The Story of Life & the Environment: An African Perspective

The Story of Life and the Environment brings bring the social and the biological perspective of Africa into conversation.
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Title: The Story of Life & the Environment
Subtitle: An African Perspective
Authors: Jo van As; Johann du Preez; Leslie Brown; Nico Smit
Publisher: Randomhouse Struik
Imprint: Nature
4th edition. Cape Town, South Africa 2012
ISBN 9781770075856 / ISBN 978-1-77007-585-6
Softcover, 14x21 cm, 456 pages, throughout colour photos and illustrations


The Story of Life & the Environment presents some of the most important ideas in the life sciences and makes it exciting and accessible to the public without losing the complexity of the scientific knowledge at stake. This is not easy, and requires scientists who are competent both as scientists and as communicators to achieve this feat of balance. But there are other qualities that make this book a 'best case' example of public science, such as the rich interplay between high-quality illustrations and a flowing science-accurate narrative that takes us from the early origins of humankind to the contemporary problems that threaten the ecosystems in which we live and hope to survive. What distinguishes this book, however, is the perspective on the living sciences from its grounding in the African continent. The examples and illustrations remain true to the story line that Africa is teeming with a biodiversity that contributes richly to our store of knowledge on the living environment. But this is no romantic view of Africa' that so many social texts fall prey to; it is an honest account of political and colonial Africa and the ways in which our ecosystems reflect those strains of history and conflict.

Content: The Story of Life & the Environment: An African Perspective:

Introduction Life on Earth
The diversity of life today
How our world works
How populations work
Communities of life
Interactions of life
Life in fresh water
Life in the oceans
Life on land
The rise of humans
Caring for our planet
Further reading