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Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are (Hardcover)

Pleased to Meet Me: Genes, Germs, and the Curious Forces That Make Us Who We Are Cover Image


Why are you attracted to a certain "type?" Why are you a morning person? Why do you vote the way you do? From a witty new voice in popular science comes a clever, life-changing look at what makes you you.

"I can't believe I just said that." "What possessed me to do that?" "What's wrong with me?" We're constantly seeking answers to these fundamental human questions, and now, science has the answers. The foods we enjoy, the people we love, the emotions we feel, and the beliefs we hold can all be traced back to our DNA, germs, and environment. This witty, colloquial book is popular science at its best, describing in everyday language how genetics, epigenetics, microbiology, and psychology work together to influence our personality and actions. Mixing cutting-edge research and relatable humor, Pleased to Meet Me is filled with fascinating insights that shine a light on who we really are--and how we might become our best selves.

About the Author

BILL SULLIVAN is a professor of pharmacology and microbiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, where he studies infectious disease and genetics. An award-winning researcher, teacher, and science communicator, Sullivan has been featured in a wide variety of outlets, including CNN, Scientific American, Cosmos magazines, PLOS SciComm, The Naked Scientists, and The Scientist.

Praise For…

“In equal parts approachable and mind-blowing. Sullivan gives us a whistle-stop tour of the myriad factors that make you who you are”
—David Eagleman, host of PBS’s The Brain with David Eagleman
“From microbes that make you intoxicated to the genetic demons hiding within your DNA, Pleased to Meet Me is a whirlwind journey through human biology. Deftly weaving cutting-edge science with popular culture, this accessible book will leave you wanting more.”
—Sharon Moalem, PhD, author of Survival of the Sickest
“A rare treat: A book that’s fun to read from cover to cover, while leaving you wiser and better-informed about who you really are.”
—Adam Alter, New York Times bestselling author of Drunk Tank Pink and Irresistible
“Bill Sullivan is a sympathetic guide who understands your dislike of exercise and most things healthy. This wide-ranging tome puts a new light on human pursuits, including eating, drinking, thinking, sex, free will, even politics and religion, all presented with topical humor and wit.”
—Scott Anderson, co-author of The Psychobiotic Revolution
“Bill Sullivan artfully reports on how our genes interact with our surroundings to shape our unique personalities and the people we’ve become. A beautiful melding of science and the human experience.”
—Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, author of Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism
Pleased to Meet Me is as close to philosophy as science books get. Infused with Sullivan’s witty voice, the book exposes us as the biological machines we really are. You’ll be quoting it to your friends.”
—Dr. Alanna Collen, author of 10% Human
Pleased to Meet Me makes you see the world in a new way. We like to think we’re totally in control of how we think and act, but Sullivan makes a strong case that our beloved ‘agency’ is not what we think it is.”
—Matthew Simon, Wired science writer and author of Plight of the Living Dead
"Filled with surprising facts, witty anecdotes, and engaging explorations of the biological forces that make us who we are, Pleased to Meet Me is a must-read for anyone interested in an intelligent approach to self-discovery. Bill Sullivan translates cutting-edge science into practical insights about the ways that genes, germs, and environment shape our health, happiness, and relationships. This delightful book will change the way you see yourself—and will provide newfound empathy for others."
—Ty Tashiro, author of Awkward and The Science of Happily Ever After
“A book for everyone with an interest in human behavior, Pleased to Meet Me achieves the rare feat of presenting of scientific information that is also fun to read. Not only will your knowledge be greatly enhanced, but you’re more likely  to become more compassionate as well.”
—James E. Alcock, PhD, author of Belief
Product Details
ISBN: 9781426220555
ISBN-10: 1426220553
Publisher: National Geographic
Publication Date: August 6th, 2019
Pages: 336
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