SuperCooperators and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £9.99
  • You Save: £2.00 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Supercooperators: Beyond ... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex Library book with usual stamps and stickers. Good Clean Condition Book. Over 2 million items sold. Fast dispatch and delivery. Excellent Customer Feedback. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Supercooperators: Beyond the Survival of the Fittest: Why Cooperation, Not Competition, is the Key to Life Paperback – 2 Feb 2012

11 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£7.99
£1.12 £0.34
£7.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Supercooperators: Beyond the Survival of the Fittest: Why Cooperation, Not Competition, is the Key to Life + Wired for Culture: The Natural History of Human Cooperation
Price For Both: £18.98

Buy the selected items together



Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd (2 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847673384
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847673381
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,643 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

Groundbreaking ... SuperCooperators is part autobiography, part textbook, and reads like a best-selling novel. - Nature

About the Author

Martin Nowak is Professor of Biology and Mathematics at Harvard University. Dr Nowak is the recipient of Oxford's Weldon Memorial Prize, the Albert Wander Prize of the University of Bern, the Akira Okubo Prize of the Society for Mathematical Biology, the Roger E. Murray Prize awarded by the Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance, the David Starr Jordan Prize given jointly by Stanford, Cornell, and Indiana universities, and the Henry Dale Prize of The Royal Institution, London. He has held major research posts and teaching posts at Oxford University, Princeton University and now Harvard University. He has published over 300 papers and has been widely praised for revolutionizing the mathematical approach to biology. Roger Highfield, PhD, is the Editor of New Scientist magazine and was the Science Editor of the Daily Telegraph for two decades. He has written or coauthored six popular science books, two of which have been bestsellers. www.rogerhighfield.com

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 27 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover
From Darwin's "The Origin of Species" to Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene" we learn about the ruthless nature of evolutionary pressure by natural selection. Yet observation of both the human and wider natural world demonstrates clearly that altruism is not just practised by well-meaning creatures but the very stuff which oils the machinery. Martin Nowak is a leading proponent of the importance of altruism - "being nice" - in naturual selection and has written a fine book explaining the game theory on which his research is based, the five strategies which emerge from it - direct reciprocity ("I'll help you if you help me"), indirect reciprocity ("if I help you, maybe someone that you know will help me"), spatial selection (where a group of cooperators - neighbours, say - help each other), group selection (where natural selection favours one group over another because it is acting as a group) and kin selection ("I help my relatives") and applications in nature and human society. Nowak's breakthrough in the field lies in modelling these strateigies mathematically - he first came to prominence through describing the infection pattern of HIV, providing an understanding of why it moved rapidly to full-blown AIDS in some people, yet lay apparently dormant for many years in others.

This would have led to a worthy (but difficult) book without Roger Highfield as co-author. Highfield, editor of New Scientist, is surely the finest exponent of the art of taking highly complex scientific subjects and rendering them both understandable and easy to read for the layman (compare his "Frontiers of Complexity" with Roger Penrose's "The Emperor's New Mind" and you will see).
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By thedoctorisin on 22 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've read the book and believe this is a major contribution not just to evolutionary theory, your own social and work life, but also modern day politics. Novak and Highfield make a sobering and essential point towards the end; our ability to avoid species extinction - eg by global warming - relies on our ability to engender cooperation across the whole planet.

It's this essential challenge which the historical darwinian notion of 'survival of the fittest' is ill-equipped to solve. No one struggling to assist with political change can afford not to be aware of the book's central contentions. No one struggling with a difficult boss at work or exasperating relationship, will succeed unless they are using (even inadvertently) a strategy borrowed from some part of Novak's research.

There are very few novel concepts in biology that reach across to the social sciences, without falling into the trap of easy determinism. This account of game theory and strategy succeeds. Even if you don't agree with the conclusions, there are few better rigorous introductions to the notion of strategising across species, as well as human affairs.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As others have pointed out, the book doesn't go into the mathematics of cooperation, but that is not what it is about.
It is about showing how cooperation is a part of our lives, it is about showing why we should cooperate and why we shouldn't fear other people taking advantage of that (a fear which I think people generally have).

The book starts from the simple idea of the "Prisoner's Dilemma". Using computer simulations Nowack find which evolutionary strategies are the winning ones. Unsurprisingly, it's those that cooperate and even more, those that forgive!

The book further explains how cooperation within populations evolves and recedes and gives clues on how we should structure our own society to help cooperation flourish. It talks about which is better: to punish someone or to reward them?

It is true that the fundamental conclusions are not very surprising, but what I find interesting is that those conclusions can be based on experiments and mathematics. They coincide with general religious teachings, but because they are also backed up by mathematical models, I think, gives them much more power.

I would definitely recommend this book to anybody who has ever wondered if (or "WHY?") they should do a leap of faith or to anybody who asks what is our purpose in this world, because, instead of quoting scripture, Nowack presents data backed by experiment. He also presents different views and argues for or against them. Overall, most of the books conclusions follow in a logical manner.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tiest Vilee on 17 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
While this book does introduce the ideas that Nowak has been exploring throughout his academic life, it is light on detail. Whereas the selfish gene was dense with ideas and conclusions, this book spends more time talking about all the amazing scientists Nowak has worked with/inspired/been inspired by, along with nice descriptions about the Austrian alps.

It seems he was told to include lots of human anecdotes to keep his audience engaged, and to shy away from any maths/detailed explanation. What a shame, because the ideas are intriguing. (Oh, and I hate the references - stuffed together in the bibliography but with no 'reference' to them from within the chapter itself - after being frustrated by the paucity of detail about the subject, a nice link to more information would have been greatly appreciated)

All in all a good entrée, but certainly not the whole meal.

(BTW the reviewers who talk about 'selfishness not being to anybody's advantage' are plain wrong. The whole point of the Prisoner's Dilemma is that it pays to be selfish - the whole point of Nowak's research is to define under what circumstances cooperation can succeed in spite of this. Also, he regularly mentions the wave of selfishness/cooperation that ebbs and flows through his simulations - it is not static!)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback