The Rules of Contagion

Available to buy: UK edition and US edition

Named as a Times Science Book of the Year, a Guardian Science Book of the Year, a Financial Times Critics' Book of the Year, and a New Statesman Book of the Year

The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread - and Why They Stop uncovers the underlying principles that drive contagion, from infectious diseases and online misinformation to gun violence and financial crises. It explains what makes things spread, why outbreaks look like they do, and how we can change what happens in future.

It is published by Profile/Wellcome Collection in the UK and Basic Books in the US. Translation rights have also been sold in Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Russia, Thailand and Ukraine. My agent is Peter Tallack at The Science Factory.

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"Prepares the ground comprehensively for readers to make sense of what is happening today, by distilling the wisdom gathered by studying previous epidemics over more than a century" Financial Times

"An astonishingly bold survey of, well, the epidemiology of more or less everything in our inter-connected world... brilliant" Daily Mail

"In-depth, meticulously researched and brilliant book... Kucharski’s work makes welcome sense of the current chaos in a way that is accessible, relatable and insightful" Sydney Morning Herald

"A useful, eye-opening read... much of the modern world will make more sense having read it" The Times

"Learned and lucid" Prospect Magazine

"An impressively fluent, fascinating and accessible introduction to how epidemics, trends, behaviours and ideas start, spread – and end" New Statesman

"Smart and engaging" New York Times

"Lively, intriguing and elegant" The Spectator

"Fascinating exploration of the mathematics of things that go viral... utterly timely and readable" Kirkus Reviews

"The Rules of Contagion is the book you might want to reach for... interesting and topical" The Guardian

"Of pressing interest to all of us... Illuminating" The Sunday Times

Media coverage

My work on the science of contagion has been covered by several media outlets, including interviews with TED, Sky News, Sunday Times, i newspaper, New York Times, New Scientist, and BBC Radio 4.

The Perfect Bet

Available to buy: UK edition or US edition

From the statisticians forecasting sports scores to the intelligent bots beating human poker players, my debut book traces the scientific origins of the world's best gambling strategies. Spanning mathematics, psychology, economics and physics, it reveals the long and tangled history between betting and science, and explains why gambling continues to generate insights into luck and decision-making today.

The book was first published in 2016 by Basic Books in the US and by Profile in the UK. Translation rights have also been sold in Brazil, China (simplified and traditional Chinese), Italy, Japan, Korea and Russia.

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"This book is full of magic. It’s brimming with clever people and clever ideas... The links between betting and science run deep and wide, allowing Kucharski to cover some thrilling intellectual territory" New Scientist

"Elegant and amusing... Anyone planning to enter a casino or place an online bet would be advised to keep this book handy" Wall Street Journal

"Clever, entertaining and highly disturbing" The Spectator

"Kucharski navigates the subject in a manner that makes it accessible to everyone... What makes it so readable is the way the stories are told—always with a human angle" Prospect Magazine

"Kucharski delivers a fascinating read" Publishers Weekly

"It's both a paean to human ingenuity and a Robin Hood tale" ★ ★ ★ ★ The Telegraph

"Beautifully written, solidly researched and full of surprises" New York Times Numberplay

"Replete with stories and examples of fascinating betting facts that often dispel common misconceptions... a comprehensible, up-to-date account of the state of the art." Times Literary Supplement

"A lucid yet sophisticated look at the mathematics of probability as it's played out on gaming tables, arenas, and fields... Gamblers and math buffs alike will enjoy it for its smart approach to real-world problems" Kirkus Reviews

"Right from Chapter 1, Kucharski grabs the reader’s attention... I highly recommend this book" MAA Reviews


Media coverage

My work on the science of gambling has been covered by several media outlets, including interviews with BBC Radio 4, Bloomberg, The Economist, ESPN, ITV This Morning, Metro, Scientific American, The Times and The Washington Post.


Advance praise for The Perfect Bet

"Extremely well-written and carefully researched. I highly recommend it."
—Arthur Benjamin, Author of The Magic of Math: Solving for X and Figuring out whY

"Kucharski does a remarkable job of telling the story of how gambling has influenced science and science has influenced gambling. He manages to make it a good read while providing a scholarly underpinning."
—J. Doyne Farmer, Director of the Complexity Economics program at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School

"This book contains so many great stories of how smart people have used maths, statistics and science to try and beat the odds—legally. It almost, but not quite, makes me want to take up gambling."
—David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk, University of Cambridge

"Adam Kucharski takes us on a wild ride through the history, psychology, mathematics, and technology of gaming—a remarkable look behind the curtain of what most people think is intuitive, but isn’t."
—Paul Offit, author of Bad Faith and Autism’s False Prophets