Are artificial sweeteners dangerous for the body ? Can plastic packaging cause cancers by contaminating our food ? Could serious stomach complaints be caused by the nitrate contained in chemical fertilizer ? We have all heard the worrying stories about the danger posed by the numerous chemicals needed by industries to make the products which we use everyday. Does this mean there is good and bad chemistry ? The reader will find in this guide a great deal of surprising, and for the most part, reassuring information on the reality of the situation. John Emsley is a scientist at Imperial College, London. In addition to his regular radio slots, he writes for The Independent newspaper, and regularly contributes to New Scientist magazine.
In the course of development, our way of living is fashioned by the world around us, but it is also shaped by discrete characteristics such as nature and the intensity of emotions like anxiety and egoism. From this point of departure, the author draws analogies about the ways in which we are human individuals and members of a species, and proffers the theory that, in the evolutionary process, there is also a sort of anxiety and egoism at work. Evolution, he suggests, might very well be both sentimental and selective. Yves Alain Fontaine is an honorary professor at the National Museum of Natural History.
With The Society of Confidence, and Of the Economic Miracle, Alain Peyrefitte has illustrated that growth is not primarily founded on the material wealth of a nation, capital, or even on work. Development is intrinsically linked to mentalities and values, which are the essential elements of economic, political and social modernity. Using this thesis as a starting point, the Institute of France organised a conference which brought together economic and technological historians, sociologists, criminologists, and experts from across the world, amongst which were R.Boudon, S.Eisenstadt, D.Landes, and S.Lipset. The wide spectrum of debate runs from the history of religious mentalities (P. Chaunu, J.Delumeau), to penal philosophy (D. Szabo). The comparative outlook of this book allows the reader an insight into the hidden depths of confidence, from Switzerland (J.-F. Bergier), to Japan (Terushi Hara), right through to the Third World (P. Moussa).
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