Superhuman: Life At The Extremes Of Mental And Physical Ability
The Science Of Peak Performance
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Expert moderator on tech and science topics
An evolutionary biologist by training, Rowan Hooper is Managing Editor of New Scientist magazine, where he has spent more than ten years writing about all aspects of science.
In 2018, he published Superhuman: Life at the Extremes of Mental and Physical Ability to critical acclaim. In the book, he examines what it feels like to be exceptional - and what it takes to get there. Why can some people achieve greatness when others can't, no matter how hard they try? What are the secrets of long life and happiness? Just how much potential does our species have?
Through a series of fascinating interviews and in-depth research into the latest scientific findings on peak performance, Rowan sets about tackling these questions. We meet a Nobel-prize winning scientist and double Booker-prize winning author; we meet people whose power of focus has been the difference between a world record and death; we learn from international opera stars; we go back in time with memory champions, and we explore the transcendent experience of ultrarunners. We meet people who have rebounded from near-death, those who have demonstrated exceptional bravery, and those who have found happiness in the most unexpected ways.
Prior to joining New Scientist, Rowan gained a PhD in evolutionary biology and worked as a biologist in Japan for five years. He then joined the Japan Times newspaper in Tokyo and later took up a fellowship at Trinity College Dublin. Two collections of his long-running column for the Japan Times have been published in Japan, and his work has also appeared in The Economist, Guardian, Wired and the Washington Post.
Both an expert scientist and highly skilled story-teller, Rowan's insights on peak performance are as compelling as they are informative. In the words of the Times: "Hooper is ... that precious thing, an easy, fluent, funny scientist..."
Rowan is also an excellent moderator and interviewer on a wide range of tech and science topics.