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Seeing Further: The Story of Science,…

Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the… (edition 2010)

by Bill Bryson

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Title:Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the Royal Society
Authors:Bill Bryson
Info:William Morrow (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 512 pages
Collections:Your library

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Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the Royal Society by Bill Bryson

  1. 00
    A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (Plyte)
    Plyte: It's also an exploration of science and scientific thought, but goes much deeper into the history of all the players. It's interesting to know the history and then read some of the thoughts on the people you have just read about.

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» See also 24 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
From Bill Bryson's introduction:

The Royal Society...invented scientific publishing and peer review. It made English the primary language of scientific discourse, in place of Latin. It systematised experimentation. It promoted - indeed insisted upon - clarity of expression in place of high-flown rhetoric. It brought together the best thinking from all over the world. It created modern science.

This is not a straightforward history of the Royal Society, as I expected when I picked it up. It's a collection of articles by various notables on sundry subjects of scientific and philosophical interest. As with any collection of writing by different people, I found some of the subjects more interesting and some of the writing more to my taste than others. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
This is one immense tome that would interest all the science buffs out there.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
This is one immense tome that would interest all the science buffs out there.
  kkhambadkone | Jan 17, 2016 |
  ToreKes | Oct 18, 2014 |
Sadly, "Seeing further" just wasn't as interesting as I expected it to be. There are certainly some engaging entries (Bill Bryson's inroduction and Margaret Atwood's article referencing "Gulliver's Travels to name just two) but there are also too many entries ranging from the dull to the outright incomprehensible (Margaret Wertheim's article, for example, had me regularly squinting to determine what on earth she was driving at - in my library book copy someone has underlined "futile" in Wertheim's piece, which sums up my attempts to make heads and tails of her article).

Obviously, there are many people out there more intelligent than me (no doubt including you) and will understand more of the denser science ideas at play here and will get a lot more out of it than me.

And in closing, a shout out to Margaret Attwood for including the sentence (about "Gulliver's Travels"):
"The edition I read was not a child's version, of the kind that dwells on the cute little people and the funny giant people and the talking horses, but dodges any mention of nipples and urination, and downplays the excrement." ( )
  MiaCulpa | Apr 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bill Brysonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Atwood, MargaretContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ball, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barrow, John D.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Benford, GregoryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davies, PaulContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dawkins, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ferry, GeorginaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fortey, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gee, MaggieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gleick, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goldstein, Rebecca NewbergerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holmes, RichardContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, SteveContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morton, OliverContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Petroski, HenryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rees, MartinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schaffer, SimonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schneider, Stephen H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stephenson, NealContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stewart, IanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wertheim, MargaretContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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The edition (of "Gulliver's Travels") I read was not a child's version, of the kind that dwells on the cute little people and the funny giant people and the talking horses, but dodges any mention of nipples and urination, and downplays the excrement.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061999768, Hardcover)

Edited and introduced by Bill Bryson, with original contributions from "a glittering array of scientific writing talent" (Sunday Observer) including Richard Dawkins, Margaret Atwood, Richard Holmes, Martin Rees, Richard Fortey, Steve Jones, James Gleick, and Neal Stephenson, among others, this incomparable book tells the spectacular story of science and the international Royal Society, from 1660 to the present. Seeing Further is also gorgeously illustrated with photographs, documents, and treasures from the Society's exclusive archives.

On a damp weeknight in November three hundred and fifty years ago, a dozen men gathered in London. After hearing an obscure twenty-eight-year-old named Christopher Wren lecture on the wonders of astronomy, his rapt audience was moved to create a society to promote the accumulation of useful—and fascinating—knowledge. At that, the Royal Society was born, and with it, modern science.

Since then, the Royal Society has pioneered global scientific exploration and discovery. Its members have split the atom, discovered the double helix and the electron, and given us the computer and the World Wide Web. Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Robert Hooke, Robert Boyle, Joseph Banks, Humphry Davy, John Locke, Alexander Fleming, Stephen Hawking—all have been fellows. Bill Bryson's favorite fellow is the Reverend Thomas Bayes, a brilliant mathematician who devised Bayes' theorem. Its complexity meant that it had little practical use in Bayes' own lifetime, but today his theorem is used for weather forecasting, astrophysics, and even stock-market analysis. A milestone in mathematical history, it exists only because the Royal Society decided to preserve it—just in case.

Truly global in its outlook, the Royal Society now is credited with creating modern science. Seeing Further is an unprecedented celebration of its history and the power of ideas, bringing together the very best of science writing.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:02 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Edited and introduced by Bill Bryson, and with contributions from Richard Dawkins, Margaret Atwood, David Attenborough, Martin Rees and Richard Fortey amongst others, this volume celebrates the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society. It explore significant achievements, as well as recalling the Society's rich history.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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