A leading ecologist argues that if humankind is to survive on a fragile planet, we must understand and obey its iron laws.
Over the past century, our species has made unprecedented technological innovations with which we have sought to control nature. In A Natural History of the Future, biologist Rob Dunn argues that such efforts are futile. We may see ourselves as life's overlords, but we are instead at its mercy. In the evolution of antibiotic resistance, the power of natural selection to create biodiversity, and even the surprising life of the London Underground, Dunn finds laws of life that no human activity can annul. When we create artificial islands of crops, dump toxic waste, or build communities, we provide new materials for old laws to shape. Life's future flourishing is not in question. Ours is.
A Natural History of the Future sets a new standard for understanding the diversity and destiny of life itself.
Rob Dunn is an ecologist and evolutionary biologist, focusing on the biodiversity of humans. He is a professor in the Department of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University and in the Center for Evolutionary Hologenomics at the University of Copenhagen. The author of seven books including Never Home Alone (Basic 2018), he also writes for National Geographic, Natural History, Scientific American, BBC Wildlife, and Seed magazine. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.