Available to preorder now - on sale from April 2020

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Brian Clegg

The science of what makes you you. See yourself in a new light.

In What Do You Think You Are?, popular science master Brian Clegg investigates what makes you the unique individual that you are. From the atomic level, through life itself to consciousness, genetics and personality, we explore how each aspect of you – your DNA, your memories, your flesh and bone – has come to be.

Full of fascinating true stories – featuring royal ancestors, stellar deaths, real-life hobbits and a self-reproducing crayfish, to name a few – this wide-ranging exploration of what makes you you is a one-of-a-kind voyage of (self) discovery.

Find out just how remarkable you are.

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If you’d like a signed copy - it makes a great gift - purchase direct below when available. If you want a personalised inscription, just drop Brian an email at at the same time with the details.

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Enter the name for this tabbed section: Reviews


As a huge fan of images in books and particularly scientific texts, I find the almost overzealous use of images brilliant for making the text accessible. Using glorious, well-sized and high quality images, Clegg presents the story of science; from ancient cuneiform tablets to medieval handwritten books, the printing press right up to modern day academic texts and popular science. Along the way, Clegg highlights the key texts (or their surviving references) that changed the course of scientific thinking. As a student, I often bemoaned the lack of a history of chemistry module at university, envious of my friends studying mathematics. However, Clegg shows that no one scientific achievement is in isolation, whatever the discipline and so history of science is made all the more enjoyable. He also shines light on the often challenging truth that such theories, results and importantly their dissemination presented – from Copernicus’ contradiction of accepted religious doctrine, Stephen Hawking’s popular origins of the universe, to evidence of humanity’s most damaging traits in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. While this is a rather weighty and large book (not for bedtime reading), Scientifica Historica would make a splendid gift to anyone interested in science and how it all started. Clegg also provides a list of the 150 greatest science books, particularly useful if you would like to expand your own reading. Jonelle Harvey, Chemistry World

I like Scientifica Historica very much… The first thing to say is that the book is beautiful. The illustrations are lavish and inspiring much of the time – especially for me, seeing original scripts from millennia ago and handwritten notes by some deeply revered scientists but also pages and covers from great books. This makes it more of an introduction and a coffee table book than an in-depth work on the historiography of science, but that’s just fine because it fits that role very well… So, as an enticing introduction to some of the great (and in my view some not so great!) books of science, this works very well and I can recommend it. Sid Nuncius's book reviews

Writer Brian Clegg compiles science’s greatest hits, from Thales of Miletus to Sir Ernest Rutherford: to qualify, the works need both impact and ambition and to convey a sense of wonder and beauty. Clegg is an assured guide on a journey through 4,000 years of space and time. Gilbert Wong, New Zealand Listener

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