Shortlisted for the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize
From one of the world’s most engaging science journalists, a groundbreaking and wonder-filled look at the hidden things that shape our lives in unexpected and sometimes dangerous ways.
Our naked eyes see only a thin sliver of reality.
We are blind in comparison to the X-rays that peer through skin, the mass spectrometers that detect the dead inside the living, or the high-tech surveillance systems that see with artificial intelligence.
And we are blind compared to the animals that can see in infrared, or ultraviolet, or in 360-degree vision. These animals live in the same world we do, but they see something quite different when they look around.
With all of the curiosity and flair that drives her broadcasting, Ziya Tong illuminates this hidden world and takes us on a journey to examine 10 of humanity’s biggest blind spots.
First, we are introduced to the blind spots we are all born with, to see how technology reveals an astonishing world that exists beyond our human senses. It is with these new ways of seeing that today’s scientists can image everything from an atom to a black hole.
In section two, our collective blind spots are exposed. It’s not that we can’t see, Tong reminds us. It’s that we don’t. In the 21st century, there are cameras everywhere, except where our food comes from, where our energy comes from, and where our waste goes. Being in the dark when it comes to how we survive makes it impossible to navigate our future.
Lastly, the scope widens to our civilizational blind spots. Here, the blurred lens of history reveals how we inherit ways of thinking about the world that seem natural or inevitable but are in fact little more than traditions, ways of seeing the world that have come to harm it.
This vitally important new book shows how science, and the curiosity that drives it, can help civilization flourish by opening our eyes to the landscape laid out before us. Fast-paced, utterly fascinating, and deeply humane, The Reality Bubble gives voice to the sense we’ve all had – that there is more to the world than meets the eye.