Review in The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 9 July 2011

The Sydney Morning Herald SmartEdition – SEX, GENES & ROCK’N’ROLL Rob Brooks New South, 303pp, $34.95 – 9 Jul 2011 – Page #37

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.









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Rob Brooks

I am an evolutionary biologist who thinks about sex for a living. Things I have thought and written about include the evolution of mate choice, the costs of being attractive, the reason animals age and the links between sex, diet, obesity and death. Follow @Brooks_Rob on Twitter.

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