The Reader is the first comprehensive history of the noosphere and biosphere. Drawing on classical influences, modern parallels, and insights into the future, the Reader traces the emergence of noosphere and biosphere concepts within the concept of environmental change. Reproducing material from seminla works, both past and present, key ideas and writings of prominent thinkers are presented, including Bergson, Vernadsky, Lovelock, Russell, Needham, Huxley, Medawar, Toynbee and Boulding, and extensive introductory pieces bu the editors drawattention to common themes and competing ideas. Focussing on issues of origins, theories, parallels and potential, the discussions place issues in a broad context, compare and contrast central concepts with those of the Gaia hypothesis, sustainability and global change, and examine the potential application of noospheric ideas to current debates about culture, education and technology in such realms as the Internet, space exploration, and the emergence of super-consciousness.
Literally the `sphere of mind or intellect', the noosphere is aprt of the `realm of the possible' in human affairs, where there is a conscious effort to tackle global issues
The noosphere concept captures a number of key contemporary issues - social evolution, global ecology, Gaia, deep ecology and global environmental change - contributing to ongoing debates concerning the implications of emerging technologies.