The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread - and Why They Stop - Wellcome Collection (Paperback)Adam Kucharski (author)
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Highly topical, accessible and endlessly fascinating, The Rules of Contagion peels off some of the mystery and apparent randomness of how things – ideas, trends, fake news and viruses alike – spread and proliferate, or die out.
Why do some ideas take off - and others fail to spread? Why are some diseases predictable, and others swamped in uncertainty? And what about the outbreaks that never happen at all?
We live in a world that's more connected than ever before. But even as we see our lives being shaped by the spread of ideas, trends - and even diseases - we sometimes struggle to grasp how it actually works. Outbreaks seem to be driven by randomness and hidden laws, and in order to understand them, we need to start thinking like mathematicians.
Here, epidemiologist Adam Kucharski reveals how new mathematical approaches are transforming what we know about contagion - from the revolutionary initiatives that helped tackle gun violence in Chicago to the truth behind the spread of fake news. And along the way, he'll explain how innovations and emotions can spread through our friendship networks, what STDs can tell us about banking, and why some outbreak predictions go badly wrong.
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 294 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 21 mm
‘Prepares the ground comprehensively for readers to make sense of what is happening today, by distilling the wisdom gathered by studying previous epidemics for more than a century’ - The Financial Times'The Rules of Contagion is popular science at its best. The prose is sparkling and clear. The subject is deeply fascinating and highly relevant. Touching on psychology, medicine, network theory and mathematics, epidemiologist Adam Kucharski has written a brilliant and authoritative guide to the hidden laws of how things spread - from ideas and memes, to violence and deadly viruses. An example of its subject matter, this book is also highly contagious: once you have read it, you will want to make sure others read it too.' - Alex Bellos, author of Alex's Adventures in Numberland
'Rich in stories, The Rules of Contagion is a down-to-earth account of how mathematical approaches can help us better understand and, in turn, better respond to contagion in all its dynamic forms. Tackling issues from pandemics and gun violence, to financial crises and misinformation, Adam Kucharski inspires us all to think like mathematicians. A must read for anybody interested in epidemics and other crises.' - Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
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