The Reality Bubble: How Science Reveals the Hidden Truths that Shape Our World

The Reality Bubble: How Science Reveals the Hidden Truths that Shape Our World

By Ziya Tong
376 pages
May 2019

From one of the world's most engaging science journalists, a groundbreaking and wonder-filled look at the hidden things that shape our lives in unexpected and sometimes dangerous ways.

Our naked eyes see only a thin sliver of reality. We are blind in comparison to the X-rays that peer through skin, the mass spectrometers that detect the dead inside the living, or the high-tech surveillance systems that see with artificial intelligence.

And we are blind compared to the animals that can see in infrared, or ultraviolet, or in 360-degree vision. These animals live in the same world we do, but they see something quite different when they look around.

With all of the curiosity and flair that drives her broadcasting, Ziya Tong reveals to us this hidden world, and takes us on a journey to examine ten of humanity's biggest blind spots. First, we're introduced to the blind spots we are all born with, and how technology allows us to see beyond our biological limits. Then in Section Two, we look at our collective blind spots and investigate how as a society we engage in willful blindness. There are cameras everywhere, she reminds us, except where our food comes from, where our energy comes from, and where our waste goes. Finally, in Section Three, we see how intergenerational blind spots--ways of thinking about the world that seem natural or inevitable but are in fact inherited world views passed on from generation to generation.

This vitally important new book shows how science, and the curiosity that drives it, can help civilization flourish by opening our eyes to the landscape laid out before us. Fast-paced, utterly fascinating, and deeply humane, The Reality Bubble gives voice to the sense we've all had--that there is more to the world than meets the eye.

“In a time of mounting global crisis, the kind of radical curiosity that fills this book — a commitment to probing the unseen, unknowable, and unthinkable — has become essential to our survival. In Ziya Tong's hands, we learn that it can be joyous, too, with thrilling facts, questions, and juxtapositions on every page. A kaleidoscopic guide to everything we're missing.”
Naomi Klein

“This book will tear through your preconceptions like a meteor through space. Ziya Tong is a wonderfully erudite companion on a tour of reality, from the very smallest to the size of the universe and everything in between. It’s an incredibly illuminating and challenging but ultimately empowering book, and reading it delivers a shock almost on the level as when Neo took the red pill in The Matrix. Prepare to have your bubble well and truly burst.”
Rowan Hooper, New Scientist

“Filled with entertaining, often surprising, information, The Reality Bubble reveals how science enables us to ‘see’ beyond the constraints of our physical and psychic barriers and recognize the consequences.  Ziya Tong’s book should be required reading for all who care about what we are doing to the planet.
David Suzuki, broadcaster and author of The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering our Place in Nature

“Humans have a warped perception of reality. Ziya Tong pierces through this collective fog, using a scientific lens to show us our place in the world as it really is. With a journalist’s eye for drama, she uses examples from both the history of science and the latest research to expose uncomfortable truths about the short-sighted ways we produce food and energy and dispose of waste, which are jeopardizing life on Earth. Her arguments compel us to look sharp—we remain in this reality bubble at our own peril.”
Kate Wong, Scientific American