Our interviews on this subject focus largely on the problems faced by the world's oceans as an effect of man’s depredations. Recommended books include ones that look at overfishing and polluting to the detriment of many forms of marine life. The books chosen illustrate the complicated relationship between humans and the sea.
Geologist Jan Zalasiewicz chooses his best books on Anthropocene oceans and talks about what we can learn from studying the ocean floor. Meanwhile marine biologist Helen Scales talks about the joys of diving and how ocean life is threatened by humankind.
Travel writer and historian Philip Marsden and philosopher Denise Russell both chose their best books on the sea, focusing on humankind’s place on it. Marsden discusses the origins of the British Navy and Herman Melville, but argues that with the advance of technology, struggles with the ocean have fundamentally changed. The fish are in retreat because we’ve gotten too good at fishing. Denise Russell chooses books that discuss how this phenomenon is leading to the destruction of some human sea-based communities, such as the sea gypsies of south-east Asia.
She also discusses modern piracy. Historian Adrian Tinniswood chooses his best books about the old-fashioned kind of pirates of the Caribbean and the Barbary coast.
We plunder the ocean for food, dump our waste in it, respect its wildlife less than land-based creatures. Why? Is it a case of “out of sight, out of mind”? Marine biologist Helen Scales tells us what’s down there and what we’re doing to it.
Geologist Jan Zalasiewicz tells us about the danger posed to oceans by the Anthropocene – and how we can work together to protect them
Marine biologist Helen Scales reflects on the power of stories to bring all kinds of readers into the ocean realm. She recommends books for children and young adults, and explains why her selection focuses on novels for readers age 10-14.
by William Shakespeare
Photographic Guide to the Sea & Shore Life of Britain & North-west Europe
by Alex Rogers, Benedict Hextall & Ray Gibson
The Presocratic Philosophers
by G. S. Kirk, J. E. Raven & M. Schofield
Omphalos: An Attempt to Untie the Geological Knot
by P. H. Gosse
Setting Foot on the Shores of Connemara and other writings
by Tim Robinson
The tidal zone is among the most vital and dynamic environments on Earth, but also one of the least well known. Here, the author Adam Nicolson explores formative works on the subject that have informed his book, The Sea Is Not Made of Water.
The ‘subterranaut’ describes how the discovery of ancient bacteria miles beneath the Earth’s surface opens the possibility of finding life on Mars. He picks five books that show how our knowledge of life deep in this planet could lead us to discover it elsewhere.
The Australian environmental philosopher discusses man’s interaction with the oceans – from whaling voyages and dynamite fishing to sea gypsies and the flourishing business of piracy
People see in pirates what they want to see, says historian and author Adrian Tinniswood. He recommends five fascinating books about pirates.