Rob Brooks has several talks coming up – all related to Sex, Genes & Rock ‘n’ Roll and the relevance of evolution to modern life.
- 9 February 10am – Grand Rounds at Sydney Children’s Hospital
- 13 February 2pm – Weight Management Services at Westmead Children’s Hospital
- 22 February 10am – UNSW Orientation week
- 1 May 6.30 for 7pm – The Australian Museum Night Talks
I am also planning to be in the USA in mid-June and in South Africa in late June and early July to publicise the book in those countries. More details coming up on possible talks in those places.
The Week magazine rated Sex, Genes & Rock ‘n’ Roll one of its two best non-fiction books of 2011. Here is what they had to say:
“This is a sublime piece of popular science,” said Bruce Elder in The Sydney Morning Herald. Professor Rob Brooks, an evolutionary biologist at the University of NSW, shows how evolution can explain key issues of the 21st Century. “The results are invariably illuminating and controversial.” And effortlessly entertaining, said Heather Catchpole in Cosmos magazine. Brooks’s tour of evolutionary biology is quite a ride, and he is refreshingly unapologetic in his support for science over religion.
Another good review of S,G &R – this time from Ireland-based Professor of Marketing John Fahy. He notes:
“In his closing remarks, Brooks comments that he is fortunate to do this kind of work (and write this kind of book) because the questions it explores are fundamentally interesting. This is also a very good reason why you should read it.”
Sex, Genes & Rock ‘n’ Roll: How Evolution has shaped the modern world will be published as a hardcover and ebook in North America in March 2012. They have recently posted the details and the cover image on their website. The details are also becoming available on Amazon.com and I imagine pre-orders will soon be possible.
If you are not in North America, or desperate to get a copy before March, I still recommend you buy the Australian version, available from these suppliers.
I spent a wonderful hour this morning, speaking about evolution and Sex, Genes & Rock ‘n’ Roll with Margaret Throsby on ABC Classic FM. I chose music by Mozart (to start and to finish the program), Bizet, Leonard Cohen and Patti Smith.
If you’re curious and want to know whether it’s worth procuring a copy of Sex, Genes & Rock ‘n’ Roll: How Evolution has Shaped the Modern World (HINT: It Is), then here’s a preview, courtesy of Google Books.
If you like what you see, then there’s plenty of information here on where to buy the hardcopy, or an ebook for Kindle, iPad or other readers.
Rob Brooks is professor of evolutionary biology at the University of NSW and believes that evolution is ‘‘the most important idea anybody ever had’’. In this highly enjoyable book he sets out to show how evolutionary biology can help in the understanding of the great issues of the 21st century.
Obesity, uncontrolled population growth, declining human fertility, global warming and other issues are all investigated through the prism of evolutionary biology and the results are invariably illuminating and controversial.
If you ever wondered why indigenous Australians battle with Type 2 diabetes and obesity then evolutionary biology has an answer. Did you know there is a reason why left-handed batsmen are so successful at international level and why ‘‘in developing countries, women tend to be at greater risk of obesity than men’’? This is a sublime piece of popular science.
I’m listing here all the media and reviews for Sex, Genes & Rock ‘n’ Roll, in case anybody (Hi Mum!) wants to check them out.
- A full-page review by Dr Clio Cresswell in the Australian Literary Review on publication day (1 June).
- A short review in New Scientist by Wendy Zukerman.
- Glen Humphries in The Illawarra Mercury “It’s a book that could well do for evolutionary biology what Freakonomics did for economics.”
- Steve Carroll in The Age (Melbourne) on 11 June
- Heather Catchpole’s review in COSMOS Magazine (June/July issue)
- Leigh Dayton in The Australian (Review Magazine 28 May).
- Monday 5 September, Mornings with Margaret Throsby on ABC Classic FM – Realplayer | Windows Media | MP3 Download
- Monday 29 August, Jane Raffan’s Arts Monday on 89.7 Eastside FM – Podcast
- Wednesday 22 June, 21.15 ish – 702 ABC Sydney, Nights with Robbie Buck
- Friday 17 June, 15.05 EST (13.05 WA time) – ABC Local Radio, Western Australia
- Thursday 8th June, 14.35 CST Five aa – Speaking Obseity with Amanda Blair
- Thursday 8th June, 12.20, 3TripleR (Melbourne) Aural Text with Alicia Sometimes and Lorin Clarke
- Wednesday June 8th, 9.30 pm. ABC Hobart, talking with Annie Warbruton
- Friday 3 June, 8.35am. ABC Radio Australia Breakfast
- Friday 3 June 6.45am. Chatting with Amanda Keller & Jonesy on Sydney 101.7 WSFM Breakfast [mp3].
- Thursday 2 June, 10.10 am. ABC Western Plains (Hello Dubbo!, mostly rock & sex)
- Thursday 2 June, 9.15 am. ABC Radio National – Life Matters
- Sun 29 May, 2011. Wonderful interview with Alan Brough on 774 ABC Melbourne – mostly regarding population growth, elephants and vomiting vampire bats [let me know if you find a podcast]
- Sat 28 May, 2011. Short mention of the book in Leigh Dayton’s “The Lab” section of The Australian (Review Magazine)
I was egosurfing the other night, anxious about the upcoming publication of my book Sex, Genes & Rock ‘n’ Roll: How evolution has shaped the modern world and brooding about how to promote it. Searching on the book title I was surprised when the 10th ranked page on Google was titled Vatican condemns sex, genes and rock ‘n’ roll. My, they work quickly!
I was sore amazed, however, when I noticed that the article had been posted in December 2008, fully six months before I wrote the first words for my book. I knew my book was a miraculous feat, but here, surely was an act of prescience to rival any scriptural prediction. A miracle to sit alongside the virgin birth, transubstantiation, and even Pope John Paul II’s lightning-fast beatification.
Having allowed my imagination to run wild, I was understandably a little underwhelmed to find myself reading a very brief blog post highlighting an even-more-arcane-than-usual Vatican pronouncement on bioethics. In keeping with the age-old tradition of outwardly celibate holy men micromanaging women’s fertility, the Vatican was taking aim at the so-called “abortion drug” RU-486 which can be used to terminate a pregnancy in the first nine weeks, as well as the use of morning-after pills and IUD insertion after unprotected sex to stop an embryo from implanting.
Not a single mention of my book. No miracle after all.
After all the dread, I found myself really disappointed. A good, solid, banning from the Vatican would have made for a cracking social media campaign.
But then it occurred to me that if the Vatican only knew about my book, then surely they would ban it. They might even burn it to keep His Holiness’ feet warm of an evening while he thumbed through the Malleus Maleficarum, Geoffrey Robinson’s Case Against the Pope, whatever else he’s reading these days.
So I thought I’d set out a case for my book to be banned by the Vatican, just in case they decide to bring back the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Continue reading The Vatican Banned my Book! Six Months Before I Began Writing it.