How to Spend a Trillion Dollars (Hardback)

Saving the World and Solving the Biggest Questions in Science

Rowan Hooper

A compelling thought experiment that will lead to hours of fruitful debate

If you were given one trillion dollars, to be spent in a year, on science, what would you do? It's an unimaginably large sum, yet it's also the total of the money held by the Norwegian oil investment fund alone, or the current valuations of Apple Computer and of Amazon. So it's both huge and possible.

But what could you achieve? You could eradicate malaria, for one, or end global poverty. You could start to colonise Mars. You could build a massive particle collider to explore the nature of dark matter like never before. You could mine asteroids, build quantum computers, develop artificial consciousness, or increase human lifespan.

Or how about transitioning the whole world to renewable energy? Or preserving the rainforests? Or saving all endangered species? You could refreeze the melting Arctic, reverse climate change, cure all diseases, and even launch a new sustainable agricultural revolution.

Publication date: 14/01/2021

£14.99

ISBN: 9781788163453

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Current Affairs, Politics & Economics, Science & Mathematics

How to Spend a Trillion Dollars (Ebook)

Saving the World and Solving the Biggest Questions in Science

Rowan Hooper

A compelling thought experiment that will lead to hours of fruitful debate

If you were given one trillion dollars, to be spent in a year, on science, what would you do? It's an unimaginably large sum, yet it's also the total of the money held by the Norwegian oil investment fund alone, or the current valuations of Apple Computer and of Amazon. So it's both huge and possible.

But what could you achieve? You could eradicate malaria, for one, or end global poverty. You could start to colonise Mars. You could build a massive particle collider to explore the nature of dark matter like never before. You could mine asteroids, build quantum computers, develop artificial consciousness, or increase human lifespan.

Or how about transitioning the whole world to renewable energy? Or preserving the rainforests? Or saving all endangered species? You could refreeze the melting Arctic, reverse climate change, cure all diseases, and even launch a new sustainable agricultural revolution.

Publication date: 14/01/2021

£12.99

ISBN: 9781782836100

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B08DDK211P

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: Current Affairs, Politics & Economics, Science & Mathematics

Reviews for How to Spend a Trillion Dollars

'

Praise for Superhuman:
Fascinating, timely and very well put together . . . The range of human activities, and abilities, covered in Rowan Hooper's study is astonishing and inspiring. It's a reminder of the incomparable adaptability that evolution has brought about in the human body and mind ... enthralling.

'

Philip Pullman 

'This is a scream, in several ways: it's highly entertaining, but it's kind of painful to realise I will never be superhuman. Dang, eh?'

Margaret Atwood 

'Rowan Hooper's book corrals humans who are the best at things we revere, such as intelligence, musical ability, bravery and endurance, plus the things that matter the most, longevity and happiness. He sought achievers from all over the world and asked them why and how . . . From an armchair this is spectacularly enjoyable. Hooper is an amiable, jaunty companion who explores the science of extreme human achievement - a mix of environment, practice, genetics, psychology and passion.'

Melanie Reid The Times

'The book details conversations with people who have reached the peak of human potential in happiness, focus, resilience, sleep, ageing, language, bravery and much more - and lays out the scientific studies that back up their experiences . . . Rowan found the people he met, like Ellen MacArthur, explained time and time again in different words that you can overcome any obstacles if you have a burning passion and a goal to strive towards.'

Niamh Horan Irish Sunday Independent

'In this excellent book, Hooper seeks out the highest achievers in myriad fields and also the scientists studying human capability to reframe the old debate: it's never genes or environment, it is always both things, together.'

 New Scientist

'This fascinating book reveals what it takes to be superhuman . . . as an evolutionary biologist, Hooper is persuasive in arguing that the genetic element in extreme performance is generally underestimated.'

Dominic Lawson Daily Mail

Rowan Hooper

Rowan Hooper

Rowan Hooper is Managing Editor of New Scientist magazine, where he writes about all aspects of science, from the nature of dreams to life in the multiverse. After gaining a PhD in evolutionary biology, he worked in Japan studying dragonflies, then held a fellowship at Trinity College Dublin working in a physics lab and as writer-in-residence. He is the author of Superhuman: Life at the Extremes of Mental and Physical Ability.