> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 1 May 2006
  • ISBN: 9780099429777
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $24.99

The 21st Century Brain

Explaining, Mending and Manipulating the Mind

Formats & editions

‘An elegantly written and cogent guide to contemporary ideas about how and why the brain works.' - Independent

A compelling and authoritative study of the brain – its past, present and future.
The human brain is the most complex structure in the known universe. How it works, the relationship between mind and brain, is one of the most important of scientific questions. Researchers now claim to be able to explain the roots of human personality and behaviour and this new knowledge brings potential new powers; to cure mental illnesses, to control behaviour through tailor-made drugs, to develop human-machine hybrids. But just how seriously should we take these new threats and promises?
In order to tackle these issues Steven Rose explores the evolutionary route by which brains emerged, from the origin of life to today's complex societies. He also investigates how brains develop from a single fertilised egg to the incredibly complex organ that each human possesses. Against this background he asks the challenging question: what does the future hold for the human brain?

  • Pub date: 1 May 2006
  • ISBN: 9780099429777
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Steven Rose

Steven Rose is Professor of Biology and Director of the Brain and Behaviour Research Group at The Open University, Visiting Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at University College London, and, jointly with sociologist Hilary Rose, was the Professor of Physic (genetics and society) at Gresham College, London. His previous books include The Chemistry of Life (1996), Science and Society (with Hilary Rose) (1973), The Conscious Brain (1973), Molecules and Minds: Essays on Biology and the Social Order (1988), and The Making of Memory (1992). The Making of Memory won the 1993 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize and he has received a variety of medals and international awards, most recently the Biochemical Society’s special medal for science communication, the Edinburgh Medal and the silver medal of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts.

Also by Steven Rose

See all

Praise for The 21st Century Brain

“'Especially valuable' Nigel Hawkes”

The Times

“'A timely book on a timely subject'”


“'If you are interested in brains or having a mind you must read this'”

New Scientist

“'Clear and eloquent'”

Daily Mail

“'While this book is a magisterial survey of what we currently understand about the human brain and mind, it is also a profoundly personal rumination on the sources and consequences of that knowledge'”

Sunday Telegraph

Related titles