Hodder & Stoughton has acquired a new book from neuroscientist Dr Hannah Critchlow, The Science of Fate, exploring how much of our fate is already predetermined.
Named a Top 100 UK scientist by the Science Council for her work in science communication, Dr Critchlow is the Science Outreach Fellow at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge. She published her first book, Consciousness: A Ladybird Expert Guide, with Michael Joseph last June.
In her latest work, described "a compelling, highly relatable and accessible read", she challenges the belief we are masters of our own destiny and strives to show how far we are already hardwired for our own futures. To do this, she draws on experiences we encounter in our everyday lives, as well as from the research of leading experts in their field, from obesity expert Giles Yeo to former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.
Dr Critchlow said the topic first fascinated her 20 years ago when she was working as a nursing assistant in a psychiatric hospital. "That experience shaped my career during an era of technological revolution enabling the age-old conundrum of fate to be studied by neuroscience," she said. "Greater understanding on this topic has profound implications for us all, illuminating our behaviour, empowering us to act with more depth and consideration whilst allowing a greater acceptance of personal limitations."
Publisher Rowena Webb, who acquired UK Commonwealth rights in The Science of Fate through Caroline Michel at PFD, predicted it should find "a very wide readership" with the success of authors such as Yuval Noah Harari having demonstrated a voracious appetite for books that "help us understand more clearly why we are who we are".
Publication will be in May 2019, coinciding with a spring BBC Radio 4 documentary focusing on The Science of Fate presented by Dr Critchlow.
In the past year Dr Critchlow was also a co-presenter for BBC's "Tomorrow's World Live" and "The Secret Lives of 4 & 5 Year Olds", and helped judge the Wellcome Trust Book Prize.