Author(s): John Browne
Uranium, carbon, iron, titanium, gold, silver and silicon - how seven elements are shaping the 21st century, for good and bad. With carbon we access heat, light and mobility at the flick of a switch, while silicon enables us to communicate across the globe in an instant. Yet our use of the Earth's mineral resources is not always for the benefit of humankind - our relationship with the elements is one of great ambivalence. Uranium is both productive nuclear power and destructive atomic bombs; iron is the bloody weapon of war, but also the economic tool of peace; our desire for alluring gold is the foundation of global trade, but has also led to the death of millions. John Browne, CEO of BP for twelve years, vividly describes how seven elements are shaping the world around us - for good and bad. Combining history, science and politics, SEVEN ELEMENTS takes you on a present day adventure of human passion, ingenuity and discovery. This journey is far from over: we continue to find surprising new uses for these seven elements. Discover how titanium pervades modern consumer society, how natural gas is transforming the global energy sector, and how an innovative new form of carbon could be starting a technology revolution.
John Browne (Lord Browne of Madingley) was born in Germany in 1948 and joined BP as a university apprentice in 1966. He was Group Chief Executive of BP from 1995 to 2007, where he built a reputation as a visionary leader and was regularly voted the most admired businessman by his peers. He was knighted in 1998 and made a life peer in 2001. He is now a managing partner of Riverstone LLC, an international energy private equity firm, a Fellow of the Royal Society (UK), President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chairman of the Tate Gallery.