's title says it all: to
understand the world, you need to follow the trendlines, not the
headlines. This is a compelling, fascinating, and most important,
realistic portrait of the world and where it's going -- Steven
The best book to read to better understand our world. Once in a while a book comes along that helps us see our planet more clearly. By showing us numbers about science, health, green technology and more, Smil's book does just that. It should be on every bookshelf! -- Linda Yueh, author of The Great Economists
Important -- Mark Zuckerberg, on Energy
One of the world's foremost thinkers on development history and a master of statistical analysis . . . The nerd's nerd * Guardian *
A book for anyone confused by statistics or dubious of data in a world where numbers seem to mean everything and nothing. Vaclav Smil's new book reveals why diesel isn't as bad as you think, how much food is really being wasted, what actually makes people happy, and much more. * BBC Science Focus magazine *