Maybe it was an asteroid impact, a nuclear war, or a viral pandemic. Whatever the cause, the world as we know it has ended and you and your community of survivors must start again. What key knowledge would you need to not only survive in the immediate post-apocalyptic aftermath, but avert another Dark Ages and accelerate the rebooting of civilisation from scratch?
Living in the modern world, we have become disconnected from the basic processes that support our lives, as well as the beautiful fundamentals of science that enable you to relearn things for yourself. The Knowledge is a grand thought experiment on the behind-the-scenes fundamentals of how our world works, and what drove the progression of civilisation over the centuries.
Professor Lewis Dartnell is an astrobiology researcher based at the University of Westminster, studying how microbial life, and signs of its existence, might persist on the surface of Mars. Alongside his research he writes regular science articles in newspapers and magazines, and has appeared in TV shows such as BBC Horizon, Wonders of the Universe, and documentaries on National Geographic, Discovery and History channels. The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch is his third book, and is a Sunday Times Book of the Year.