Explaining Humans
Dr Camilla Pang

Book cover image

Narrated By: Camilla Pang

Duration: 6 hours and 52 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.


Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of eight, Dr Camilla Pang struggled to understand the world around her. Desperate for a solution, Camilla asked her mother if there was an instruction manual for humans that she could consult. But, without the blueprint to life she was hoping for, Camilla began to create her own. Now armed with a PhD in biochemistry, Camilla dismantles our obscure social customs and identifies what it really means to be human using her unique expertise and a language she knows best: science.

Through a set of scientific principles, this book examines life's everyday interactions including: Decisions and the route we take to make them; Conflict and how we can avoid it; Relationships and how we establish them; Etiquette and how we conform to it.

Explaining Humans is an original and incisive exploration of human nature and the strangeness of social norms, written from the outside looking in. Camilla's unique perspective of the world, in turn, tells us so much about ourselves - about who we are and why we do it - and is a fascinating guide on how to lead a more connected, happier life.

© Camilla Pang 2020 (P) Penguin Audio 2020


Social & cultural anthropology, Popular psychology, Child, developmental & lifespan psychology, Coping with autism / Asperger's, Human biology, Social, group or collective psychology

Listen to a sample

Thoughtful, incisive and important: this is a must-read for an accessible education in human understanding. It blew my mind!

Laura Jane Williams, author of 'Our Stop' and 'Becoming: Second Sex, Second Chances, and Figuring Out Who the Hell I Am'

This book is truly exceptional. Applying science to the problems of human relationships, the perils of perfectionism and the pitfalls of social etiquette, Millie has written a joyous, funny and hugely insightful text for all of us - whether neurotypical or neurodiverse. This 'Outsiders Guide to the Human Race' is warm, witty and a joy to read.

Gina Rippon, cognitive neuroscientist/autism researcher and author of 'The Gendered Brain'

An easy-to-read part-memoir, part-explanation of why humans are the way they are and what we can learn from it


Whether neurodiverse or neurotypical, Pang's witty account is a must-read for anyone who wants to broaden their understanding of life beyond what society defines as the 'norm'


Camilla's book is an accessible guide to scientific concepts that is humorous and engaging

BBC Science Focus

This vital memoir illuminates the power of being on the autism spectrum

The Times

A scientific blueprint of human nature and all its bizarre social norms