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The Story of Western Science: From the…
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The Story of Western Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big…

by Susan Wise Bauer

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The Story of Science or The Story of Western Science -- editions have varying titles -- is a collection of science's "big ideas," from the ancient Greeks and Egyptians speculating on medicine and the heavens to modern theories of relativity and chaos. An idea or discovery is explained in each chapter, along with some history and its reception by the scientific community, followed by recommendations for further reading, including links to relevant pieces of the original writings viewable the author's website.

Although we think of them as fairly disparate areas of study today, it's quite interesting to consider how entwined science is with philosophy, to the extent that science actually has its origins in philosophy. Overall, I found this book to be somewhat of a let-down. Factually, it was adequate, but the information was rolled out in a surprisingly dry manner. My eyes began to glaze over when topics surrounding quantum physics were introduced, but to be fair that might have happened anyway. ( )
  ryner | Nov 1, 2017 |
This book deserves more than the three stars I'm giving it; it's a really well-written book with citations and references out the wazoo, but that was its handicap when it comes to the audiobook.

The narrator was excellent and I found the information interesting, but the purpose of the book - a precis of all the ground-breaking science in history - does not lend itself to easy listening. Each chapter ended with references to books pertaining to the relevant science, including which editions are better than others, which are available in ebook, and sometimes which chapters of which books to focus on or ignore. Listening to a narrator spell all this out, often including website addresses, was tedious in the extreme; there are only so many times you can hear even the most cultured British voice say "go to h t t p colon slash slash..." before you want to start banging your head on the steering wheel.

For all that though, I think I'm giving the book a bum rap; it really deserves a higher rating, but it also deserves to be read in print form (or ebook). I'm definitely going to buy it so I can re-read the bits I missed because of all the head-banging. ( )
  murderbydeath | Nov 13, 2016 |
Carl Sagan once said that science is more a way of thinking than it is a body of knowledge. In this book, Susan Wise Bauer guides readers through important writings that epitomize that way of thinking and shows how science developed from its early beginnings in philosophical contemplation to a systematic method that provides a broad understanding of the universe. It is more than a list of primary sources or a guide for further reading. It provides an excellent introduction for students and for non-scientists with curious minds of what science is and how it has been applied to uncover answers to perplexing questions about life, the universe, and everything. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
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Note from the author's website: The Story of Western Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory. W. W. Norton, 2015. (Previously published as The Story of Science; title change in July 2015.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393243265, Hardcover)

A riveting road map to the development of modern scientific thought.

Far too often, public discussion of science is carried out by journalists, voters, and politicians who have received their science secondhand. The Story of Science shows us the joy and importance of reading groundbreaking science writing for ourselves and guides us back to the masterpieces that have changed the way we think about our world, our cosmos, and ourselves.

Able to be referenced individually, or read together as the narrative of Western scientific development, the book's twenty-eight succinct chapters lead readers from the first science texts by Hippocrates, Plato, and Aristotle through twentieth-century classics in biology, physics, and cosmology. The Story of Science illuminates everything from mankind's earliest inquiries to the butterfly effect, from the birth of the scientific method to the rise of earth science and the flowering of modern biology.

Each chapter recommends one or more classic books and provides entertaining accounts of crucial contributions to science, vivid sketches of the scientist-writers, and clear explanations of the mechanics underlying each concept. The Story of Science reveals science to be a dramatic undertaking practiced by some of history's most memorable characters. It reminds us that scientific inquiry is a human pursuit―an essential, often deeply personal, sometimes flawed, frequently brilliant way of understanding the world.

In the tradition of her perennial bestseller The-Well Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer delivers an accessible, entertaining, and illuminating springboard into the scientific education you never had.

13 illustrations

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:06:19 -0400)

Far too often, public discussion of science is carried out by journalists, voters, and politicians who have received their science secondhand. The Story of Science shows us the joy and importance of reading groundbreaking science writing for ourselves and guides us back to the masterpieces that have changed the way we think about our world, our cosmos, and ourselves. Able to be referenced individually, or read together as the narrative of Western scientific development, the book leads readers from the first science texts by the Greeks through 20th-century classics in biology, physics, and cosmology. The Story of Science illuminates everything from mankind's earliest inquiries to the butterfly effect. Each chapter recommends one or more classic books and provides accounts of crucial contributions to science, sketches of the scientist-writers, and explanations of the mechanics underlying each concept. The Story of Science reveals science to be a dramatic undertaking practiced by some of history's most memorable characters. It reminds us that scientific inquiry is a human pursuit -- an essential, often deeply personal, sometimes flawed, frequently brilliant way of understanding the world.… (more)

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