Lewis Dartnell on The Knowledge | Tantorious

Tantorious is a monthly podcast series featuring interviews with well-known authors, hosted by Allan Hoving and presented by Tantor Audio.


Lewis Dartnell is regarded as one of the brightest young scientists of his generation. Working in the field of astrobiology and the search for microbial life on Mars, he has won several awards for his science writing and outreach work. His book THE KNOWLEDGE: How to Rebuild Our World From Scratch, is a brilliantly original guide to the fundamentals of science and how it built our modern world, as well as a meditation on the very idea of scientific knowledge itself.



Excerpts from the audio interview:

Q: “The knowledge” is what London cabbies have to learn. What’s your book about?

A: It’s a guidebook you might want if you had survived the apocalypse, to learn how to rebuild: the sum total of human knowledge, boiled down to its very essence, the key knowledge, the crucial knowledge to rebuild society and direct its progression over the generations.

Q: If we ever do have to start over, what do you think we should do differently?

A: This is a wonderful thought experiment. Perhaps you could leave tips of things to look out for. You might tell survivors to avoid the dangers of radioactivity. Warn of the horrors of a nuclear bomb, or of using CFC’s, which almost destroyed the ozone layer.

Listen to a sample of the Tantor audiobook edition of The Knowledge, narrated by John Lee.

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