> Skip to content
  • Published: 1 December 2020
  • ISBN: 9780241454428
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $40.00

Numbers Don't Lie

71 Things You Need to Know About the World




Bill Gates' favourite scientist is on a mission to make facts matter

Is flying dangerous? How much do the world's cows weigh?And what makes people happy? From earth's nations and inhabitants, through the fuels and foods that energize them, to the transportation and inventions of our modern world - and how all of this affects the planet itself - in Numbers Don't Lie, Professor Vaclav Smil takes us on a fact-finding adventure, using surprising statistics and illuminating graphs to challenge lazy thinking.

Packed with 'Well-I-never-knew-that' information and with fascinating and unusual examples throughout, we find out how many people it took to build the Great Pyramid, that vaccination yields the best return on investment, and why electric cars aren't as great as we think (yet). There's a wonderful mix of science, history and wit, all in bite-sized chapters on a broad range of topics. Urgent and essential, Numbers Don't Lie inspires readers to interrogate what they take to be true in these significant times. Smil is on a mission to make facts matter, because after all, numbers may not lie, but which truth do they convey?

  • Published: 1 December 2020
  • ISBN: 9780241454428
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $40.00

Also by Vaclav Smil

See all

Praise for Numbers Don't Lie

There is perhaps no other academic who paints pictures with numbers like Smil

Guardian

Smil is an ambitious and astonishing polymath who swings for fences

Wired

An author who does not allow facts to be obscured or overshadowed by politics

New York Review of Books

Vaclav Smil has led a 30-year career of interdisciplinary contrarianism, writing hundreds of scientific articles and dozens of books attacking sacred cows of Western environmental and geopolitical thought

Foreign Policy

Related titles