Science Focus Podcast: This is how to invent everything © Getty Images

This is how to invent everything

How helpful would you be if you were stranded in the past? Ryan North imagined telling people how cool computers are, but if they asked him how to make one, he'd be stumped. So he did some research, and in his hilarious new book he's teaching us how to invent everything.

How helpful would you be if your time machine broke down, and you were stranded in the past? That’s something author Ryan North has always worried about. He could explain how cool computers are, but if someone in the middle ages asked him how to make one, he’d be stumped.

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He decided to remedy that by finding out how to re-create modern civilisation. He’s explained it all in his new book How To Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveller (£16.99, Ebury Publishing). From written and spoken language through to agriculture, the printing press and modern birth control, it’s a practical guide on how to rebuild civilisation from scratch.

In this episode of the Science Focus Podcast he speaks to Helen Glenny, editorial assistant at BBC Focus, about where to start, why it took us so long the first time around, and how to be the most influential person in human history

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