For more than four decades, one of the most captivating and celebrated science communicators of our time has challenged the public to think carefully about the foundations of nature and the inseparable entanglement of science and society. In Third Thoughts Steven Weinberg casts a wide net: from the cosmological to the personal, from astronomy, quantum mechanics, and the history of science to the limits of current knowledge, the art of discovery, and the rewards of getting things wrong.
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics, Weinberg presents his views on some of the most fundamental aspects of the field, including the nature of elementary particles, the detection of the Higgs boson, the implications of a possible multiverse, and the mysteries of dark matter. But he does not seclude science behind disciplinary walls, and he does not shy away from politics. In this collection of essays—his third published by Harvard University Press—Weinberg takes on what he sees as the folly of manned spaceflight, the harms of inequality, and the importance of public goods. His point of view is rationalist, realist, reductionist, and devoutly secularist.
The essays in Third Thoughts, some of which appear here for the first time, will engage not only specialists but also general readers. Throughout, Weinberg never loses sight of the human dimension of scientific discovery and its consequences for our endless drive to probe the workings of the cosmos.