Viking has acquired world rights to two books from scientist Vaclav Smil.
Based on his column in Spectrum magazine, in Numbers Don’t Lie Smil takes us on a "fact-finding adventure, using surprising statistics and illuminating graphs to challenge lazy thinking on topics including energy, the environment, food production, transport and technology", said Viking. The "urgent and essential" book will be published in hardback in October 2020.
The second book in the deal, How the World Really Works. is "compelling, data-rich and revisionist", according to Viking and draws on half a century of Smil’s own research and distils the ideas of his academic books into "one peerlessly authoritative yet accessible masterpiece". The synopsis reads: "He champions a rational fact-based approach and addresses perhaps the most consequential of all contemporary questions: are we irrevocably doomed or is a brighter utopia ahead?" It will be published in hardback in autumn 2021.
Regularly mentioned by Bill Gates in his blog, the distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Manitoba is the author of more than 40 books on topics including energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment and public policy.
Viking assistant editor Connor Brown said: "We’re delighted to be working with Vaclav Smil at Viking. He has an outstanding talent for using statistics (lots of them!) to clearly and convincingly show that conventional wisdom on everything from technology to the environment is consistently wrong. We can’t wait to introduce his fascinating work to the wider readership it deserves."
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