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Far too often, public discussion of science is carried out by journalists, voters, and politicians who have received their science secondhand. The Story of Western 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 listened to together as the narrative of Western scientific development, the book's 28 succinct chapters lead listeners from the first science texts by Hippocrates, Plato, and Aristotle through 20th-century classics in biology, physics, and cosmology. The Story of Western 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 Western 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 best seller The Well-Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer delivers an accessible, entertaining, and illuminating springboard into the scientific education you never had.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Diane K. on 10-07-15
Good text, tedious book structure
While I have no problem with the narrative per se, the choice to read all of the book citations at the end of each chapter makes the audio book rather tedious to listen to. This is something that would not be a defect in a printed work, since it is easy to skip them there. These should have been moved to an appendix.
If you decide to listen to this otherwise well written book, be prepared to skip to the end of every chapter, once the narrator gets to the point where he starts reading out the website URL.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
By Cássio on 06-03-16
Overall good, but shallow
Very neat content and easy to grasp. With a comprehensible account of the flow over science history, it is easy to focus on the main matter. I would emphasize the word "flow" here, because that is the focus of the book and its strong point.
The downside, and kind of necessary (maybe), is the superficiality on some details, which can give or reenforce some misleading assumptions on facts. It exposed only conclusions on a myriad of people's assertions; philosophical conclusions become mere coincidence or luck, and facts supporting or undermining beliefs are overseen. While not completely wrong, it is not completely true either. Nonetheless, the book keeps its value as an overview well rendered. Even though the particularities surrounding Galileo that were against him are not present, or if why coincidences happened to work is not properly explained, or any other relevant details, this helps to focus on the historical flux rather than the historical points (with their difficulties snd blessed).
Also, there is a beautiful writing there, with good choice of words transforming what could be a dull subject into an vivid and captivating comedy and drama. Roles are played, lives are lived, tragedies and comedies unroll, while the supernatural is unveiled natural. Very pleasant reading/listening.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful