Best books of 2022: Science

The Long Shot: The Inside Story of the Race to Vaccinate Britain
by Kate Bingham and Tim Hames, Oneworld £18.99

A compelling account of the drive to vaccinate the UK against Covid-19, which Kate Bingham led with panache. She and co-author Hames describe in vivid detail not only the formidable scientific and logistical obstacles but also the bureaucratic inefficiency and political infighting that her vaccine task force had to overcome.

Book cover of Life Time

Life Time: The New Science of the Body Clock and How It Can Revolutionise Your Sleep and Health
by Russell Foster, Penguin Life £16.99

With more and more people reporting that they have trouble sleeping, Russell Foster has written a timely guide to the workings of our body clocks — how we can live and work with rather than against them. His account carries all the authority of a career devoted to research into circadian neuroscience.

Book cover of Trees

Trees: From Root to Leaf
by Paul Smith, Thames & Hudson £40

This stunningly illustrated book covers all aspects of trees, from seeds and leaves to wood, flowers and fruit, as well as their importance for humanity through the ages. Clear explanatory text by Paul Smith, a leading plant conservationist, balances the finely reproduced photos and graphics.

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What are your favourites from this list — and what books have we missed? Tell us in the comments below

Book cover of The Darkness Manifesto

The Darkness Manifesto: How Light Pollution Threatens the Ancient Rhythms of Life
by Johan Eklöf, Bodley Head £16.99

Johan Eklöf, a Swedish ecologist specialising in bats, raises the alarm about light pollution, a neglected cause of biodiversity loss as artificial illumination disorientates nocturnal wildlife. His book — a pleasure to read despite its discomfiting message — is also a paean of praise for natural darkness in its own right and not just as the opposite of light.

Book cover of If Science is to Save Us

If Science is to Save Us
by Martin Rees, Polity £20

Martin Rees, Britain’s longstanding Astronomer Royal and an outstanding voice of scientific wisdom, takes a sweeping view of the global mega-challenges facing humanity, from climate catastrophe to AI taking over the world. Writing with his characteristic concise elegance, he shows how future scientists could solve some of the problems their predecessors inadvertently helped to create.

Books of the Year 2022

All this week, FT writers and critics share their favourites. Some highlights are:

Monday: Business by Andrew Hill
Tuesday: Environment by Pilita Clark
Wednesday: Economics by Martin Wolf
Thursday: Fiction by Laura Battle
Friday: Politics by Gideon Rachman
Saturday: Critics’ choice

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