To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science

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9780062346650: To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science

In To Explain the World, pre-eminent theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg offers a rich and irreverent history of science from a unique perspective - that of a scientist. Moving from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad to Oxford, and from the Museum of Alexandria to the Royal Society of London, he shows that the scientists of the past not only did not understand what we understand about the world - they did not understand what there is to understand. Yet eventually, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the backward movement of the planets and the rise and fall of tides, the modern discipline of science emerged.

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Review:

I read To Explain the World completely enthralled. It transmutes the base metal of a mere history of science into pure gold-into a magisterial celebration of a long and heroic struggle, still incomplete, to understand nature. Only a committed scientist of Steven Weinberg's brilliance, experience and breadth of insight could have accomplished this. I ended the book exhilarated ( Ian McEwan)

This is a great book, a necessary book for our time.... As today's pre-eminent theoretical physicist, with a lifetime's experience behind him, Weinberg's unique perspective is evident throughout the text ( Independent)

In this masterful, entertainingly 'irreverent' book, Weinberg explains the rise of science from ancient Greeks to modern geeks in terms that his students and the rest of us will understand (Iain Finlayson The Times)

It would be putting it mildly to say that Weinberg triumphantly lives up to what it says on the Nobel tin: a true intellectual as well as a brilliant theoretical physicist (Richard Dawkins)

Regarded as the pre-eminent theoretical physicist alive today... Weinberg is also a fine writer and communicator about ideas beyond his own field... Weinberg has clearly carried out extensive scholarly investigation for To Explain the World, and the book works as history. But what makes it tand out is his perspective as a top scientist working today (Clive Cookson Financial Times)

Steven Weinberg, the world's preeminent physicist, provides a masterful journey through humankind's scientific coming of age. This is a story that not only traces our deep insights into nature's workings but reveals how we came to grasp the very meaning of scientific insight. With its refreshing candor and lyrical prose, To Explain the World is a delightful celebration of our passionate drive for understanding (Brian Greene)

Weinberg has reached the pinnacle of scientific success - the Nobel Prize - he writes clearly and with confidence, imbuing the reader with an irresistible sense that one is in the hands of a master physicist at play ( Sunday Times)

There have been many accounts of the historical progression of our understanding of the world around us, but few have had the unique selling point of Steven Weinberg's To Explain the World. Weinberg is a Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist... In this sense, then, Weinberg's chronicle of the long development of physics leading up to the role he has personally played in it is akin to Winston Churchill's A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (Lewis Dartnell Telegraph)

An absolute delight ( Times Higher Education)

A refreshing contrast to other tomes on the topic... Weinberg reminds us to be humble not only about what we know, but how we know it ( The Guardian)

An enlightening read that does not demand specialist knowledge to enjoy (Robert Kingston Sunday Times)

Steven Weinberg is one of the most highly accomplished and respected scientists in the world. But even among this elite group he holds a unique position as a scientist-scholar and a writer of unparalleled clarity. Weinberg has become a role model for the rest of us who attempt to communicate to the broader public. No one writing on matters of science or of science and society has more wisdom to impart, nor can they impart it better than Weinberg (Lawrence Krauss)

About the Author:

Steven Weinberg has won the Nobel Prize in Physics, the National Medal of Science, the Lewis Thomas Prize for the Scientist as Poet, and numerous honorary degrees. He is a member of the National Academy of Science, the Royal Society of London, and the American Philosophical Society. A long-time contributor to the New York Review of Books, he is the author of The First Three Minutes and Dreams of a Final Theory, among other books. He holds the Josey Regental Chair in Science at the University of Texas at Austin.

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Book Description Harper, 2015. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: A masterful commentary on the history of science from the Greeks to modern times, by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg--a thought-provoking and important book by one of the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals of our time.In this rich, irreverent, and compelling history, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us across centuries from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad and Oxford, from Plato's Academy and the Museum of Alexandria to the cathedral school of Chartres and the Royal Society of London. He shows that the scientists of ancient and medieval times not only did not understand what we understand about the world--they did not understand what there is to understand, or how to understand it. Yet over the centuries, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the curious backward movement of the planets and the rise and fall of the tides, the modern discipline of science eventually emerged. Along the way, Weinberg examines historic clashes and collaborations between science and the competing spheres of religion, technology, poetry, mathematics, and philosophy.An illuminating exploration of the way we consider and analyze the world around us, To Explain the World is a sweeping, ambitious account of how difficult it was to discover the goals and methods of modern science, and the impact of this discovery on human knowledge and development. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0062346652

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Book Description Harper, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 230 x 162 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this rich, irreverent, compelling history, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad and Oxford, from Plato s Academy and the Museum of Alexandria to the cathedral school of Chartres and the Royal Society of London. He shows that the scientists of ancient and medieval times not only did not understand what we now know about the world, they did not understand what there is to be understood, or how to learn it. Yet over the centuries, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the curious apparent backward movement of the planets or the rise and fall of the tides, science eventually emerged as a modern discipline. Along the way, Weinberg examines historic clashes and collaborations between science and the competing spheres of religion, technology, poetry, mathematics, and philosophy.An illuminating exploration of how we have come to consider and analyze the world around us, To Explain the World is a sweeping, ambitious account of how difficult it was to discover the goals and methods of modern science, and the impact of this discovery on human understanding and development. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780062346650

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Book Description Harper, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 230 x 162 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this rich, irreverent, compelling history, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad and Oxford, from Plato s Academy and the Museum of Alexandria to the cathedral school of Chartres and the Royal Society of London. He shows that the scientists of ancient and medieval times not only did not understand what we now know about the world, they did not understand what there is to be understood, or how to learn it. Yet over the centuries, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the curious apparent backward movement of the planets or the rise and fall of the tides, science eventually emerged as a modern discipline. Along the way, Weinberg examines historic clashes and collaborations between science and the competing spheres of religion, technology, poetry, mathematics, and philosophy.An illuminating exploration of how we have come to consider and analyze the world around us, To Explain the World is a sweeping, ambitious account of how difficult it was to discover the goals and methods of modern science, and the impact of this discovery on human understanding and development. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780062346650

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