How is it that nobody—except maybe scientists—sees science for what it is? In this entertaining and provocative book, Lewis Wolpert draws on the entire history of science, from Thales of Miletus to Watson and Crick, from the study of eugenics to the discovery of the double helix. The result is a scientist’s view of the culture of science, authoritative and informed and at the same time mercifully accessible to those who find cohabiting with this culture a puzzling experience.
Science is arguably the defining feature of our age. For anyone who hopes to understand its nature, this lively and thoughtful book provides the perfect starting point.
The unnaturalness of science is held to lie both in the superior clarity of its thought over everyday notions…and in the counterintuitive character of regimes far from common experience. The unnaturalness is to be commended, and Lewis Wolpert’s book is a kind of hymn of praise from one of science’s practitioners… [An] entertaining book.
The implications of Wolpert’s thesis are important and widespread, especially to anyone concerned with education and the public understanding of science… Wolpert is a passionate defender of science. All he asks is that we understand what we are defending.
Wolpert’s book is…a lively presentation of points we need constantly remember as we reflect on the role of science in our world.
[A] wonderful book… Wolpert’s prose is measured and thoughtful… In an age when fundamental ideas about the nature of truth are assailed, when scientists are derided as madmen who threatened the world with nuclear weapons and genetic engineering, it is a pleasure to read a clear, level-headed, and persuasive defense of the scientific enterprise.
- 191 pages
- 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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