Metamorphosis: How Insects Are Changing Our World (Hardcover)

Metamorphosis: How Insects Are Changing Our World By Erica McAlister, Adrian Washbourne Cover Image
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An accessible, beautifully illustrated celebration of insects—and their extraordinary contributions to humankind—from the hosts of the BBC Radio's Metamorphosis

Insects outnumber humans 200 million to one, and their impact on people and the planet boasts a similar magnitude. Metamorphosis: How Insects Are Changing Our World investigates how modern entomological wonders contribute to the prosperity of humankind.

Featuring more than 80 color illustrations that highlight the impressive variety and vibrancy of everything from beetles to blowflies, the book covers contemporary topics that emphasize the intersections between insects, technology, and the future of the planet, including:

  • the role of insect metamorphosis as a barometer to track future climate change
  • how invaluable the fruit fly has been to space travel
  • how the hawkmoth’s tongue is inspiring bioengineers to develop medical nanoprobes
  • the way bee intelligence is shaping sophisticated flying robots for surveillance and rescue
  • how a network of fly farms are set to lower carbon emissions 

The study of insects has led to incredible strides in robotics, genetics, forensics, agriculture, medicine, aerospace, artificial intelligence, and biodiversity. Metamorphosis celebrates insect-driven progress and captures its sense of possibility with up-to-date research and scientific storytelling that connects readers to the bugs around them.

About the Author

ERICA MCALISTER is Senior Curator for Diptera at the Natural History Museum, London. She is the author of the acclaimed books The Secret Life of Flies and The Inside Out of Flies. In 2019 she was the winner
of the Zoological Society of London Award for Communicating Zoology She has presented two major Radio 4 series on insects and has been the subject of The Life Scientific. ADRIAN WASHBOURNE is an award-winning producer who spent 35 years working for BBC Radio and the World Service. He has produced landmark documentary series on botany, art and science, and the history of medicine. He has won several Association of British Science Writers awards and was awarded the 2019 Medical Journalists' Association Feature of the Year.

Praise For…

"The writing is accessible and full of humor; a cassette of flies packaged to be sent into space is described as 'the best mix-tape there is.' More than 80 eye-catching color images contribute to the book’s appeal. The authors are entertaining storytellers and have written a fascinating and often amusing account of how the study of insects has shaped history and continues to lead to remarkable discoveries."

Product Details
ISBN: 9781588347671
ISBN-10: 1588347672
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
Publication Date: April 9th, 2024
Pages: 216
Language: English