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Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in…

Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything

by Philip Ball

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It is difficult to imagine that at one time, not so long ago, curiosity was not seen as the virtue most people regard it as today, and that experimenting was often viewed as idle (and ultimately pointless)tinkering. In this book we see how the scientific revolution was really more of an evolution, and that many of the early practitioners of science in the 16th to 18th Centuries were not what we might consider today as scientifically minded, although they were quite innovative for their time.
Clarity is not this particular book's strong point. The prose is heavy and professorial, often feeling more like a listing of historical facts than a smooth presentation of a point. Still, it is an interesting subject, and I may have learned a few things from reading it. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
A lengthy read, 465 pages. How curoisity was behind the development of science. Beginning with vast collections of curios.
It was interesting to read about the tussles with the various players and their theories. Amazing how much alchemy was mixed with chemistry, easy for us looking back now. The old brass microscope with prepared slides I inherited from my uncle takes on new significance now. It shows the Victorian fascination and wonder in examining God's creation: moss, fly wings, etc under the microscope. ( )
1 vote GeoffSC | May 31, 2015 |
A story of ~200 or so Englishmen and other Europeans who lived mostly in and around the 1600s. That century's religion-impeded scientific revolution (Galileo-Kepler-Newton, at least) has been rehashed in innumerably many books, including perhaps a majority of physical-science popularizations, but this volume's treatment is much longer, broader, more detailed, and more scholarly. Not really my cup of tea, but it could appeal to likers of history -- those likers of history who also have respect for science, that is.
1 vote fpagan | Oct 12, 2013 |
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Ball looks at the transformation of curiosity from stigma to scientific stimulus through a survey of important figures as well as critical inventions and discoveries.

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