Seeing Further: 350 Years of the Royal Society and Scientific Endeavour
Doubleday Canada, Nov 2, 2010 - Science - 416 pages
From the Royal Society, a peerless collection of all-new science writing
Bill Bryson, who explored all - or at least a great deal of - current scientific knowledge in A Short History of Nearly Everything, now turns his attention to the history of that knowledge. As editor of Seeing Further, he has rounded up an extraordinary roster of scientists who write and writers who know science in order to celebrate 350 years of the Royal Society, Britain's scientific national academy. The result is an encyclopedic survey of the history, philosophy and current state of science, written in an accessible and inspiring style by some of today's most important writers.
The contributors include Margaret Atwood, Steve Jones, Richard Dawkins, James Gleick, Richard Holmes, and Neal Stephenson, among many others, on subjects ranging from metaphysics to nuclear physics, from the threatened endtimes of flu and climate change to our evolving ideas about the nature of time itself, from the hidden mathematics that rule the universe to the cosmological principle that guides Star Trek.
The collection begins with a brilliant introduction from Bryson himself, who says: "It is impossible to list all the ways that the Royal Society has influenced the world, but you can get some idea by typing in 'Royal Society' as a word search in the electronic version of the Dictionary of National Biography. That produces 218 pages of results — 4,355 entries, nearly as many as for the Church of England (at 4,500) and considerably more than for the House of Commons (3,124) or House of Lords (2,503)."
As this book shows, the Royal Society not only produces the best scientists and science, it also produces and inspires the very best science writing.
From the Hardcover edition.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - MiaCulpa - LibraryThing
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 ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - stuartechambers - LibraryThing
I have to say that whilst I love Bill Bryson, I really didn't like this book at all & that's sad as i was so looking forward to read it. I would like to put two thousand scientists in a room and ask ... Read full review
IAMES GLEICK 12 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
IN HEAVEN AND EARTH STEVE IONES
MARGARET ATWOOD 26 BIODIVERSITY NATURAL SELECTION
NEAL STEPHENSON 60 IN THE UNIVERSE
REBECCA NEWBERGER MATHEMATICS THAT RULES oun WORLD
SIMON SCHAFFER 100
RICHARD HOLMES I18 MAGGIE GEE
RICHARD FORTEY I38 STEPH EN H SCHNEIDER
HEN RY PETROSKI I74 MARTIN REES