Extra Life : A Short History of Living Longer
by Johnson, Steven






"As a species, humans have doubled their life expectancy in one hundred years. Medical breakthroughs, public health institutions, rising standards of living, and the other advances of modern life have given each person about 20,000 extra days on average.This book attempts to help the reader understand where that progress came from and what forces keep people alive longer. The author also considers how to avoid decreases in life expectancy as public health systems face unprecedented challenges, and what current technologies or interventions could reduce the impact of future crises. This work illuminates the power of common goals and public resources; the work of activists struggling for reform, and of scientists sharing their findings open-source-style; and of non-profit agencies spreading innovations around the world"-





Steven Johnson is the bestselling author of thirteen books, including Where Good Ideas Come From, Farsighted, and The Ghost Map. He’s the host and cocreator of the Emmy–winning PBS/BBC series How We Got to Now, and the host of the podcast American Innovations. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Marin County, California, with his wife and three sons.





A baby born in England in 1920 had a life expectancy of 41 years. Two catastrophes, WWI and the 1918 influenza pandemic, had ravaged the British population. Today, British newborns can expect to live into their eighties. This history of major medical and social innovations over the past century that have allowed more babies to reach adulthood, thereby raising life expectancy rates, comes from prolific and popular science writer Johnson (How We Got to Now, 2018; Enemy of All Mankind, 2020) He considers major breakthroughs (vaccines, chlorination, fertilizer, etc.), who created them and how, and how they came to be accepted by doctors and the general public. He also shows how life expectancy gaps between various economies and demographics are narrowing worldwide. Johnson writes that we tend to take these positive advances that keep us alive for granted (at least until something like COVID-19 comes along). His final takeaway is a warning against becoming so complacent about our increasing life expectancies that we allow another threat to eradicate our progress: climate change. Expect considerable interest. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.





A surprising look at why humans are living longer. Author of a dozen lively, informative books on science and technology, brain and body, Johnson begins his latest with an intriguing fact: In just one century, the human species has doubled its life expectancy. Wondering why, he set out to investigate the forces that led to such a dramatic improvement. As in his previous books Where Good Ideas Come From and How We Got to Now, Johnson argues convincingly that critical changes occur not from the endeavors of lone geniuses but from a network of researchers, activists, reformers, publicists, producers, and marketers. The discovery of penicillin, for example, has generated a mythical tale about Alexander Fleming, who noticed, in an overlooked petri dish, that a layer of mold happened to have killed bacteria. The reality, Johnson reveals, was far more complex: "For penicillin to graduate from a brilliant accident to a true miracle drug, three things needed to happen: someone had to determine whether it actually worked as a medicine; someone had to figure out how to produce it at scale. And then a market had to develop to support that large-scale production." In tracing particular life-threatening diseases, such as cholera, tuberculosis, and smallpox, Johnson examines breakthroughs that have had overarching significance in extending life expectancy: vaccines; advances in data collection; the invention of epidemiology, pasteurization, and chlorination; the advent of regulations and testing of drugs; antibiotics; improved safety technology and regulations; and the development of modern soil science. The author points to randomized, controlled double-blind trials, involving a network of investigators and participants, as crucial in proving the efficacy of any new drug; and to international, multidisciplinary collaboration involved in disseminating treatments. Global eradication of smallpox, he asserts, "was as dependent on the invention of an institution like [the World Health Organization] as it was on the invention of the vaccine itself." Entertaining, wide-ranging, and‚?"in light of Covid-19‚?"particularly timely. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.





A surprising look at why humans are living longer. Author of a dozen lively, informative books on science and technology, brain and body, Johnson begins his latest with an intriguing fact: In just one century, the human species has doubled its life expectancy. Wondering why, he set out to investigate the forces that led to such a dramatic improvement. As in his previous books Where Good Ideas Come From and How We Got to Now, Johnson argues convincingly that critical changes occur not from the endeavors of lone geniuses but from a network of researchers, activists, reformers, publicists, producers, and marketers. The discovery of penicillin, for example, has generated a mythical tale about Alexander Fleming, who noticed, in an overlooked petri dish, that a layer of mold happened to have killed bacteria. The reality, Johnson reveals, was far more complex: "For penicillin to graduate from a brilliant accident to a true miracle drug, three things needed to happen: someone had to determine whether it actually worked as a medicine; someone had to figure out how to produce it at scale. And then a market had to develop to support that large-scale production." In tracing particular life-threatening diseases, such as cholera, tuberculosis, and smallpox, Johnson examines breakthroughs that have had overarching significance in extending life expectancy: vaccines; advances in data collection; the invention of epidemiology, pasteurization, and chlorination; the advent of regulations and testing of drugs; antibiotics; improved safety technology and regulations; and the development of modern soil science. The author points to randomized, controlled double-blind trials, involving a network of investigators and participants, as crucial in proving the efficacy of any new drug; and to international, multidisciplinary collaboration involved in disseminating treatments. Global eradication of smallpox, he asserts, "was as dependent on the invention of an institution like [the World Health Organization] as it was on the invention of the vaccine itself." Entertaining, wide-ranging, and‚?"in light of Covid-19‚?"particularly timely. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






Terms of Use   ©Copyright 2021 Follett School Solutions