We Have No Idea: review

We have no idea 250Quite simply, this book is a keeper.

It’s brilliantly written, making complex science accessible and interesting to a non-scientist like me. I was staggered as I read just how much I didn’t know about what we don’t know!

My son, age eight, swiped the book from me and read it cover to cover – which just about made me cheer with pride. He loves the book, especially the illustrations, and his reading inspired some interesting (if slightly beyond my expertise) conversations on Life, the Universe and Everything.

Thumbs-up all round from our household. We would love to see a whole series produced in this style.

* Our rating: Five stars *

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Book details

Authors: Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson

Genre: Non-fiction > popular science


In our small corner of the universe, we know how some matter behaves most of the time and what even less of it looks like, and we have some good guesses about where it all came from. But we really have no clue what’s going on. In fact, we don’t know what about 95% of the universe is made of.

So what happens when a cartoonist and a physicist walk into this strange, mostly unknown universe? Jorge Cham and Daniel Whiteson gleefully explore the biggest unknowns, why these things are still mysteries, and what a lot of smart people are doing to figure out the answers (or at least ask the right questions).

While they’re at it, they helpfully demystify many complicated things we do know about, from quarks and neutrinos to gravitational waves and exploding black holes. With equal doses of humour and delight, they invite us to see the universe as a vast expanse of mostly uncharted territory that’s still ours to explore.

This is a book for fans of Brian Cox and What If. This highly entertaining highly illustrated book is perfect for anyone who’s curious about all the great mysteries physicists are going to solve next.

Publisher: John Murray

Publication date: 16 May 2017

Length: 368 pages

Available from: Amazon